Eight of the best live sound engineers in Denver

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Do know what the difference is between a good show and a great show? The sound. It's always the sound. When it's bad, you certainly know it. On the other hand, when it's a great mix, you might not even notice, unless you're a particularly astute listener. You might just think your favorite band is really on point that night. And while that may very well be true, the fact that the band sounds as good as it does definitely isn't by chance. What you're hearing is the hard -- and often thankless -- work of a great sound engineer. We're compiling a list of the best sound engineers in town, and here is the first in a series. Continue on to see the first eight of the best sound engineers in Denver, presented in no particular order.

See also: 25 reasons the Denver music scene rules

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Colin Bricker

Age: 38
Venues: I started out at the Bluebird Theater and the Mercury Cafe, These days it's mostly regional outdoor music festivals
Years Mixing in Denver: 18 years
Years in the Biz: 22 years
Gig Pet Peeves: I hate it when the sprinklers go off during the gig. It happens every summer!
Favorite Piece of Live Gear: The Shure SM58 Microphone. It works every time!

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Xandy Whitesel

Age: 41
Venues: All over the world. When I'm in town, hi-dive, MFP events, Xandstorm Audio events, guest engineering for hire.
Years Mixing in Denver: One decade to the T.
Years in the Biz: All of them. Just kidding; not all of them.
Gig Pet Peeves: Peavies are a peeve, except for, but not always, a 5150. Also, stop draggin' ass. And don't break it, either, while you're at it. And no lip, only smiles. And always point your amp at the front or back of your face. And another thing... !
Favorite Piece of Live Gear: A room with big giant humongous big awesome sounding big sound system in it. Real big.

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49 comments
James M Irvine
James M Irvine

Ahem, Rick Ramirez not on this list?!? Automatic disregard of this piece for that oversight.

Jef Gat
Jef Gat

Amen to that ~ Calm, quick, efficient & responsive...and the best ears in town.

Günter Angermayr
Günter Angermayr

Brian and Alan are TOPS. I have listened to a lot of live music in a lot of different places, and both of them belong in the top category!

Ron Howard
Ron Howard

So cool you guys wrote this article..most "normal" people don't appreciate the value of a skilled audio engineer. But those who know...know. Now if we could only get everyone to actually respect all these creative people! When you see a great show give a shout out.

David Tash
David Tash

Thanks for the shout out Bryan. I can think of a dozen other incredible sound engineers missed in this list. But since Westword misses the boat on most every poll or list they compile, I'm flattered to be unmentioned here. Cheers!

Richard Montgomery
Richard Montgomery

I have had the pleasure of working with some great sound men over the years, three that should be on your list. Brian Hunter, Alan Noftal, and Mateo Homan.

Bryan Berkowitz
Bryan Berkowitz

Where is David Tash in this list? You missed the boat Denver Westword... LoHi Music Fest, Countless shows at The Boulder Theater, Cervantes Masterpiece, The Fox Theater... Completely missed the boat!

Beatsuite.com
Beatsuite.com

Great article! If anyone out there is based in the UK, we're currently looking for a talented audio/sound engineer to come work with us in-house at Beatsuite.com. Check out our studio and give us a shout.

Stori Heleen
Stori Heleen

How about lighting designers next?!? There are some of us out there :)

Stori Heleen
Stori Heleen

Shane Hotle you probably know the merc guys on here

DickRamada
DickRamada

Bert Rassmussen (formerly Bertworks sound) is a great soundman!  I first met Bert back in the 80's when he was the resident soundman at Pearl Street Music Hall.  He gave my my band "Dick and the Chicks" a great sound!  He also gave Jinx Jones, BopStreet, The Orginal Rabbits, Wanker, The Rumble and many many other bands "THAT" SOUND along with each bands individual identity!  I recently have re-connected with Bert and have had the pleasure of him mixing "The Dick Ramada Band".  Each and every show it amazes me how he pulls a great sound out of sound systems all over town!  He brings it out the best, regardless  of the gear (HOUSE systems) (both good and bad) that he has to work with!  Thanks Bert!  Dick Ramada

68fury
68fury

Danny Kilbourne hands down the best. Inside, outside, anywhere!

heyjoe28
heyjoe28

Colin Bricker rocks the house! :) 

Cumin
Cumin

Colin Bricker Rocks!

Mikey Hardluck
Mikey Hardluck

John Fate - Garrett Matthew Carlin - Joseph Ramirez- Paul Childs are Amazing also.

renisanzpunk
renisanzpunk

John Fate - Garrett Matthew Carlin - Joseph Ramirez- Paul Childs are also AWESOME!

Catherine Hupp
Catherine Hupp

Great topic and great group. One BIG miss: Brian Hunter at Swallow Hill Music in Denver. Brian is definitely one of Denver's very best, engineering top quality sound both live in Daniels Hall and in studio with many local artists.

Peter Hoang
Peter Hoang

not a surprise that one of them work Larimer Lounge, which consistently has the worst sound in town

Jacob Collins
Jacob Collins

solid call on Randall and Ron - those two are as no-nonsense as it gets, and deliver killer mixes consistently. would be interested to see how many female engineers there are in Denver, tho.

Desiree N Ross
Desiree N Ross

I can think of at least 4 more people that should be on this list!

Aléxandros Ho Mégas
Aléxandros Ho Mégas

Cervantes? That place has the shiftiest sound in CO, IMO. One of my favorite venues but sometimes the sound is too bass heavy for their dated subs

Dave Halchak
Dave Halchak

also feel like @Matt Windholz from Cervantes Other SIde should be on this list

steppesmusic
steppesmusic

Many of these dudes are the real unsung heroes of this music scene.  Can't tell you how much of a relief it was to be loading in gear over the years and see Xandy setting up the stage.  He's a superb talent and a great guy.

Mane Rok
Mane Rok

The Cervantes Team for sure. Rick at Larimer etc. Spider. Sound at the former Ghost Ranch Steamboat. The Fox Theatre team.

LuckyDenverMusician
LuckyDenverMusician

Every single one of these engineers is amazing! Thank you all for what you do!


Derek Rggls
Derek Rggls

Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom has a good one

bondelev1
bondelev1

You spelled Xandy Whitesel wrong. 

thebigevilone
thebigevilone

Xandy has been great to hear and work with at the Hi-Dive. Rick Ramirez has been doing great work at the Larimer Lounge for a while and could use some props.

chriskmusic
chriskmusic

What a great list of guys.. Congrats to all ... well deserved recognition

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Monty Powers
Monty Powers

Best engineer= best room congratulations Chris

therealstevecoogan
therealstevecoogan

Double plus good for Xandy Whitsel.  I always check to see if he's in the booth. 

dave.herrera
dave.herrera moderator editor

@James M Irvine This is just the first batch. More to come. Stay tuned.

dave.herrera
dave.herrera moderator editor

@David Tash Actually, stay tuned. This is only the first eight in our round-up. There's more to come.

dave.herrera
dave.herrera moderator editor

@Bryan Berkowitz see above. more engineers to come.

dave.herrera
dave.herrera moderator editor

@Jacob Collins More to come, Jacob. Thanks for reading!

dave.herrera
dave.herrera moderator editor

@Desiree N Ross Feel free to list them. We've got more to come. Thanks for reading!

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