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Hey, Monolithent, How was your evening?......A Rant that I hope is a bit uplifting at the end
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Monolithent
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OK here it is.
I spent a few hours tonight trying to calm myself down from an event I attended this afternoon. And I think typing on here will help.

I like to consider myself a reasonably seasoned vet in the trenches of sound work so I have enough sense to know what I like and what I don't about the sound of nearly any event. That being said, I can't stand an event that should be far better than it was. The event today was a singing competition held in an outside venue in the parking lot of the base club. I was not, I repeat NOT, the sound guy for this event.

The "sound" guy was a local DJ/Karaoke guy that is without doubt one of the worst I've ever seen but is the karaoke guy for the base club (lord knows why) so he's usually the only one they ever call. I get the big events (Changes of command, retirement ceremonies, etc) so I leave him alone for the most part. I've actually got one next month inside a C-17, but I digress.

This particular competition is the first level of a competition that the command sponsors to choose a winner from each base to compete at the command and then Air Force level and is open to pretty much anyone so there is the potential of a lot of visibility on it. It came off like a really crappy karaoke night with high ranking judges.

Please understand that I started off as a DJ/Karaoke guy and I have a great deal of respect for those of the profession who have done things legally and taken the time to learn their craft, so this is not, I repeat NOT, a rant against DJ or Karaoke professionals. This is a rant against idiots who don't know anything about sound or proper setup of equipment or just don't care, trying to pose as professionals in the live sound business.

The first thing I noticed as I got out of my truck in the parking lot was that the event was scheduled to start at 5 pm and at 5:02 the "sound guy" was bringing each person on the stage to do a "sound check". I thought to myself, why is this happening?...I didn't come here for a sound check and then a show. The next thing I noticed was how long the "sound check" actually lasted per competitor...about 10 seconds. Now I'm pretty good but I don't think many of us can get a mic properly setup for a singer that I've never dealt with before (let alone ten of them) with that little time.

Then I noticed that the bottom end was waaaay out of phase with the tops so I looked around for about half a second and figured out why. First of all everything was running straight out of the board with no processing what-so-ever (self powered tops and sub and I could see the wires). Not that this is such a bad thing as the speakers were at least from the same family (Yorkvilles-so there should have been at least some control). What was causing the problem was the sub was on the ground out in front of the stage about three feet out and the tops were up on the stage about 2 feet back from the edge on poles and pointing slightly inward about five degrees. In a two dimensional world there's a five foot difference. Now add in that the tops are ten feet above the ground and not angled at all down where the crowd is (I can sort of understand this as they are on poles and not flown) so all the highs are going over the heads of the sitting people and they're being blasted with nothing but the sub which was running too hot to begin with. No matter where I stood (yes I said stood because I was searching for some place I could actually hear something pleasant) I could not get a decent enough sound spectrum to even remotely start to enjoy the evening. I'm not even going to mention how bad it sounded from the comb-filtering in the back-center of the crowd where you could finally get any sense of the top speakers.

Next thing I noticed was that all the levels were completely out of whack. This was a microphone and karaoke style backing tracks for the evening's entertainment on two mixer sliders....how freaking hard can it be to tell that the backgrounds are waaaaay too loud!!! Just as I was about to chalk it up to complete deafness on the part of the "sound guy" I realized why it was happening. I looked on stage. Guess where the "sound guy" was??? Behind the singers, behind the speakers, staring out at the crowd and yapping with the event coordinator and not even looking at his mixing board!!!! SERIOUSLY!! I've got pictures to prove it. It's not like there wasn't suitable space for him on the ground with the crowd where he should have been, it's a parking lot and there were maybe a hundred people there. I can understand sometimes we have to set up in odd places to be able to fit the venue but this wasn't one of those times. The "sound guy" just had to be part of the show IMHO.

