The Art of Sound at Gold Diggers

Robert Cody and Zac Hernandez run sound at Gold Diggers in Los Angeles. They told us all about it...

How long have you been running sound? How did you get into it?

Robert Cody: I've been a recording engineer and touring musician for close to a decade. I got into live sound because I love going to shows and I had developed a large portion of the skill set through recording and mixing records. 

Zac Hernandez: I’ve been doing live sound for about eight years. I first started when I was a teenager trying to figure out how to make songs in GarageBand in my bedroom. From there I decided to try my hand at getting a degree in audio engineering with a minor in music from Texas StateUuniversity. I studied there for about 2.5 years and tried to take as many music and recording classes as I could without doing basics. After about 2.5 years I decided to leave school to pursue an opportunity I had at Sonic ranch in Tornillo, TX in 2017. That’s also about the time that I started doing live sound more seriously. 

How did you get hooked up with Gold Diggers?

RC: Zac Hernandez, who is a great friend and phenomenal engineer, hired me. I'd engineered a few records with Zac and he'd traveled with one of my bands as our FOH engineer.

ZH: Through connections I’d made with my friends in the band Wand I was able to get linked with the former lead tech at Gold Diggers when I moved to LA in 2019. I was able to get a job there the first week I moved and have been there since!

Any particular highlights? Which bands have been the best to work with?

RC: A few highlights: Running sound for Jackson Browne when he performed with The Mastersons, My Name's Friday We're a Cop (William Roper and Vinny Golia), Charlie Parr. I love working with Dave Harrington, Max Jaffe and Patrick Shiroishi whenever they come through, whether in their trio configuration or solo or really any configuration!

ZH: Some of my favorite shows have been Wand, JRCG, bar italia, and Host Family.

How would you describe the acoustics/layout at Gold Diggers?

RC: I think Gold Diggers is the perfect sized venue. I've joked with Zac that there are times where you wouldn't know it's a live band and not a CD playing over the sound system. The sound I'm used to hearing at the venue is warm, HiFi and three dimensional. You can walk right up the stage and you won't lose the throw of the mains.

ZH: Gold Diggers is an intimate room with an incredible sounding Adamson PA. It’s the perfect fit for the room because it’s compact but still able to power over some of the loud rock bands we have on a regular basis. It has a nice smooth top end that leans on the warmer side and a really punchy sub. The room is very controlled for the size because of the amount of detail that went into treating the walls and ceiling all the way to the back of the club. 

What gear do you use?

RC: We have a Midas M32R Live console and brand new Adamson speakers.

ZH: The gear we use at Gold Diggers is pretty straight forward. We have a Midas M32R in the booth that runs to digitally controlled amps right underneath the console. From there, there’s a bit of linear phase EQ-ing to flatten the room response that happens within the amps. Then it goes straight to the PA from there. All the engineers use different headphones for monitoring but personally I use Sennheiser HD 280s. Our mics are pretty straightforward shure packages with the occasional cherry on top from the studio. We do have a Mac setup with pro tools in the booth to multitrack every show we do for archival purposes and the occasional live record!

For more information, visit gold-diggers.com.