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PAR Contributor Of The Month Karl Bader

"I took what I felt was a different look at reviewing; I wanted to know the limits of the gear, not just the capabilities."

Live Sound Engineer
Washington, DC/ Baltimore

Karl Bader’s career training started in high school, where his passion for the stage really flourished. “I remember sitting in the back of the theater during a drama club performance and thinking to myself, this is pretty amazing,” Bader explains. “I am doing a lot for this performance, and no one really notices.”

Right out of high school, Bader was offered a job by Events Staging in Pottsville, PA (, a company that did work with his alma mater. Bader started in lighting, but soon discovered his passion for audio. Throughout his college career at DeSales University in Center Valley, PA, he picked up audio work for any company that would hire him and also worked for local bands for experience.

At DeSales, explains Bader, his Tech/Design Theater major taught him that he needed to learn as many aspects of the industry as he could, and he has taken this lesson with him throughout his career in audio. “My first job out of college was a sales broker for a used audio gear company called HTICS ( I didn’t know a thing about sales, but learned a lot about the industry as well as a lot of industry names.” Soon thereafter, he moved on to a job with a small live audio company in Philadelphia, and later to a gig with SPL Integrated Solutions (, a nationwide systems installer. “I knew how it all went together but I had terrible soldering skills. I wanted to know more about why and how it all worked,” Karl tells of his valuable time at SPL.

After two years of soldering and pulling wire, Bader was hired by Washington, DC-based live-sound firm, Entertainment Sound Production ( He has now been with the company for three years. “I like the atmosphere,” Bader offers. “I’m always learning something and having fun, too. I truly think I found a home.”

About a year ago, Bader wrote an e-mail to Pro Audio Review. “I had a problem with one of the articles,” he recalls. “I wasn’t happy with the limited information I read about the gear,” he explains. “I wanted to know more.”

This letter led to an opportunity for him to write his own review for PAR. “It was a simple one for a Heil PR-22 mic,” explains Bader. “I took what I felt was a different look at reviewing; I wanted to know the limits of the gear, not just the capabilities. Because the mic is marketed for live use, I conducted a ‘drop test.’ After all, when I buy a piece of gear, I’m buying for the long term. It’s important to know how it will hold up.”

Bader would love to hear from PAR readers at