I think feedback was a big part of this guy's portfolio. I'm no genius but if you set a monitor speaker BEHIND the singer and point it at his/her head I'm pretty sure there's going to be problems. Seriously, I can't even talk about how bad he had to adjust things to get feedback even remotely under control--which it wasn't. Not to mention that they weren't run off a monitor output. They were the same thing that were coming off of the mains. I found this out when I went up to talk to him and heard them. It was like he was trying to show off his beat up JBL Eon's to the crowd. There were too many comments that the competitors mentioned to me afterwards that they couldn't hear themselves at all.

The really funny thing is the "sound guy" called me out in front of the crowd which really got under my skin. This is the third iteration of this event. The first time they did it I was one of the contestants (went first--died respectfully--Dobie Gray cried a bit--we don't speak of it anymore). The second time around they hired this same "sound guy" because he was easy to find and already the base club's karaoke guy. I had friends in the competition and went to cheer them on. They guy was so ill-prepared that he came up to me and asked if I had any of my equipment with me (like I just drive around all the time with thousands of dollars in equipment in my trunk) because he didn't bring his microphones with him. Hand to God on this one, even my wife will back me up on it.

He knows what equipment I have and is constantly trying to upstage every piece that he can. So, in the middle of the sound checks he called me out about not needing to bring anything this time because he just bought a wireless Beta 86 (which isn't one of my favorite sounding mics anyway--but it beats the VocoPro's he used to use) that he would be using for the event. Which in turn had me looking like I forgot something for the event. I recall thinking to myself that I must look up mercenaries for hire on Google when I get home. Couldn't find any in my price range.

And while I'm on the subject of the microphone. It was so poorly tuned that it actually caused the judging to be skewed. There were several men in the competition that had more of a baritone voice. The mic was almost completely void of any frequency that would make use of that particular range of frequencies. You could hear the highs, some of the mids, and a ton of low end rumble (can you say nothing rolled-off). I've had several of the contestants in my home studio and have heard how good their voices were and it was just completely lost by the "sound guy's" lack of caring and skill. And to prove the lack of caring, during one contestant's performance the "sound guy" actually walked off the stage (wait for it, he wasn't going out to listen) through the crowd, and inside the building!?!?!

It took every ounce of control in my being not to just scream at the top of my lungs through this event. Has the world become so lazy and inattentive that this is what live sound has come to? Being there was almost painful but I had to stay and support my friends.

We in this industry work, have worked, and will work damn hard to be the best we can be every time we plug in a cable. We took the time to go to school. We took the time to apprentice from best we could find. We read. We tweaked. We listened. We modified. We tested. We spent (a lot). I hope no one takes offense to the use of the word 'we'. I am not as good as some here but I feel that we are in this together and that there are others that feel as I do.

I feel that the sound guy is the glue that holds an event together. You can have the best puzzle, players, singers, equipment, etc. But without the one person who has figured out how to put them all together you have just pieces of a puzzle and no real picture. We put that puzzle together and whether it looks like Garfield the cat pushing Odie off the counter or the Mona Lisa with that smile, it is still together, understandable, and most importantly someone's opinion of art and therefore a thing of beauty.

Some of you may ask why I didn't say anything to the "sound guy" about the sound--be the bigger man (which I am by at least a half foot). First off, he's getting paid well for his service and should provide what is asked of him. Second, I mentioned his setup and the phase issue and he said "no one will notice" even though I did. Third, I offered to help him adjust his equalization and he told me he checked it before the show and it sounded like he wanted it--if you had been there it came off as he was far too busy (on his phone) to be bothered with it and I should just go be a spectator. Officially, I did try. Many people noticed it but didn't have the knowledge to identify the reasons for it though came up to me and mentioned it.

I'm tired of people calling themselves sound engineers in front of people who actually know what they're doing just because they have a couple speakers and a mixer.

I've completely lost my train of thought here. But at least I'm calm. Thank you for listening. Feel free to add any thoughts if you'd like or any stories of your own. I'm pretty sure we've all had them.
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I've completely lost my train of thought here. But at least I'm calm. Thank you for listening. Feel free to add any thoughts if you'd like or any stories of your own. I'm pretty sure we've all had them.


