<p>  Neal Duffy on tour with the Neon Trees and Maroon 5. Check out his DJ alter ego W.E.R.D. hitting the decks at House of Loom this Saturday, March 2.</p>

photo by


Neal Duffy on tour with the Neon Trees and Maroon 5. Check out his DJ alter ego W.E.R.D. hitting the decks at House of Loom this Saturday, March 2.

The Neal World

Our very own Neal Duffy enjoys traveling the globe making big bands sound better

Neal Duffy is the guy making your concerts sound crisp and pristine. He’s making every instrument and vocalization reverberate across the auditorium. Currently, he’s on tour with Neon Trees, who will open for Maroon 5 in Omaha March 3. He’s been with Neon Trees for two years since he caught his big break.

Duffy received his education in sound at the School and Audio Workshop in Ohio, then transferred to Iowa Western, where he got on-air experience. “Working with audio and sound is a science,” Duffy says. “Some people don’t realize that.” While the science behind sound will stay the same, the tools vary.

His first work with a live band was with the Jazzwholes. Duffy also toured with Tilly and the Wall, an act Omaha knows well, while earning his certification to be a yoga teacher. Then, Marciano, the manager of the Tilly and CSS tour, offered him a break with Neon Trees.

Duffy had first encountered Neon Trees back in May 2010 when they opened for 30 Seconds to Mars. That was the first time Neon Trees had experienced Omaha.

“I was ready to take a break from the music industry before this,” Duffy explained. He had become disheartened with the materialism and creative compromise that has become rampant in the music business. So Duffy took the offer he wasn’t necessarily expecting, but he still does yoga to this day.

“Before Neon Trees, I was used to mixing for clubs of maybe 5,000,” Duffy said. “Now it’s arenas of 20,000.” Sound systems are different everywhere, but Duffy wouldn’t want it any other way because he firmly believes you should always be learning. “I want a job that lets me learn every day. Otherwise, I wonder why I’m doing it.”

Duffy needs to have heard the album he’s mixing live inside and out. In order to recreate it live, he examines all the layers of production to see how a live crowd could best hear it.

Duffy said the largest hurdle in his work is being completely satisfied with your mix that night. “Audio boards have endless options. I feel like I could always tweak something and make its sound different or change the levels.”

One of Duffy’s first tours outside the Midwest was with the Clumsy Lovers, a Canadian Band. This took him to the West Coast and Canada. Duffy has also been to Asia, Australia, the whole U.S., and Europe. His favorite destination was Bali, where he surfed the royal blue waters. Other favorites include Japan, Spain, London, Paris and the Great Wall.

Duffy is a hobbyist photographer on the side when he’s not doing sound, being DJ W.E.R.D or at Lotus House of Yoga.

Duffy’s dream was to run sound at Madison Square Garden, one of the most massive arenas in the world. That just happened on Feb. 16 on the current tour with Neon Trees and Maroon 5.

Duffy has been all over the world, but he hasn‘t run sound for a big show in Omaha yet. “Even though I’ve been all over the world, I’m really excited to be running sound for the Omaha show in March.” There is a first for everything, even if it leads you back home. ,

posted at 07:09 pm
on Wednesday, February 27th, 2013


(We're testing Disqus commenting (finally!); please let us know if you have trouble.)

comments powered by Disqus


« Previous Page

<p>  Chill Body's Jennifer Fulcher and Jessica Chizek (left)</p> Unwind. Uknot. Undo.

Proprietors Jennifer Fulcher and Jessica Chizek offer some much needed advice to today’s women of Omaha: “Take time for yourself and just chill.

That’s a tip these ladies mean literally. Jennifer...

more »

Family Find

Arelatively new boutique in West Omaha is creating jobs not only for the employees but for vendors who just need a place to sell their work. NJ & Co. is run by a duo consisting of mother and...

more »

SXSW Street Style

Most SXSW (South by Southwest) enthusiasts flock to Austin, Texas in March for a week overflowing with live music, but this style editor went in search of the lone star state fashion scene. Here’s...

more »

<p>  CREDITS: STYLING BY JARED SPENCE, MODELS BY DEVELOP MODEL MANAGEMENT, BIKE COURTESY JIM BLUM<br />  LEFT: On Audrey: Bella Dahl denim buttondown, Henry & Belle Kelly signature skinny jeans, Denim Saloon. All jewelry, Fringes Salon Spa and Boutique. On Nolan: Superdry Slim fit jeans, Bench buttondown, Bench track jacket, Superdry sneakers McLovin-A Store for Men. THIS RIGHT: On Audrey: Bella Dahl ombre top, Paige floral print denim, Denim Saloon. All jewelry, Fringes Salon Spa and Boutique. On Nolan: Superdry chambray buttondown, Superdry Sneakers, Bill Adler leather belt, McLovin. Citizens of Humanity  “Sid” jeans, Denim Saloon. Hair by Hillary Ann and makeup by Chevy both of Sirens at the Loft Salon & Day Spa.</p> Green Day

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the river bend. Usually, I would rant about the absurdity of starting a drinking binge at 7 a.m. and wearing ridiculous leprechaun hats and plastic shamrock beads,...

more »

Omaha Fashion Week

Omaha Fashion Week, now in its sixth year, has new tricks up its sleeve. New designers are expected this year, including Kate Walz, who just returned from New York, and Jeff Hanson, who will be...

more »

Advanced Search