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Author Topic: Making a blog/website - Top 3 band tips for a killer live sound  (Read 7265 times)

Kevin McDonough

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Making a blog/website - Top 3 band tips for a killer live sound
« on: November 09, 2015, 09:29:24 am »

hey

While I work a lot of professional gigs with signed and touring bands who know what they're doing and have a great live sound, I also still do a fair bit of work with smaller acts: everything from little mosher kiddies doing their first metal show to relatively experienced bar and club bands who may play up to 1000 people or so and should know better but are stuck with some very bad habits that make them a nightmare to do sound for. 

Being a bit fed up of saying the same thing to bands over and over again, I though I'd make up a website or blog with some helpful advice, from sound engineers to musicians, that can be spread about and linked to, which will make the situation a bit better and hopefully at least some of them can learn their mistakes and correct things.

Mostly this would be aimed at bands who are working with a house engineer, though I'm sure most of it would also be applicable and help out bands running their own PA as well.

I have a fair idea of the kind of things that I'm gonna put in it, but thought I'd also open it up to you guys and see what suggestions you had.

So, if you had a top three key bits of advice to say to a band to achieve a killer live sound, what would they be?

k




« Last Edit: November 09, 2015, 11:00:08 am by Kevin McDonough »
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Making a blog/website - Top 3 band tips for a killer live sound
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2015, 09:58:16 am »

Did you actually mean the top 3000 bits of advice?

Loud does not equal good.

Achieve a good stage mix first.

Clean under your finger nails.
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John L Nobile

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Re: Making a blog/website - Top 3 band tips for a killer live sound
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2015, 10:26:04 am »

Practice

Practice

Practice

Nothing worse that mixing a band that can't play more than 3 random chords or sing in tune.

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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Making a blog/website - Top 3 band tips for a killer live sound
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2015, 10:56:09 am »

hey

While I do work a lot of professional gigs with signed and touring bands who know what they're doing and have a great live sound, I also still do a fair bit of work with smaller acts: everything from little mosher kiddies doing their first metal show to relatively experienced bar and club bands who may play up to 1000 people or so and should know better but are stuck with some very bad habits that make them a nightmare to do sound for. 

Being a bit fed up of saying the same thing to bands over and over again, I though I'd make up a website or blog with some helpful advice, from sound engineers to musicians, that can be spread about and linked to, which will make the situation a bit better and hopefully at least some of them can learn their mistakes and correct things.

Mostly this would be aimed at bands who are working with a house engineer, though I'm sure most of it would also be applicable and help out bands running their own PA as well.

I have a fair idea of the kind of things that I'm gonna put in it, but thought I'd also open it up to you guys and see what suggestions you had.

So, if you had a top three key bits of advice to say to a band to achieve a killer live sound, what would they be?

k

- The sound system/sound person will never make you sound better, only louder.  If you want to sound good, be good.
- Stage volume, stage volume, stage volume - AKA "I can't control what doesn't go through the sound system".  Use in-ears, drum sticks smaller than 2x4s, raise guitar amps so they point at guitar players' ears.
- Monitor wedges are not intended to give you Dolby THX.  Learn to live with only what you need to do your job.  See point 2.
- If patrons are running out the doors with hands over their ears, you are too loud, even if it's "your sound".
- My two personal sound rules: 1. At the end of the night, nothing can be broken.  2. Whoever signs my check is who I will work to please in the event of conflicting priorities.
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John L Nobile

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Re: Making a blog/website - Top 3 band tips for a killer live sound
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2015, 11:31:42 am »

2. Whoever signs my check is who I will work to please in the event of conflicting priorities.

That's the most important tip for a band.
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Making a blog/website - Top 3 band tips for a killer live sound
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2015, 02:19:22 pm »

I've been contemplating putting together an occasional seminar for vocalists and bands, called 'Sound practices 101'?
Basically teaching them how to communicate with the sound guy.
I find nothing more frustrating than someone asking for more 'something' in their monitor and then walking away while you're trying to change the level.
They need to understand that sound check is work time, not the opportunity to visit with their band mates.
Also, the seminar would help vocalists with mic technique and experimenting to find the best mic (and EQ) for their voices.
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Steve M Smith

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Re: Making a blog/website - Top 3 band tips for a killer live sound
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2015, 02:25:55 pm »

Mainly aimed at guitarist - when you are asked to play something to get a level, don't spend the next two minutes tuning up.  Get the level sorted first and tune up when the engineer has finished with you.