Hey Mono, Sounds like a pretty painful day for you. I can't top it but I did have an interesting weekend I'll share jut so you know you aren't alone.
Let me set this up quickly in that I met a guy ("drummer") that called me about a month ago about some equipment I was selling on Craigslist (to help finance my SL). He was trying to get more bottom in out of his PA and wanted to know if a 31 band EQ and compressor/gate I had would help with it. I could tell he didn't know anything at all about set up so I went and looked a his setup (behringer top box powered mixer, Peavey PR 15s and a couple of 70's era cheapo 115 cabinets with piezos that he called "subwoofers". I could see that my stuff wasn't gonna be a significant help to him and he talks dirt road poor so I suggest he gets an amp with a sub crossover to run the cheesy 15s and see if he can get enuf low end to get him by till he can buy an actual sub cabinet.
He calls me a few days later and picked up a Crown amp from G.C. but can't figure out how to hook it up. I again go by his place on my way home and help him hook it up. He plugs in his kick drum mic (beta 52, prolly cost as much as the drums) and I do what I can but the 15s sound like a turkey farting So I tell him he's gonna have to pick up at least one sub if he wants some kick and bass in the PA. He gives me the dirt road poor speech and I tell him his cheapest bet would be a Peavey PR 118 and he could get one now for about $229 and then another later and it would be a good match for his PR 15 mains. Setup Complete.
I get a call from him about a week or 2 later and he picked up the sub but again can't remember how to plug it up and now he tells me his guitar player flaked out on him and left the band and he has two gigs for this weekend and could I come fill in please so he doesn't have to cancel? He says they do Classic Rock and Blues and I don't have anything thing going for the weekend and I can play guitar to any of that stuff so I say sure I'll come help you out. (Never agree to play a gig with anyone that you haven't heard or don't know anyone who has) Even if you think worse case you can hide in the corner and just play)
I show up about an hour before the gig is supposed to start and the drummer and ass player show up about 30 minutes before the gig and start leisurely unloading the pa and their gear. they start setting up their gear and tell me they know absolutley nothing about setting up the PA. (keep in mind they told me they have been playing together for years and gigging weekly for months). So I place my amp and pedalboard and start hooking up the PA. While I'm doing this I look over and seethe the Bass Player? looking around trying to decide where he's going to setup and I look back a minute later and he has placed his (borrowed) bass amp at the very front of the stage facing the audience and he will be standing about 8' behind it next to the drummer. #@#&**^%&^$@##$@@^??????????
Ok, HAS ANYONE ON EARTH EVER SEEN THIS BEFORE???? Of course I'm getting a Deeply Sinking feeling in my gut by now mainly because I'm afraid someone will come in that recognizes me but I made a commitment and I'm going to honor it! So I proceed in hooking up the pa and getting an almost decent sound from the kick and the drummer's happy and I work on the the Bass but let's face it, If you direct out of a Cowpie you get amplified Cowpie. Anyway I did what I could and got the vocal mics set. By now it's 5 minutes after the gig is supposed to start and the singer/rythm guitar player/butcher is there and bhasn't called. 10 minutes later he shows and kinda throws his crap on stage and plugs in to tune and "get a guitar sound" (painful moment... hour maybe) And we start up. the first 5 songs the singer's guitar is going in and out and he's working on it and singing some all along. I'm doing what I can to make horrible sound just bad and trying to hide in a dark corner. The drummer can't get thru 3 drum rolls in a row without jumping time at LEAST a half beat and everyone is trying to catch back up or back up to play with him. The bass player who spent about 20 minutes before the gig tells me how likes playing Phish, Gov't Mule, Mofro and has spent years studying jazz, CANNOT Follow a 12 bar blues! Oh wait, Back to the drummer..... You know how occassionally when your doing a blues or R&B tune and you get to the 5 and do a stop punch followed by a drum roll and guiar/vocal fill to bring you back to the 1? Huh? The Drummer stopped on the 5 EVERY Time it came around. All night. every time. every time,...... every time....... Every time.
Ok, I know no one will believe it but I went back the next night for LOTS more of the same. Why? Because I'd agreed to that. I told my wife when I got home that I was officially a whore because I was going back for more the next night. Thankfully No one I knew saw or heard me and whenn they called Monday to want me to do more gigs this weekend and Laborday weekend I let them down easy.
I know what you thinking. If they suck so bad how are they getting gigs? The drummer is a great salesman. He sells medical equipment and can obviously sell anything. It won't last long tho because they won't be able to keep anyone good enuf to make them almost sound like they can play and there won't be repeat gigs. My regular band is one of the best bands in the area but have a hard time getting gigs because none of us could sell a blind man a walking stick. Maybe we'll get a salesman in the band eventually but not at the expense of musicianship. but I Digress.... Anyway I just thought I'd throw in a war story so Mono would know that there are other's who suffer with him! Hope you enjoy!
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I totally agree with you Jon. It is extremely hard for me to go out with my wife and just have a good time listening to some live music. I get frustrated to the point that I usually have to leave. When someone asks for help -- I always tell them that it is too late in the game for triage work. The bottom line is: That guy SUCKS and he doesn't know what he is doing and is actually doing it for other reasons than what you and I do it for. Great sound should be on PURPOSE & not by accident. There is a guy here in town that has a pretty decent sounding system BUT he doesn't know WHY. He thinks it is because he is good & when you talk to him about his system you quickly find out that he just followed simple manufacturer settings & using his ear -- got good results. He doesn't know what frequency response is or what it even looks like. Those things help immensely to visualize what a system should look like at least as a starting position. A person that knows the WHY can make almost any system sound better. There is a protocol out there and it isn't random.

