The Art of Sound at the Whisky A Go Go

Eddie Oertell is a Sunset Strip regular. Even if you don't know his face, you'll have heard his chops as the sound man at the world famous Whisky A Go Go, as well as the Roxy and the Rainbow.

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

I have 35 years as a sound engineer. Long story short, I ran a rehearsal studio when I was 18 and someone said the Troubadour was looking for a sound guy, so I worked there from 1988-'89 doing five to six bands a night five to six nights a week. After that I moved to the Sunset Strip. I worked at Gazzarri’s from 1989 to early '90. (It was called the Key Club after the owner passed away.) 

The head engineer from the Roxy Theatre (Gary Hirstius) offered me a job and that‘s where I really fine-tuned my audio skills. I worked there from 1990-early 2000’s mixing all sort of styles of music ( between 1993-'96 I also booked all the acts at the venue, along with a still running sound. I would bounce between the Roxy and the Whisky A Go Go. I went on the road in early 2000’s mixing System of a Down, and then after that I went out with Slipknot, Mudvayne etc. But in-between tours, I would come back to the club, mainly to the Whisky, and pick up shifts to keep my chops up, and to this day I’m still there. I’ve been the head A1 engineer for the past 15+ at Whisky A Go Go -- this place has a special place in my heart.

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

Hoobastank, Ronnie Spector -- every band has a special story.

How would you describe the acoustics/layout in the Whisky?

The room sounds amazing, and it's tuned very well. The PA fits perfectly for the room. The PA is powered by RCF and Midas M32 consoles, FOH and monitors. 

What gear do you use?

I'm an Avid S6L lover.  I also love the DiGiCo Quantum Console’s with WAVES plug-ins. Headphones -- Audio-Technica ATH-M50x.

For more information, visit whiskyagogo.com.