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Just need to vent (soundmen)

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 12:48 pm
by fat paul
I am so damn tired of being at the mercy of some fool with no education, no talant, very little experance and overblown egos. I have 35+ years of experance I have spent countless $ on lessons and equeptment. I have spent countless hours praticing. I would guess I have played over 500 gigs (lost count a long time ago). I play in a very profesional local band. We try very hard to put on a exciting show. I have grown weary of playing a club one week and the sound and soundman being perfect and the next week there is a new guy at the board that can't seem to get his head out of his butt. When it is your reputation on the line it is kinda hard to swallow having some jackass in control of the finnished product.
Thanks for letting me vent
fat paul

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 2:19 pm
by jeffl
Condolences,Bro'! As a harper sideman, nobody knows your pain more than me, especially since there's so many opinions about where the harp fits in the mix. With me, I have to get the bandleader to trust me and what I bring to the mix. Last week I went to hear two good bands, at different venues, that have been been together for years. The mix was screwed up at both venues; One of the bands had got a new lead singer/percussionist ( they use a conga/bongo/timbale/etc player in addition to a drummer), and they vocals were all outa true. The other band was playin' a small club and the drummer was the lead singer--straight blues. They didn't have the drums mic'ed (I'm assuming 'cuz the place was so small and their volume was modest), and so the drums were comin' thru the drummer's vocal mic; it was a muddy recipe for disaster. I make a habit of never saying anything to the bandleader unless he is a friend of mine, or somebody whom I've played with; if I don't know 'em, there's no reason for 'em to believe that I might have a decent ear.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 2:52 pm
by oleman
I feel your pain too fat paul.

We just played a Saturday at Grandmas; top of the line equipment and you would think knowledgeable sound guys.

We have played in joints where owners kid was the sound man and he did a much better job than the yahoos at Grandmas.

What gets me is that a lot of sound men have an air of arrogance and their
decisions stays no matter what, even if the sound is a muddy mess.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 5:32 pm
by maxx england
Shame that, although you have to be good enough to get the gig, the same doesn't apply down the line.

I knew someone went into a studio, paid for the time etc, the studio was used to this awful boom boom boom bass & drums stuff, and supplied him with a final mix that hid a blazing harp & Jazzmaster in a cupboard somewhere.

PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 7:43 am
by stumblin
Amazingly, we played a gig last week where the soundman actually made us sound fantastic. He was a really nice guy and was obviously keen to get the best out of both equipment and performers.
And the monitors worked!
Mostly, they don't seem to care very much, often apparently being overly satisfied with their own "coolness" at having been given the job.

PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:50 am
by maxx england
stumblin wrote:Mostly, they don't seem to care very much, often apparently being overly satisfied with their own "coolness" at having been given the job.

So, in essence, the job of "sound man" goes to unsound men? I think there is a god and he's got a warped sense of humour.

PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 6:30 pm
by Bournio
Yeah... most soundmen don't actually talk to the band, they tend to go "oh this'll sound great trust me! I did it with a band last week they sounded amazing" and then pay little regard to the fact last week was a metal band and today it's a bluesband with a harp, or tommorrow with the ska!

I've had the pleasure of being a soundman, don't get it that often cos i'm not 18 so can get kicked out of pubs! I dunno how good the job I did was but it didn't take long to go to the frontman with a notepad and say "how do you want it all sorting? Are there any times you'll want it any different?"

I guess I may be an exception... Maybe it's because I'm poor and know if I do a decent job i could get tipped.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 2:11 pm
by songdog
I ran the sound for several groups for a couple of years. It's not something you learn overnight and, even though a person can become very good at it, you will always be battling inadequacies in the equipment, the venue acoustics and band members that keep turning up the volume and screwing up your mix.

As a band member though, you are at the mercy of the soundman who can make or break your gig. The solution: if you play a lot of gigs and can afford it, hire your own soundman.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 12:46 pm
by bosco
there's no reason for 'em to believe that I might have a decent ear

I've run into that more than once. Several years ago I saw a couple of acoustic musicians playing in a pub through a small PA. Their talent was marginal, strickly strummers, not much picking going on. The sound was terrible, so much reverb it sounded like they were both in a garbage can.

I went up at the break to try and help 'em out and introduced myself as a professional musician. The lead guy replies, "Yeah so what, so am I."

I then told him I was going to help him with their sound but if he was going to be an ass, he deserved to sound like crap. Then I left.

Takes all kinds.