I bet that guy just doesn't care & there is nothing you can do but tell him honestly that if he doesn't get his crap together he is actually going to hurt someone's ears because they don't know any better. Tell him you will help (If you want) but he is going to have to set aside all his beliefs about sound. He probably has NO IDEA that 95% of his system set up can be revamped at home in his driveway or back yard and not at the venue.

His system needs to be verified that everything is working the way it is supposed to. ALL cables and wiring thru the entire system have to be checked for proper polarity BEFORE you even fire the system up. My guess is he has never thought of that. If everything checks out there -- his crossover needs to be set according to the manufacturer, then gain structure to get all the gear talking the same language. From there LEVEL settings where we get all amps and speakers at the SAME LEVEL dB wise. Next alignment & at last: EQ.

If he doesn't want help or think he needs it -- tell him you will flat out never go to another event where he is running sound again.

Hang in there Jon
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reminds me times when I was the greenhorn.

Years ago when everything was analoque and connectors phono plugs and most of amps still run with tubes...
(notorius drum solo here with some thick reverb - thank you)

Just got a little feedback from one motorbike event where I was "the" sound guy. One person complained about too loud sound. There were some over 100 bikes and 10 ++ concerts/worships during weekend but nobody present did say anything about too loud sound levels. In the beginning some asked for some more sound pressure - it was solved with the twist of "the sound button". This feedback came today from nationwide news feed. And this event was held on july In the middle of nowhere - literally in the wilderness.

I know quite many karaoke folks/solo artists/etc performing artists and some of them won´t or can´t figure out why their gear, expensive "right" brand etc etc, sound what they sound. Or one local teacher who likes to group school bands but has no idea or noble mind enough to ask help just to get her sound system sound decent. No word about her teaching methods or skills - She´s supposed to be qualified music teacher but I doubt she slept over those lectures. But that is no subject here.

My youngest daughter used to sing in these school bands but finally even her cup was filled. After 6 long years.

Since it´s my daughter singing I´ve been tortured many times by absolutely worst ever sound job - But I´m the -supposed to be- proud father whose offspring sings there so I´ve bited my tongue several times. Now those times are gone for good.

