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Author Topic: Helping someone get into SR  (Read 3240 times)

Kevin Conlon

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Re: Helping someone get into SR
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2017, 12:12:36 am »

I had a possible intern show up at a club gig. 4'9" tall 85 lbs. I spent half the time bending down to be able to hear her talk. She seemed sincere but I couldn't see her able to work any real show.
    When did you meet my wife? I have been trying to get her into this for years! Tina is only about 4-11. She admits she does not have an ear for it. She also does not have a problem with me helping another female "get it". Got to love her trust and will not do anything to screw that up!
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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: Helping someone get into SR
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2017, 12:34:34 am »

I had a possible intern show up at a club gig. 4'9" tall 85 lbs. I spent half the time bending down to be able to hear her talk. She seemed sincere but I couldn't see her able to work any real show.
I don't think you can really count your kid as a possible intern.  ;)
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Kevin Conlon

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Re: Helping someone get into SR
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2017, 12:44:11 am »

You know this, I know this, I'm guessing everybody who participates in this forum knows this, but I'll just say it to get it out there:

You aren't going to learn mixing by watching someone else. Sure, you might learn some theory, and you might learn what all those knobs do (in an empirical sense).

No, you're only going to learn mixing by actually doing it. And starting out running FOH for a major production just isn't going to happen without a high likelihood of turning it into a disaster.

So that means the mixing practice is going to have to happen in a less critical environment. Like running sound for Bandy the Clown before a roomful of kids. (OK, that's an extreme example.) Or maybe a garage band when they are practicing in their garage. Or maybe a pep rally in high school.

I think most of us started with that stuff: forgiving clients and forgiving audience. People who pay three figures (or more) for concert tickets generally aren't forgiving.

Not to say that you're not trusted, but that you need to start simple when you're just learning the basics. Then at some point, if your company is doing bigger stuff, you move to monitors. The folks running the FOH console are often the people who've been there the longest. (I do Bandy the Clown. I do the garageless garage band at the church youth camp. I do simple weddings. I figure I am wholly unqualified to run even monitors for a ticketed event.)

If you're wanting to mix music, you need to listen critically to a lot of music. Of many different styles and genres. Why are you hearing what you're hearing? How has the engineer set the EQ for the lead guitar versus the bass? Was the backup vocal just brought up in the mix to highlight that measure?

But before you even get to mixing, it's good to know how the sound is even getting TO the mixer. What microphones are selected? How are the keys patched in? The best way to do learn that is the grunt work of setting and striking the stage.

Like others have said, mixing is a small part of the whole thing, and if you don't understand the whole thing you will have a difficult time approaching the mix intelligently.

So start with the basics, and I mean the real basics: pushing cases, rolling cables, setting and striking. Just like you have to learn about the physical things about your car (oil, fuel, tire pressure, traction, acceleration) to maximize your driving experience, it's wise to learn the physical things about audio production to maximize your sonic experience. The person at FOH will be expected to understand ALL aspects of audio production, because when something goes wrong, that's where all eyes will be gazing.

And, for the love of it all, before you learn anything else, start with learning how to properly coil a cable.
Most of us started at the lowest step on the ladder. I just want to show her how it all has to fit as a performance. Food for thought for the eager. Yes coiling  cables has to be known. Thanks to all. I am going to bed . will check in on this later.                Kevin.
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Jeff Bankston

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Re: Helping someone get into SR
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2017, 02:29:27 am »

There have been females on some of the construction jobs I was on. They were not treated any different than the males. They had to do everything a male did or they were fired. That included lifting the same heavy items males lifted. I have been on jobs with female iron workers and pipe fitters.
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Lyle Williams

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Re: Helping someone get into SR
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2017, 03:10:55 am »

You need to be willing to make reasonable adjustments to the way you work to accommodate workers.

Adding castors to some items might be a reasonable adjustment.
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Cailen Waddell

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Re: Helping someone get into SR
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2017, 08:05:37 am »

While well intentioned... it doesn't feel quite right for a bunch of guys to be discussing the best way to accommodate a woman on a crew. 

