Whether working as tour manager for Mike Posner – GRAMMY nominated for Song of the Year – or mixing for such groups asRixton and MisterWives, Robert Dugan has found one common element that keeps his artists happy: Sensaphonics 2MAX.
“I’ve been using Sensaphonics since I started working with singer/songwriter Mike Posner in 2011,” says Dugan. “He turned me onto them, and I’ve been using them ever since. The 2MAX is so well balanced, with such accurate bass response, it feels like you’re listening to a full PA. I like referencing through them, even for studio work.”
On the road, Dugan uses the 2MAX even when he’s not mixing monitors. “When I’m mixing front of house, I record my house feed most nights, then listen to it through the 2MAX on the bus or in my hotel. I know I’m hearing all the details, and it’s a great way to keep both myself and the band happy with the mix.”
Recently, Dugan was on a tour where he mixed both FOH and monitors from one console. He found the fit and isolation of custom silicone earpieces in the 2MAX to be ideal for that task. “We were playing two hours per night, so we needed something that was comfortable, easy to pop in and out with a good seal,” he recalls. “The show is all live, so you don’t get the luxury of having tracks to build on. My job is to make them sound big out front while also providing a clean, clear monitor mix. The response of the 2MAX is so accurate, you can hear a lot of nuances. It helped me with adding some breath into a vocal and making it sound more organic in the in-ear mixes.”
Another benefit that Dugan appreciates is Sensaphonics reliability and roadworthiness. “As an engineer, we’re approached by different IEM vendors all the time,” he says. “I’ve worked with artists using other brands where every musician’s IEMs need repair or replacing 3 times a year. My first pair of 2MAX lasted four years on the road, which says a lot. In my experience, most bands will save money with Sensaphonics – and they’re not that expensive to start with.”
Dugan finds his customMusicians Earplugs to be a useful tool as well. “I even use them when I mix front of house,” he notes. “It took a little practice to find my sweet spot, to know where the vocal sits when I’m wearing them. But when I take them out to check, it’s all good, and my ears aren’t as strained at the end of the night.”
Whenever one of Dugan’s tours comes through Chicago, he tries to find time to visit the Musicians Hearing Clinic. “In the live music realm, your ears are your money-makers, so hearing safety is important,” he relates. I love the fact that Sensaphonics is all about that. When I stop by the office for a hearing test, it gives me confidence when I’m mixing.”
Today, Dugan fills the tour manager role on Mike Posner’s tours. Front of house duties are currently handled by engineer Zach Snyder, with Chad Byrd mixing monitors. Dugan credits Posner with helping him realize the importance of hearing, for both himself and the musicians and crew he tours with.
“I love working with Mike. He’s a great songwriter and performer, and has a great ear,” says Robert. “He’s a big advocate for Sensaphonics – the sound quality, the safety, and the comfort. He passed that along because he really cares about the people he works with. It’s been a big influence on me.”
Known as the Experts in Safe Sound, Sensaphonics designs IEM solutions that deliver superb sound, long-wearing comfort, and maximum isolation while promoting long-term hearing wellness.