This teacher knew that I´d love to help her/them free of charge - just to be that proud father whose daughter sings in a second worst band in the known universe. She knows what i do - but still not noble(?) enought to ask?

What´s common with these ill sounding systems users/owners/operators is simple ingnorance and total attitude problem not to read the manual or ask for help from more experienced. Or read even few how to´s from internet or books. Most of the time consoles are run bright red on every imaginable channel and amps are then adjusted as low as possible just to avoid feedback. Did You just hear loads of distortion? Yup.

And effects? Only one: huge reverb also run slightly red.

Monitors? If any either screaming loud and feedbacking or not there.

Eq is either on "the factory present" (= what ever setting was left after test run in the shop/factory/curiousminded hands) or twisted in a setting that no living human can listen to.

Back in late 80´s I met sound guy who used his calculator to adjust sound ... fancy pocket calculator by the way. He never told how he calculates or what but results didn´t sound great. I believe the loss wasn´t so tremendous when he decided to focus on his carrier as a software programmer.

Few years ago I was house manager to a small venue where new bands were allowed to play (mostly free of charge)
And this one speedmetal band came. They told beforehand that they have their own sound guy so there was supposed no sound job for me but to show this guy where everything was and how house system was connected. Band came in put their toys up and started scound-check. It was either no sound or all sound. I thought our system was broken and run to the sound booth where this yesterday born badly hangovered soundguy was struggling with console. Every time he reached out for knobs system went feedbacking and when he backed up (hangover and very loud sounds do mix) everything went quiet.

This young guy yelled at me that our sound system is total shit and they´ll go back home. After some more emotional bursts I reached to console and asked band to play and sound was... like speedmetal is. Loud but quite ok. This youngster sat down reached to console and again made whole system screaming. I stated out quite cealrly that he either takes his leather jacket with long sleeve chaps off or I´ll break his fingers one by one untill he takes it off. At those days this guy was studying to be "the" sound guy. Don´t know if he ever graduated or lost his fingers.

Today everyone can be "The Sound Guy" it´s just matter of having enough money. Without any preceeding knowledge. Gears are relativey cheap as they were 30 years ago when my horns were still green. Difference is that running the old systems required skills and delicate touch and it was learned by doing in supervision by older sound guy who was also teached and trained by older skilled person who most of the time was also present.

Nowadays sound guy wannabees see from tv/net huge sound systems and lots of blinking lamps etc glorious dreams about touring with big name bands.

And many people are so filled with lousy MP3s & crappy YT videos that they won´t or can´t ask for good sound. Untill they hear one. But still dont understand why other system sounds ok and other wont. As long it´s big and looks awesome.

my few € cents worth




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I hear horrible sound almost everywhere I go, these days, too. Even so called professionals often get things very, very wrong. Part of it is a lot of times the person behind the board just doesn't really LISTEN to well. People forget that it is about balancing sounds, NOT simply amplifying everything as much as humanly possible.

Gripes:

1. Too loud. (Often a more powerful system than really needed, elements being over-amplified that don't really need any help from the PA.

2. Balance. Often too much bass/drums/low end. Often squashing everything else. A lot of guys start the sound check with bass and drums, get those cranking wildly thru the PA, and everything after that is almost like an after thought. With so much of the system headroom gone there is no room for other elements in the mix, and vocals especially suffer.

3. Too much stage volume (can't blame the sound guy for this one). Musicians that don't listen well and balance well on their own, or because of their egos can't or won't accept constructive suggestions about how to improve the sound of their group. Guitar players tend to be some of the worst offenders. They often have their amp on the floor, and standing right next to it they can't hear it well because it is not pointed at them. Most guitar players have no idea just how directional the sound is that comes out of their amp. When you ask big cones to move mid/high frequencies, the dispersion of those ranges is not like the low frequencies. If you are right on axis with the amp it can be intolerably loud, while right next to the amp on stage you can hardly hear it amid the other stage sounds. Tip for engineers: get an amp stand or two to use for guitar cabs and keyboard amps, particularly.