Whoever signs my check is who I will work to please in the event of conflicting priorities.

Whilst that is true, I am primarily there for the audience's benefit, regardless of who is paying.


Steve.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2015, 02:28:06 pm by Steve M Smith »
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Brian Jojade

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Re: Making a blog/website - Top 3 band tips for a killer live sound
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2015, 03:32:02 pm »

1. Keep the stage as quiet as you possibly can. The sound guy can always turn things up if needed, but can't turn it down. He's got to mix everything up to the loudest thing on the stage at minimum, which often times ends up way too loud for the room.

2. If your piece of equipment is buzzing and making noise, it's probably because your piece of equipment is a piece of junk.  If it's only a problem when you 'connect to another system' then your piece of equipment is junk, not every system you connect it to.

3. The sound guy IS part of the band, just as much as the bass player, or the drummer, or the conga player.  While it may look like they have things in control, and it's an easy job, they were there long before you arrived late to sound check, and they will be there long after you leave to finish strike.  Respect them, and they will respect you.
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Making a blog/website - Top 3 band tips for a killer live sound
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2015, 03:38:10 pm »

Quote from: TJ
Whoever signs my check is who I will work to please in the event of conflicting priorities.
Whilst that is true, I am primarily there for the audience's benefit, regardless of who is paying.
Me too, assuming the priorities of getting paid and pleasing the audience (or at least doing what I think would please the audience) don't conflict; however perhaps you've encountered situations where disobeying management which results in not being asked back is actually what's to the audience's greatest benefit, in which case, YMMV.
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Luke Geis

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Re: Making a blog/website - Top 3 band tips for a killer live sound
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2015, 07:08:59 pm »

I say that I have three groups of people in which I must please. The band, the venue owner / production holder and the crowd. The one who is paying me trumps all, but I will do what I humanly can to please the other parties.

Monitors are meant to be heard, not sound pretty. If you can get the level needed with ample GBF, then you can make the monitors sound pretty. So be quiet :)

If you can hear yourself at all, your already too loud. I don't understand how you can't hear yourself though?

If you don't ask for it, I won't give it to you. I can't read minds and I don't want to give you something you don't want.

What you want your band mix to sound like is not what I want your band mix to sound like and no one else will want it to sound like either of ours; so you do your best job at playing, let me do my best at interpreting it, and between us, we should pull a win. By the way your bass is too loud.........

I'm an adult babysitter, my job is to get adults to do what I want them to, by making them think they came to the conclusion on their own.....

Sound guys are so grumpy because they work so hard to get everything perfect and everyone else does something to screw it up. Then to boot, everyone else thinks that they can do it better than you.......

A monkey can walk up, twist the knobs and make things sound good, but can he set the whole system up and make it sound that good on his own?

Live sound is a science without a degree, your not a live sound engineer unless you do it for a living.

I don't walk into your office and tell you how to do your job do I?

I will end with this one because it wins most of the time :) : The microphone is an ice cream cone, not a penis.........

If your offended by the last one I apologize, however I will say this. The next time you get someone that is cupping the mic and trying to eat it because they think its cool, will likely change their way really quick when you tell them this. Especially if you do it in the presence of their band mates. Test it out on a band that has no effect on your life though first. Obviously you won't be saying that to the guy signing your check...... Revert to rule one in this case.

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I don't understand how you can't hear yourself

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Re: Making a blog/website - Top 3 band tips for a killer live sound
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2015, 07:08:59 pm »


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