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Author Topic: What's up with musicians and PA buying?  (Read 5307 times)

Nathan Riddle

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Re: What's up with musicians and PA buying?
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2018, 12:06:26 pm »

👍

I'm stealing this for future use ;)
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: What's up with musicians and PA buying?
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2018, 12:15:03 pm »

So, when "the band" buys a PA it's now what the group can afford, and because no one in particular owns the PA it will be comprised of the lowest cost shit money can buy that will make loud sound. Not good sound, but loud sound.

Working in an office environment that doesn't have janitorial service, I've found that when it's everybody's job, it's seen as someone else's job. And if it's seen as someone else's job, it becomes nobody's job. No matter what "it" is. Since there's no janitorial service and "everybody" is expected to pitch in to keep the office clean, the wastebaskets overflow, the soap dispenser is empty, and the toilet looks like shit (sometimes literally).

When the whole band is responsible for the PA system, the same thing happens. Everybody thinks "someone else" should do something about it, and that means that nobody takes any responsibility.

Now, if you give responsibility to ONE person, the whole picture changes. If one of the band members plays an instrument AND owns and runs the PA, that band member really should get double the take of everyone else because, in effect, he's got twice the responsibility and the PA is legitimately and "instrument". So, in a way, the other members of the band are renting rather than paying for the PA, so don't have the burden of maintaining and operating it.
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Stop confusing the issue with facts and logic!

Chris Hindle

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Re: What's up with musicians and PA buying?
« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2018, 12:19:54 pm »

Despite the sound quality, people loved the show... I guess enough beer, wine and food?

Nothing met the rider by the way.

I know this post started off with why musicians buy the type gear they do, but I have been in several listening rooms, either with a band or to see an artist, and the room has crap gear or either the gear has not been maintained and these rooms still get great artist with well thought out riders. So, it's not just bands buying so so gear.

Comes down to dollars.
Wanna get paid? Here's the gear.

I had one band that called me in to briefcase their rig for "special occasions"
Once, I suggested my rig, as the occasion was "significant" to them.
I did 75 shows a year, for three years, once they heard what a real system could do for them. I cut them a deal. They carried and lifted, I drove the truck, and mixed the show.

Chris.
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: What's up with musicians and PA buying?
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2018, 03:17:33 pm »

It's always puzzled me why good singers don't carry their own mic.  Everyone else in the band has spent $ and time getting their sound just so, but the vocalist walks up to whatever is there.
I'm thinking about holding a seminar for vocal students, with a wide variety if vocal mics to try, to help find the one that matches their particular needs.  Record the various choices and pick the best fit.  Then work out any EQ settings to get the last bit.  Hand the mic and EQ request to the sound guy, and they're mostly there with a consistent sound.
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Craig Hauber

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Re: What's up with musicians and PA buying?
« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2018, 04:28:26 pm »

I think Tim has it.  Folks touch or hear their own equipment.  But the PA is playing out to the audience and they don't really hear what it sounds like in the same way they hear their amplifiers behind them.
Even when they do buy quality gear it's still being run from the stage in an ad-hoc set-and-forget fashion.
Many times I could run the lowliest Kustom box-mixer PA-package better from out-front than some bands with the latest and greatest on stage.

Knock it all you want, but that Bose Stick-PA when set up amongst the ensemble forces a group to listen more to their overall mix.  (from my casual exposure to a few groups using one properly)
Too bad it can't handle louder rock type bar-bands.  -because once you buy multiples and deploy them left&right out front you're now back to the original problem.

I do also notice that the manufacturers marketing gear at this level subtly encourage musicians to do things themselves and not need a sound operator.
So thank-you M-I audio manufacturers for your part in helping screw everything up!
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Craig Hauber
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Jeremy Young

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Re: What's up with musicians and PA buying?
« Reply #25 on: March 02, 2018, 06:55:31 pm »

Big box stores have been doing the same "you can do it, we can help" thing convincing homeowners they don't need qualified contractors for years.  It's up to us to show the consumers that we are worth it.

I came from the musician/band side before diving into live audio.  I was the guitar player with too much gear, who eventually was the one with the rehearsal space, the van, did all the booking, merch orders, and eventually sound duties because no one else wanted to. 

We totally did the same thing with high end instruments and horrible PA equipment when we started out.  When you're a musician, you talk to other guitarists, read guitar magazines, and are convinced you need the best gear to sound like a pro.  You can touch it, feel it, and use it at every gig.  No one in my immediate circle that I talked to knew anything about PA gear, so we just assumed it was really simple and either didn't need much thought on the small scale, or was out of our budget for the big scale stuff and we hired PA/techs whenever the venue didn't have what we needed to present ourselves professionally. 

The "PA" mostly stayed in the rehearsal space unless it was a special circumstance (until later when my inventory started getting unhealthily obsessive) so it wasn't seen as a high priority investment compared to new pedals or amps or other things with flashing lights and cool colours.  (No disrespect to musicians, I realize I sound like I'm talking about cats but I'm speaking about myself so I'm allowed to).

My guitar rig was used in all kinds of PA systems and studios and sounded great with professionals in control.  As a business, it does make sense to invest more in the equipment that supports the greatest percentage of your work.  Conversely, my early PA was used at maybe 10% of our gigs, and that's probably generous (house partys, etc), and the crowds were so small that it was mostly just for vocals so again, there was no "value" in spending more.

Speaking of which, I need to track down a few former singers who still have my mics....
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John L Nobile

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Re: What's up with musicians and PA buying?
« Reply #26 on: March 02, 2018, 07:04:36 pm »

I've run into quite a few musicians that can't get a good sound out of 1 small amp or a collection of wood/metal and skins What would happen if you let them loose on a large PA??
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W. Mark Hellinger

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Re: What's up with musicians and PA buying?
« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2018, 08:50:25 pm »

Depends I guess on whether it's a team effort or individuals doing mostly that which most interests them.

Routinely at our band practice sessions, we discuss that which is seeming lacking in our product as well as our competition's... as well as review videos of our past performances.

We all pitch-in on the sound and lighting rig... especially set-up and tear-down... each band member has their tasks and we have a thought-out method.  Admittedly I took the lead on the performance system, as that is more-so my aptitude than my band mates', and admittedly I've simplified our performance system(s) to the seeming best of a diminished point of return... best performance for the least amount of complications, and admittedly we've all invested some time in education of how and why it all works... with we me doing a lot of the explaining and they being interested students. 

The performance system is just part of the whole as we all help as best as possible with all the other band aspects with the goal of performing the best we reasonably can as a whole without selling our souls.  Individually none of us "draw", but as a group we seem to.  It's not been easy (we've had our band moments) but it's not rocket science either.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2018, 03:42:05 pm by W. Mark Hellinger »
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: What's up with musicians and PA buying?
« Reply #28 on: March 04, 2018, 10:59:03 am »

Big box stores have been doing the same "you can do it, we can help" thing convincing homeowners they don't need qualified contractors for years.  It's up to us to show the consumers that we are worth it.

I have a local electrician who still hasn't returned my phone calls from January...

He showed me what he was worth.

JR
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Keith Broughton

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Re: What's up with musicians and PA buying?
« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2018, 11:48:12 am »

Working in an office environment that doesn't have janitorial service, I've found that when it's everybody's job, it's seen as someone else's job. And if it's seen as someone else's job, it becomes nobody's job.
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