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Thread: Late arriving Musicians

  1. #11
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    The audience is the ultimate customer. The house is the intermediary and the performer is tertiary in that arrangement, at least when it's a food and/or drink establishment. In a larger venue where the performer is pulling in a ticket-buying audience the venue needs to be more sensitive to their preferences, but it's still ultimately about the audience.

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    On the other hand, a home recordist always arrives in his studio precisely when he intends to

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    Having been on both sides of the situation,I have seen bands that show up late expressly to screw with the first band,take their time getting off the stage after soundchecking so that the first band has to set up after the doors have opened,and OTOH seeing the sound guy make the other bands sound like crap-no effects on vocals/vocals buried/etc.-until their friends go on.All of a sudden the mix is great and everything sounds good.It's pitiful that some bands do anything they can to make the other bands on the bill look bad to cover up their own inadequacies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wkrbee View Post
    OTOH seeing the sound guy make the other bands sound like crap-no effects on vocals/vocals buried/etc.-until their friends go on.All of a sudden the mix is great and everything sounds good.
    This, in my view, is always a risky strategy, and can backfire on the sound guy when he gets blamed (rightly in this case) for bad sound.

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    You guys wanna hears some craziness? Kind of off topic.. but meh.

    I live in Seoul right now, and I play with a rock band.

    It is totally standard.... everywhere in town, that the clubs just have a Backline and 2 Guitar halfstacks of their own. We don't bring amps or drums.
    Everwhere we go... we just walk in at our timeslot... (complain that the other band isn't done yet)... then just plop our pedalboard on stage, grab our guitar, and plug into the local Marshall or Ampeg SVT. And just start.

    If you need a soundcheck...bummer.
    If you like your own amp- no one cares.

    I Love it. It was weird to get used to.. but I love it now.

  6. #16
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    I didn't mean to offend. I can see where it came off as a bit of a lecture. Every situation is different. I wasn't there, and it's easy for me to sit here and do the "armchair quarterback" thing. :/ I guess maybe I wasn't even writing for the OP so much as maybe other less experienced folks coming through. Honestly, I think if you do reread the OP a little more objectively you might see where it sounds a bit like the typical old jaded soundguy rant. Maybe you're not that guy, but there are plenty of them out there, and I think it needs to stop. My job as engineer is to facilitate and reinforce a performance as best I can. Course, I'm also usually the closest thing there is to a stage manager, but really the end goal is still the same.

    So, yeah, the ultimate customer is the butt in the seat. You might argue that the performer is more like a coworker. But we have this thing called the "internal customer" - basically all of your coworkers. We can often be slightly more casual with these folks, but we still have to be professional and mindful, respectful and responsive. And frankly, unless you own the place, you are kind of marketing your own self to everybody around you all the time. You have to sell yourself to the club manager, and you have to sell yourself to the performers. You want them to have a smooth and positive experience no matter how big of assholes they are. If they have a bad experience, the audience is more likely to have a bad experience, and then nobody wins. And if that ends up being your fault too many times...well there's plenty of other folks out there that could do it...

  7. #17
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    I was actually writing this as a guide for performing musicians not to get there late. As a sound engineer I pride myself on giving every act the best possible sound that can be achieved with the gear available and the room acoustics. For me to do this the musicians themselves have to give me half a chance by getting there early and telling me what they need.

    Because it's only a small club we usually only sound check the first act, unless the second act has gear that can be set up before hand, hence why all acts please get there early. We actually tell them that I am there 2 hours before the show starts so they can get there early to get gear in and tell me what they need. When the shows rolling there is a 15 min change over between acts and if I have channels ready to go the sound check only takes a few mins. Again if we have some fussy acoustic instruments in later acts I will set up spare channels with DI's and sound check them before the show starts, if they are there early, then they can just plug in during change over.

    I know the PA and room very well so I am very quick at the sound check. Also the band bar is separate to the band room so 3/4 of the patrons shoot off to get a drink or go outside for a cigarette during change over, so we are not really bothering anyone.

    I think part of the problem is that musicians are surprised when they get a sound person that actually cares as opposed to the ones that want to talk to their mates or play with their phone. I suppose musicians are getting used to unprofessional venues. We run a music club for performers when the patrons listen to the songs, especially the original compositions.

    Alan.,

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    Quote Originally Posted by witzendoz View Post
    Ha Ha Ha, dream on, we are dealing with musicians.

    It's only a small club, most are OK some just take the Pi55, the guy that books listens to me and if the act is a pain in the neck they don't come back. They rather loose the act than me.

    We have a 15 min change over between acts and in most cases this is fine as most are solo duo. Thats why are like to know ahead if it's bigger so I can have mics DI's etc set up before the change over. I am a very organised person having done live sound for over 40 years, however I find musicians today are much worse and selfish than the older guys. Afetr all I am trying to make their sound as best as possible, which is somthing they forget. Maybe they are just used to crap sound and crap engineers.

    Alan
    I was in a duo and we were doing a lot of this sort of gig - 4 acts a night, etc. - mostly it was just someone with an acoustic guitar, but our duo had a more complicated set up - I had a looper with stereo outs t the PA as well as a vocal mic needing phantom power (don't ask!) and the other guy just had acoustic guitar and mic. I also had an impressively large two story pedal set up which actually just housed the looper and a multieffect, but it was a beast. And I had a separate mic stand and mic which fed into the looper. So, bit more complicated that hippy chick with Maton...

    Despite this, we managed to get it all set up and broken down in the required time because we knew what we were doing and the sound guy/organiser knew what we were trying to do.

    We'd be second or third, mainly third, and it was the OTHER musicians, without fail, who caused all the problems on the night - lateness and not having the right gear, or broken this and that, or no understanding of their own gear. Not all of them by any means - there were many people like us who did this regularly who were professional and had their act together - but some of them.... jeez - hopeless. And it just puts a drag on the night because the gaps between acts extended and people get bored waiting and this also puts pressure on the later performers because of the snowball effect.

    A number of times I saw people absolutely flumoxed by the fact that their acoustic guitar pickup battery went flat. And god forbid anyone break a string...

    Ah, frustrating, but mostly good, times...

  9. #19
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    Ugh... That is why I don't run live sound anymore (not that I did it often). It is hard enough to get a drummer to show up on time for recording session...
    PC Win7-64-24G i7-4790k/Cubase 9 Pro 64-bit/2-Steinberg UR824's/ADAM A7x/Event TR8/SS Trigger Plat Deluxe/Melodyne 4 Studio/Other things that don't mean anything if a client shows up not knowing what it wants.

  10. #20
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    The last time I did live, it was with a brand new X32. I took some time to learn it before hand. And I was there when the PA was set up and soundchecks were done.

    But then, the first artists performing, decided to move a pile of his equpment from a table at chest height to a low table, while connected. He was a strong bloke, cause he moved about 10 HE of gear in one go. It dropped with a bang. Needless to say his session was ruined.

    The second performer came on. EVERYTHING in the X32 was clipping. Fixed it fast and the session went well.

    Just shows that even with a careful setup, things can go wrong...
    MB Pro, FF400, AKG C451-C1/CK8, NT1, B5, MD21, Korg RC168, DEQ830, ADA8000...

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