I really appreciate some of Palaios' closing comments:

"Today everyone can be "The Sound Guy" it´s just matter of having enough money. Without any preceeding knowledge. Gears are relativey cheap as they were 30 years ago when my horns were still green. Difference is that running the old systems required skills and delicate touch and it was learned by doing in supervision by older sound guy who was also teached and trained by older skilled person who most of the time was also present.

Nowadays sound guy wannabees see from tv/net huge sound systems and lots of blinking lamps etc glorious dreams about touring with big name bands.

And many people are so filled with lousy MP3s & crappy YT videos that they won´t or can´t ask for good sound. Untill they hear one. But still dont understand why other system sounds ok and other wont. As long it´s big and looks awesome."

Sometimes I bemoan the fact that all of the cheap and powerful gear in peoples hands is more of a curse than a blessing -- especially to those of us trying to make a living doing it "right." Why should someone pay me a decent dollar to make their band sound good or record their group when someone in the band has some gear, or someone "knows a guy..." ?

I'm afraid we are living in a brave (? -- maybe weird) new era where downloadable culture is diluting/obscuring the real value of what true artists and professionals have to offer.

The only bright side I can think of is that there are discerning musicians out there who do understand how important good sound is, and who are willing to pay for it and let you do your job properly. Fortunately for me, I'm still getting all the calls I can handle (and then some), but I don't think it is because I have the gear and know how to use it -- I think it is because I have EARS and know how to use them.
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Monolithent
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I've got to say this is some of the funniest and simultaneously most enlightening reading I've had in months. All of this I agree completely with.

I think the thing that caught me the strangest about the night and every time I deal with this douche grenade is that he has spent waaay more money than I have. I will freely and gladly admit it. I have Peavey speakers and Behringer amps (save it, I've heard it and I don't agree with it) that I use in nearly every small to medium venue that kick the crap out of his systems any day.

I think it comes down to pride, intellegence, training, diligence, and EARS. The right piece of gear set right and in the exact right spot in the signal chain and then taking the time to learn to use it and listen to it and make it do its best make all the difference.

Thank you for your stories my friends. They have been the highlight of my day and hope we have helped each other to laugh and learn a little bit.

Peary. Did you intentionally call that guy an ass player or was that just a typo? If it was then it couldn't have been timed any better.

Palaios. I've been tempted to break a few fingers myself.

Dr J. You know full well how helpful you have been to me over the last few months and I truly appreciate it.
How's the Vista tweaking coming? Still have your hair?

Talmen. Your advice and suggestions are astounding sometimes.

You and everyone here has helped me to remember that the sound guy is the beating heart of every event. We make it all happen and if we don't get upset by idiots like the ones we've read about and know then we aren't in the right business.

I am so glad this forum is here.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 21/08/2010 01:14:11

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Tallest guy in the Mod Squad with all his hair still on his head.

No I'm not a freaking pilot!! The Air Force won't let me have a suit with a zipper...or sometimes shoestrings.

My advice and suggestions should never be considered advice or suggestions. These are mostly insane ramblings of a poor aircraft mechanic who can, strangely enough, still hear.

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I kept thinking this thread later on evening + this morning (my evening/morning is broad daytime/darkest night to some of You)

During all these years 2 bands and 1 artist have came to me after gig to thank me of my job which made their/his job easier. Same artist done this so far 3 times, but I´m not counting Some of the musicians I have worked/do work/will work do see the role of sound gear & person working with them as important as work they have done during several hours of practising their part. I wont do their job, they wont do mine, but we can exchange ideas and try if they work. In a friendly way co-working just to produce best possible result to our audience who pays our salary.

But it´s just some of them. I might consider myself fortunate since my main living comes from my retirement, not from my work so I can turn down supposed to be bad gigs/recordings/projects. But sometimes I do them just to keep myself humble. Might need (professional) alias for those projects in order to keep my main front clean?

