Follow Your Dreams To Create Your Business

Pete Mills on Tenor Sax
click to enlarge

Business Opportunities: Sound Reinforcement


Nick Corsi represents the new generation of sound reinforcement professionals and upcoming entrepreneurs, combining his love of marketing and music. He is also responsible for the website. I’ve invited Nick to share some of his articles with our readers on our Sunday Music posts. Enjoy – David VanAmburg


Jazz Erie brought tenor sax player Pete Mills to the Ambassador Conference Center this past Saturday for an incredible night of tenor sax jazz. A very simple system setup and some incredible musicians made the night enjoyable and easy-going for Raven engineers Nate “Slim” Harpst and Nick Corsi.

They were loud, they were soft…and they meant every note. We had some smokin jazz, good people, and a great Raven gig to wrap up the holiday season.

We faced a little difficulty during setup with the orientation of the stage placed on a side wall. Our speaker stacks blocked some view, but we extended the stage, pushed some tables back and it all worked out. Due to the placement of the stage and the nature of the venue being a formal dinner table setup we elected to mix side stage with our Allen and Heath 16:2 Mix Wizard.This was a very simple setup that made for a smoother up and a much quicker load out.


View from Mix Position: Guitarist Pete McCann and Drummer Jim Rupp
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Luckily, Pete went to the audience for sound check and had us place the sound right where he wanted it. Our original mix wasn’t too far off, even shooting from the hip. Jazz music also allows for
more of a static mixing over the course of the night. Lower overall system levels and the dynamic levels of the musicians onstage take care of the mixing for you, unlike a compressed rock band. And these guys were dynamic! Explosive sections followed by near whispers kept us all in awe.


Ken Gamble, the Chair of the Performance Committee, made his pleasure of the evening known. A tenor sax player himself, he has made his voice known at concerts when he didn’t hear the proper sound. He said he “was afraid he would have to move to the back before it started, but the sound was perfect, the balance was good and it was generally great.”

Audience member and musician Charles Williams said “I REALLY enjoyed the sound, it was just right for the room, I’m sure anybody would love it”

Raven Sound Technical Gig Profile


Jazz gigs are always a good time, they are relaxed setting and they attract fascinating people that make for great conversation. Working with Pete Mills, Tony Monaco, Pete McCann and Jim Rupp was a great experience for Raven Sound and Jazz Erie. We were able to make the musicians feel comfortable on stage and produce a transparent, balanced and dynamic sound in the house.

The crowd loved it and the cats on stage were feelin’ it

Listen to Pete’s music on his MySpace page
Read concert goer and JazzErie member David VanAmburg’s take on the evening on his Thinking BIG Works Blog.

Nick Corsi graduates from the University of Pittsburgh with a BS in marketing, and has been a sound engineer for six years.  He began his passion of live production while in High School at Mercyhurst Prep where he mixed shows such as Les Miserables, The King and I, Nunsense and Jekyll and Hyde.  He chose to study marketing to enhance his knowledge of business while continuing his passion in sound engineering in a real world setting. He continues to work summers with  Raven Sound – out on the trail, pushing gear and engineering shows, all the while forwarding his marketing experience with Raven Sound and VanAmburg Group.  He would like to sincerely thank David for the opportunity to publish in “Thinking BIG Works.”

Work Hard, Take It Easy

Nick Corsi

Learn more about Raven Sound at their site.

Among the music industry business owners we have worked with over the decades, Phil Papotnik exemplifies the best. A marvelous musician, Phil left his General Electric career about 1971 to create Raven Sound and bring him closer to the music he loves.

He began Raven Sound with no resources, and over 37 years has built it with his brother, Tim, to a 40,000 sq. ft. music complex. Raven provides quality sound reinforcement for up to four or more simultaneous major live concerts, sound system rental, a musician and DJ store, rental space for dance, tai chi and music instruction, drum retail, band rehearsal, and more.

I’ve invited Nick to share some of his articles with our readers on Sundays with our Music posts. However, I inserted this first article on Tuesday (Business Opportunities) as an incentive to those readers looking for motivation and insights in following their hearts and creating their own business. Whether you are interested in the music industry or not, there is much to learn from the passion that Phil, Nick, and the other folks in Raven Sound bring to a small business, making a difference in the lives of thousands of musicians and music lovers.

Be excellent
David VanAmburg

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2 Responses to “Follow Your Dreams To Create Your Business”

  1. philraven Says:

    Great Concert / Great Job. Thanks Nick.

    Phil Papotnik

  2. Do Gig dot com » Blog Archive » Follow Your Dreams To Create Your Business Says:

    [...] Excerpt from:Follow Your Dreams To Create Your Business [...]

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