FOH stands for Front of House and the FOH Engineer is responsible for mixing the sound for the audience at a concert. What you hear come out of the PA system is for the most part under the control of the FOH Engineer. Other factors can have an impact on the mix such as; the quality of equipment, venue acoustics, stage volume, how well the band plays, etc…
WHAT DOES AN FOH ENGINEER DO ?
Simply put: Each instrument on stage has its own microphone and input, from the lead singer all the way down to the individual drums and cymbals on the drum kit. The FOH Engineer manipulates the levels and equalization of the various instruments and vocals blending them together, adding reverb and effects as needed, to produce a mix of the band which is amplified through the PA system.
The level of creativity and freedom a FOH Engineer has mix varies from artist to artist. Sometimes a band or artist has a clear vision of they want to sound like live. It is the FOH Engineers job to interpret and re-create this via sound system. Sometimes a band leaves their sound entirely up to the FOH Engineer
It is usually up to the FOH Engineer to decide or at least recommend what microphones to use on each instrument and vocal. On large tours, the FOH Engineer provides a technical spec of what the sound system requirements are. The technical spec indicates preference in sound system, microphones, mixing console, outboard gear etc.
FOH Engineers can be very involved in the setup and tuning of the PA system or they can rely on the system tech to do that and just mix the soundtrack and performance.
Here are some FOH Engineers you can read up on ; Amanda Davis – FOH Engineer for Janell Monae
Kimberly Watson, Abby Hegge, Adrienne ford Wesley, Alexandra peek, Alice Wilder.