Just remebered one story. There was this small venue where neighbours & local police required very decent db levels. So we installed db-meter on the sound booth with alarm set to 87db. It´s low but this venue was small and that level was the highest our location would allow us. At the point of decision we had two models of same db meter. One having relay out to add lamps etc for settng alarm or model which had just flashing red light if sound leves go over alarm level.

Distributor suggested that we take that relay out model and connect some sort of shocking devices to sound booth chair in order to keep sound levels under desired level by ultimate force.

It was quite appealing option but we found that most of our regular dj´s would probably like it and keep on shocking themselves. Not to mention those then by so popular punk bands and their sound persons...

So it was red light.


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Joined: 28/07/2010 20:29:36
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Peary. Did you intentionally call that guy an ass player or was that just a typo? If it was then it couldn't have been timed any better.



Um, uhh, yes, Um, I meant to do that. Yeah, That's it, That's the Ticket...

That was funny, I wish I had done it on purpose! Glad we brightened each others day!
I found a watch in a bush one time.
Peary Forrest
Prenoob
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Musicians that don't listen well and balance well on their own, or because of their egos can't or won't accept constructive suggestions about how to improve the sound of their group. Guitar players tend to be some of the worst offenders. They often have their amp on the floor, and standing right next to it they can't hear it well because it is not pointed at them. Most guitar players have no idea just how directional the sound is that comes out of their amp. When you ask big cones to move mid/high frequencies, the dispersion of those ranges is not like the low frequencies. If you are right on axis with the amp it can be intolerably loud, while right next to the amp on stage you can hardly hear it amid the other stage sounds. Tip for engineers: get an amp stand or two to use for guitar cabs and keyboard amps, particularly.


Ok Talmen, as a guitar player I just have to say that "I agree completely!" Guitar players are the worst! Most don't know how to get a sound with any definition and have almost NO sense of dynamics and/or sound placement of their amps within the other instruments. If someone ask me if I play loud I always say "Yes, when I have a solo I try to fill thebsame space the lead vocals take up and then I turn down, get in the pocket and the hell out of the way of the vocalist or next solo instrument. (I almost never have a sound person out front and more rarely one I can trust to boost and cut for solos.)



I found a watch in a bush one time.
Monolithent
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Couldn't agree with you guys more if I wanted to. I actually have gone and purchased lean back amp stands and do everything I can to get them onstage before the band shows up so that they can be directed where to put their stuff. I've got one band where the lead guitarist actually sat on his amp the entire show. Got him a padded stool and a leanback ampstand and my mix was so much cleaner. He actually thanked me at the end of the show and asked where I got the stand. I hate being the guy who has to pay for all these items but I'd rather drop the bucks now and get the better sound then have crap sound and lose the business.

As keyboard guys go, I usually get the most trouble out of them when I tell them I want them in the DI and they don't get their own amp (especially on a small stage). I use nice Radial J48's and though the keyboard guys take a few songs to get used to it they tend to like working with me after a while as they don't have as much gear to lug around. I still have a few that won't work without a keyboard amp and I still connect them up out of the DI so they are happy and I am happy.

I find I spend more time coming up with compromises/fixes (for lack of a better term) for the band members than I do actually running the mix. I've found the best way to deal with most bands is to try to get in on a practice with them ahead of the show. Allows me a chance to answer a lot of questions and devise good solutions rather than slapping together something the night of the show.
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Tallest guy in the Mod Squad with all his hair still on his head.

No I'm not a freaking pilot!! The Air Force won't let me have a suit with a zipper...or sometimes shoestrings.

My advice and suggestions should never be considered advice or suggestions. These are mostly insane ramblings of a poor aircraft mechanic who can, strangely enough, still hear.

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Prenoob
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I've just spent the last two days at probably Australia's biggest professional AV conference/trade show. I spent the first day in the main presentation room for infoComm. Mix position featuring loads of gear and computers feeding one of the new mid sized eaw line array flown in a cushy acoustic environment and 100ppl. All for two wireless lapel mics and the odd laptop. Yet the audience endured a thin edgy sound with aprox 10 instances of mid/high feedback. There was a palpable nervousness in the crowd with people cupping their heads in hands fingers ready. Mics were hissy and having connection crackles, occasionally dropping out.

