Day in the Life of Director of Audio

Posted on: June 5th, 2017

This is the fourth installment of a new series of “Day in the Life” articles featuring IMS team members and how they spend their day in the office or on the road supporting our clients.  This is the recent “day in the life” of Chris Leonard, Director of Audio.

My day can be drastically different from one day to the next as I split my time between office duties and onsite roles.

Regardless of where I start my morning, it typically involves getting a Monster drink as I don’t drink coffee but want that caffeine kick. My commute is not very long to the office but I like to jumpstart my day with music, and currently The Classic Crime is a band that I listen to daily. My average day in the office starts around 7:15am, as I like to get my head ready for the day before everyone shows up at 8:00am.

During this period of prep time, I continue with music (maybe some Emery or Willet this time) as it helps me focus. I prep a to do list with a program called Wunderlist as I peruse the numerous flagged emails from the day or days prior. This 30-45 minute window can often be more productive than a typical 2 hours of regular office time, due to chaos that can ensue during busy seasons.

9:00am rolls around and it’s time to go into one-on-ones with my audio team. I do this bi-weekly and they are some of the most important meetings I have. We spend some time just catching up on life, as we all have adventures and families outside of work, and I highly value them. We then spend some time looking back a week or so on the good, the bad, and the ugly in order to discuss ways of improvement for them and for the company. We wrap up with looking forward to the upcoming shows and their development as well.

Just as I finish one of those meetings I receive a video conference call from our director of lighting, Scott, who needs an ASAP change to a rigging plot, as we just found out that the venue-supplied drawings were not accurate. We look into Vectorworks together to see what solution we can identify. In the meantime, I open my Line Array Calculator and make sure the new location doesn’t require a change in the original quantity of boxes needed. Once a solution has been made, it is time to update the quote and the production manager.

As I am about to move onto my next project, I receive a call from a tech who is on-show site. He needs some help with a piece of gear that appears to not be working correctly. We talk it though and work out a solution to resolve it. Now that the phone and video calls are done, it’s back to the background music to keep my afternoon going. I’m sure you are sensing a theme here, music means a lot to me and it is therapy just as much as it is motivation and inspiration. I pound through a few emails, booking freelance A1’s, and review some shows quoted by our PM’s.

The next Outlook meeting notification lets me know it’s time to head to the airport. So, I jump into my car and get on my way. While traveling, I love listening to podcasts. I love learning new things and deep discussions that stretch and intrigue my mind. Podcast like The Break it Down Podcast, Bad Christian, Manager Tools, and Don’t Feed the Trolls. This trip is for training as I head to San Francisco to attend a 3-day Rational Acoustics Smaart course. Smaart is the software we use to help us analyze and tune sound systems. I can’t say enough about how much continuing the education in my job means to me. Partly because of my drive to be the best I can, but mostly because what I do is so much more than just a career, it’s a passion I’ve had ever since I was a little kid doing shows every weekend with my Dad.

That was a long day and probably only covers half of what a possible day looks like for me. But, now you know a little more about the Day in the life of The Director of Audio at IMS Technology Services.