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Author Topic: Has this happened to you?  (Read 9204 times)

Scott Olewiler

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Has this happened to you?
« on: December 15, 2013, 09:15:44 am »

I've only been doing sound for other bands for a couple of months and last night something happened that just set me back. I do the sound check, the band launches into it's first number and I tweaked things a bit but but the initial mix is super clear and I think an excellent starting point. Other than the vocals being a little hot, the mix is great.

The band finishes it's 1st song I see a lady walk up to the band and I hear the lead singer tell her "we have no control over that" and of course I'm thinking she's complaining it's too loud and now I'm waiting for it.  She hurries over to me as the band is starting the next number and she start to tell me that she's been following the band for a long time and she's the guitar players girlfriend and that first song was the worst they've ever sounded. Of course I'm polite and ask what she thinks doesn't sound right, and of course she can't tell me other than to just reinforce how bad it is.

I'm flabbergasted as I really think this is the clearest mix I've had to date and it's the 2nd time I've worked with this band and they heaped tons of praise on me the last time I did their sound. Only thing I can think of is that the mix was so clear she may have actually been hearing what the band really sounded like for the first time, warts and all. I mean their shortcomings, especially in the vocals, were apparent. Is it possible to have a mix too clear?

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RYAN LOUDMUSIC JENKINS

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Re: Has this happened to you?
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2013, 09:25:56 am »

Was this at a bar?
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Dave Dermont

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Re: Has this happened to you?
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2013, 09:27:33 am »

I've only been doing sound for other bands for a couple of months and last night something happened that just set me back. I do the sound check, the band launches into it's first number and I tweaked things a bit but but the initial mix is super clear and I think an excellent starting point. Other than the vocals being a little hot, the mix is great.

The band finishes it's 1st song I see a lady walk up to the band and I hear the lead singer tell her "we have no control over that" and of course I'm thinking she's complaining it's too loud and now I'm waiting for it.  She hurries over to me as the band is starting the next number and she start to tell me that she's been following the band for a long time and she's the guitar players girlfriend and that first song was the worst they've ever sounded. Of course I'm polite and ask what she thinks doesn't sound right, and of course she can't tell me other than to just reinforce how bad it is.

I'm flabbergasted as I really think this is the clearest mix I've had to date and it's the 2nd time I've worked with this band and they heaped tons of praise on me the last time I did their sound. Only thing I can think of is that the mix was so clear she may have actually been hearing what the band really sounded like for the first time, warts and all. I mean their shortcomings, especially in the vocals, were apparent. Is it possible to have a mix too clear?

Her opinion is based on her being able to hear the other members of the band. It's a fairly common occurrence.
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Scott Olewiler

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Re: Has this happened to you?
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2013, 09:31:37 am »

Her opinion is based on her being able to hear the other members of the band. It's a fairly common occurrence.

Oddly enough she was sitting with the other guitar player's wife and (the first lady) assured me that she also thought it sounded bad. It was a private club, but for all intents and purposes, it was a bar. 
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Cailen Waddell

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Re: Has this happened to you?
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2013, 10:03:21 am »

Was the band any good?  Sometimes when the band sucks and they have been playing on crap sound systems, the crap systems get loud, but the lack of clarity covers up how bad the band is. Perhaps you let her hear what they actually sounded like.

I'm not particularly interested in what any girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband, etc of the band thinks beyond placating them if necessary.  It happens often. 

Like the one time we had an ibma award winning bluegrass band and the wife of the bass player kept telling everyone that her husband wasn't out in front of the mix like he should be....
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RYAN LOUDMUSIC JENKINS

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Re: Has this happened to you?
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2013, 10:06:52 am »

Next time it happens, step away from the console and tell the drunk lady to mix!
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Cailen Waddell

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Re: Has this happened to you?
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2013, 10:17:29 am »

On the other end of the spectrum, sometimes a band member will tell us before the show, "hey my wife is going to make a bunch of suggestions you should ignore all of them, if you tell her you did it she won't know the difference" and smile sheepishly....
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Tomm Williams

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Re: Has this happened to you?
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2013, 11:09:06 am »

Yep I've had it happen to me and I just ignore it. The world is filled with critics who don't know a thing of which they speak. If you truly believe you were on your game and there is no validity to the comments.........politely ignore them.

I have an annual event I've been doing for about 5 years with a large polished group. In my first year, I had a number of comments during rehearsals about the mix. As the genre of music was new to me, I did my best to accommodate the requests. The next year, the requests started getting STUPID I informed the leader that if he wanted me to continue doing their sound, the requests needed to stop. They did and for the past few years they have been nothing but happy. My position with this is: You hired me to do a job, if I'm not working out for you find someone else. However don't come to my board with a list of bitches. I'm always open to communication but I'm not receptive to being treated like a rookie. I don't tell you how to play your instrument, don't tell me how to mix (unless you're Dave Rat or George Martin)
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Brad Weber

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Re: Has this happened to you?
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2013, 11:44:50 am »

Oddly enough she was sitting with the other guitar player's wife and (the first lady) assured me that she also thought it sounded bad. It was a private club, but for all intents and purposes, it was a bar.
Did you listen where they were sitting?  Depending on the room, system, etc. where they were listening may have sounded dramatically different than it did at the mix position.
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Chuck Simon

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Re: Has this happened to you?
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2013, 11:46:56 am »

When I mix everyone always makes a point out of telling me how great it sounds,  especially the guitar players' girlfriends.  They always say how nice it is to hear all the musicians as well as the guitar and they never ask me to turn them up.

Oh wait a minute....is this Earth?  Never mind. :o
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Has this happened to you?
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2013, 11:46:56 am »


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