Second day featured Bruce Jackson. Think founder of Jands, Apogee, Dolby Lake Processor. Think Elvis, Springsteen, Olympics, World Expo. I thought with this guy presenting, surely they'll have sorted things by now. Sound had improved a bit, but 2/3rds of the way in batteries in wireless pack give out. Two minutes later second pack goes out. Room full of audio guys laughing at the irony with a pinch of "how embarrassment" cringe thrown in.

Now not saying i would know how to rig, route or run it. Just thought i'd share an experience.
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Monolithent
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Ironic how a $2.00 battery can ruin a million dollar event isn't it?

I don't know about everyone else but I swear I spend 8 grand a year on freaking batteries cause I'm so darned worried about it.
http://support.presonus.com

Tallest guy in the Mod Squad with all his hair still on his head.

No I'm not a freaking pilot!! The Air Force won't let me have a suit with a zipper...or sometimes shoestrings.

My advice and suggestions should never be considered advice or suggestions. These are mostly insane ramblings of a poor aircraft mechanic who can, strangely enough, still hear.

StudioLive 16.4.2, AudioBox 1818VSL, AudioBox 44VSL, Faderport, Digimax FS,, M-Audio Firewire 410
--MultiBoot System--
Win Vista 64/XP Pro/7 x86/7 x64 - Mac OSX Snow Leopard/Lion
Gigabyte motherboard--SYBA TI Firewire XIO2200A--i7 2600k Quad Core--16 GB DDR III--Custom 2U Rackmount--4 TB Raid (all internal SATA II)--19" Samsung HDMI LCD on pivoting VESA 1U Mount
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Big Joe Daddy
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Monolithent wrote:Ironic how a $2.00 battery can ruin a million dollar event isn't it?

I don't know about everyone else but I swear I spend 8 grand a year on freaking batteries cause I'm so darned worried about it.


Too funny!
BJD
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bbegley
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Joined: 25/08/2010 03:11:25
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I thought it was a requirement that the sound guy has lost his hearing to tinnitus and the lighting guy can't legally drive because of ocular occlusions. We have a sound guy in our area who runs sound for a poser cover band who must have a full row of "suck buttons."
Monolithent
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Suck buttons...Does he know that for an extra 300 per player he can have a fully adjustable suck knob (slider is 30 over that). Starts at the Kingsmen Louie Louie and goes all the way to Biz Markee Got what I need.

And we do give our ears hell on occasion. All in the name of keeping the crowd happy. I always keep foamy earplugs in my pocket. Wifey hates it...little yellow plugs all over the house. But I'm not going deaf just because some guy in a mosh pit wants to.

And not fully disagreeing with you but I'll take a Stevie Wonder lighting guy with perfect ears and a quality organized setup any day. Timing is everything.

I love Louie Louie.
http://support.presonus.com

Tallest guy in the Mod Squad with all his hair still on his head.

No I'm not a freaking pilot!! The Air Force won't let me have a suit with a zipper...or sometimes shoestrings.

My advice and suggestions should never be considered advice or suggestions. These are mostly insane ramblings of a poor aircraft mechanic who can, strangely enough, still hear.

StudioLive 16.4.2, AudioBox 1818VSL, AudioBox 44VSL, Faderport, Digimax FS,, M-Audio Firewire 410
--MultiBoot System--
Win Vista 64/XP Pro/7 x86/7 x64 - Mac OSX Snow Leopard/Lion
Gigabyte motherboard--SYBA TI Firewire XIO2200A--i7 2600k Quad Core--16 GB DDR III--Custom 2U Rackmount--4 TB Raid (all internal SATA II)--19" Samsung HDMI LCD on pivoting VESA 1U Mount
Studio One v1 Pro x64
Studio One v1 Artist
Studio One v2 Artist
[Yahoo!]
 
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