Marcel Quiroz has become one of the most in-demand live-sound mixers in the Bay Area. He has established a solid audio foundation as a recording engineer in major regional studios, such as Different Fur and Hyde Street Studios. His ongoing work with reggae singer J Boog at the artist’s Wash House Studios led to a new career as a live-sound mixer.
He noted: “I was really focused on the studio at first, but then I participated in some live-sound courses as part of the program at what is now the SAE Expression College in Emeryville.” That all led to an opportunity when J Boog — with whom Quiroz has racked up two Grammy Award nominations for Best Reggae Album in 2016 and 2017 for his studio work — asked him to come on the road with him, mixing stage monitors on tour. Quiroz felt at home in the fast pace of live sound, and as his skills sharpened and his reputation grew, he found himself being asked by opening acts to mix their front-of-house sound.
Recently Quiroz has been working with reggae favourites Easy Star All-Stars, who have built a solid international following for their dub-flavoured tribute-album releases: Dub Side Of The Moon, Radiodread, Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band, and Easy Star’s Thrillah. Quiroz was asked to mix them live earlier this year in Los Angeles at the city’s downtown summer concert series at Pershing Square, using a Bose Professional ShowMatch DeltaQ line array system fielded by Hollywood Sound Systems.
“It was the last show on their tour, and the venue had the sound equipment in place: a Yamaha QL console and a Bose ShowMatch PA,” he recalled. “I know Bose, but I had no idea they had developed a concert PA system. I’m used to working on PA systems from other brands, but I was eager to hear what Bose Pro had to offer.”
Within minutes, Quiroz knew he was working with a sound system that performed at the level he was used to, and then some. “I was really impressed,” he said. “With the ShowMatch system, I barely had to touch the EQ. And the low end was perfect, right where it needed to be for reggae. I didn’t need to boost it at around 50 Hz like I sometimes do to get that super-low rumble. It was clean and clear and heavy. Also, the venue made it clear that they wanted us to watch the volume, but I was able to get the punch I needed without pushing the SPL. The ShowMatch line array system was perfect. You don’t get to say that too often.”