My staff was about a 50/50 split but I have had some departures and I am a little more male dominated now.  Regardless, everyone is expected to do the same work - but they don't have to do it the same way.  A team lift is perfectly acceptable if you can't lift something yourself... i worked with a short female electrician once who worked in a house with a high in trim in their battens, she carried a little step stool around and did everything the guys did in the same amount of time. 

We had a particular Christian artist come through a couple years ago and their rider requested 6 strong men for the truck unload.  I specifically staffed the call with all the women that worked for me...

Anyway, when teaching anyone sound in a shadowing format, my lead audio guy usually starts onstage, laying cable neatly, setting monitors, setting mics.  We have a regular Sunday morning gig that is great for education as you get the same instruments over and over and there is enough time to move the mics around or double mic and instrument to let people learning how a ribbon mic vs a SDC vs a 57 might sound on a guitar amp.  Generally you spend 6 months on deck learning... and start to shadow front of house, first watching the workflow then getting to try some of it, for example, today you are setttjng up the drum channels FOH (we always start with a clean scene for that). Gradually working up over another 6 months or more to where the individual can get through a sound check.  Then we might start to give you smaller gigs, talking heads, etc.  Always verifying that quality standards and met and that it sounds good. 

Obviously at any point in the process if someone shows that they can't hear the difference then they don't have the ears for it and get run cable the rest of their lives.  Or maybe try lighting


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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John Chiara

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Re: Helping someone get into SR
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2017, 01:00:03 pm »

    When did you meet my wife? I have been trying to get her into this for years! Tina is only about 4-11. She admits she does not have an ear for it. She also does not have a problem with me helping another female "get it". Got to love her trust and will not do anything to screw that up!

Actually her mom is 4'11" and super cute...which was part of the reason I agreed to check her out. Hasn't paid off!
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: Helping someone get into SR
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2017, 01:21:49 pm »

I don't think you can really count your kid as a possible intern.  ;)

I thought kids were "slave labor."  ;)

Seriously, in many cases, a business owner's children are permitted to do work that would otherwise be verboten by child labor laws. I don't know how this applies to corporations, where the business structure is such that there isn't an "owner/operator."

I believe this exception was intended primarily to allow farm kids to work alongside their parents, a result of the belief that it is difficult for a small farm to be profitable when forced to engage hired labor, and an expectation that parents will be concerned enough for the safety of their own children that they will provide proper training.
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Stop confusing the issue with facts and logic!

Scott Holtzman

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Re: Helping someone get into SR
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2017, 01:39:01 pm »

Actually her mom is 4'11" and super cute...which was part of the reason I agreed to check her out. Hasn't paid off!


It was bound to degrade at some point.  On some days I think some of us more seasoned folks are beyond redemption.  It's gotten so bad with me any time I flirt with a girl they think it's "quaint or cute", anyone under 25 sees me as a grampa...Oh well.


I really do believe in supporting women and STEM initiatives.  They are so unrepresented in the sciences.  You would have thought those gender role biases would have long been eliminated.



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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Helping someone get into SR
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2017, 07:02:26 pm »

The reason why running sound works for Chris and I as a team is because we are just that - a team!...We both have our strengths and  weaknesses. Chris does get the lion's share of the lifting and heavy carrying but from the time we get to a location to the time I finally lay my hands on the mixer and can relax a bit,  I am non- stop working.
No, I cannot lift the speakers up onto the stands on my own, yes - there are items that I struggle to carry.... BUT I do most of all the wiring in, setting up peripheral stuff like routers and DI boxes, frequency scans for iems and battery checks and replacement, setting and wiring in lights and all the  other extra bits and pieces that we need to function.
Although I am unable to do those jobs Chris does, he will be the first to admit, he doesn't have grasp on a lot of the other stuff and we really couldn't do it as well without each other.
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A young child says to his mother, "Mom, when I grow up I'm going to be a musician." She replies, "Well honey, you know you can't do both."
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