Ken “Pooch” Van Druten
FOH Engineer/Mix engineer for live releases
Works with Linkin Park since January 2007
Facebook: BigDog OnTour
What’s the official name of your position? Can you give us some insight into your daily work?
I do two jobs for Linkin Park. First, and foremost, I am their FOH engineer. This means that I mix the sound that is heard by the audience at any of their shows. I use lots of different technology to provide the best sounding shows possible. Each instrument has individual microphones, and it is my job to put all of those things together, to make it sound as close to the record as possible, AND give you a feeling of impact of being at a live show. My second job is the Mix engineer for live releases. We record every single show and release as many as we can as Digital Souvenir Packages. I spend a great deal of time in my day mixing previous shows so that you guys get a record quality bootleg of the shows that you were at. I oversee all live sound releases having to do with Linkin Park, which may include TV shows, Itunes release, etc.
How long have you been a part of the Linkin Park Team and how did you get there?
I was hired by Linkin Park in January of 2007. I have been a FOH engineer for many bands, and have worked in this industry for over 20 years prior to that. During the Summer Sanitarium tour in 2003 (Metallica, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Deftones, Mudvayne) I was working for the band Limp Bizkit. In 2007 Linkin Park needed to hire a FOH engineer, and thought of me because they liked what I did with Limp Bizkit. Before Linkin Park I worked for Kiss, Kid Rock, Whitney Houston, Seal, Guns N Roses, System of a Down, Rob Zombie, Pantera, and the list goes on. When Linkin Park takes a break every couple of years to work on a record, I have been working with Slash during those times.
What is your greatest memory since working for Linkin Park? What’s the worst one?
One of the coolest things that we got to do in the past few years was play at Red Square in Moscow, Russia. I am old enough, and grew up in the cold war era. I remember practicing hiding under tables for a nuclear war. What good that was gonna do, I don’t know, but anyway…… So it was a real trip to be doing a rock show in the heart of what we were taught as children to fear. Very cool. Worst? I think there have been a couple of European and Asian festivals where it was miserable cold, or rainy, or just nasty. We’ve had our fair share of weather challenges. Water spout/tornado in Venice, Italy, etc.
If you have anything to say to the Linkin Park fans, go ahead!
I have so much respect for this band, and feel so blessed to work with them. I think it is so awesome that their fans take an interest in what we do as a crew. We work very hard to get it right, and are VERY thankful that there are fans out there who recognize that. You guys rule. Keep it up – Linkin Park is the best band that I have ever worked for, and you guys are the best fans.