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Author Topic: Where does the musician end and the sound company begin?  (Read 9325 times)

Rob Spence

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Re: Where does the musician end and the sound company begin?
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2016, 10:38:20 pm »

I have short, bright colored leads for DIs.

I carry some bright red, cloth jacketed cords I will loan if I need to.


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Stephen Kirby

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Re: Where does the musician end and the sound company begin?
« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2016, 12:51:43 am »

That reminds me of one particular guitar player who shows up several times a year as a sideman at my day job.  Even though he's already being paid AFofM broadcast rates, he somehow expects that my employer should also re-battery all his pedals and active guitars.  (He asks.  Every time.) On the last job, I stalled for a bit, but eventually offered him the 9Vs I had just replaced before dress rehearsal in the Sennheiser wireless mics we were using.  To which he replied, "Oh no man.  I don't do used batteries."  Fortunately, I'm well paid enough that I didn't throttle him, although I had to supress the urge.  Instead I found a few more used batteries in the shop, tested them to make sure they were at least 50%, and brought those back for him, with no other explanation.

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Someone should tell him about OCD tone freak Eric Johnson who only uses halfway drained Duracells.  And claims to be abel to hear the difference.  How he tells that they're halfway gone I've no idea.
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Jeff Bankston

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Re: Where does the musician end and the sound company begin?
« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2016, 02:32:59 am »

It ends with what you have listed or not listed in the contract for the band.
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Steve M Smith

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Re: Where does the musician end and the sound company begin?
« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2016, 02:44:40 am »

It ends with what you have listed or not listed in the contract for the band.

Not really.  You can be seen as someone who helps to make the show run smoothly or someone who is being obstructive.

If a musician needs a lead and you have one with you, why not lend it?

We once showed up to set up a system in a theatre for an all day show and the organizer said "it's a nice day, it would be good if we could have music outside in the bandstand".  We agreed and set up a second system there - and didn't charge any extra.  That is pushing it a bit extreme though!


Steve.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 02:46:43 am by Steve M Smith »
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Where does the musician end and the sound company begin?
« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2016, 09:04:08 am »

It ends with what you have listed or not listed in the contract for the band.
Do you routinely go to the level of detail in your contracts that specifies this stuff:

- Main speaker system
- Subwoofers
- Mixing board
- 3 microphones
- 4 monitor mixes
- not more than 1 9v battery (additional batteries can be purchased for $4.68 each)
- not more than 21.7" of gaff tape per stage member (additional gaff tape can be purchased for $.19/lin ft)
- 1/4" instrument cables are leased at the rate of $0.18 per song per cable
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Ray Aberle

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Re: Where does the musician end and the sound company begin?
« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2016, 10:13:22 am »

It ends with what you have listed or not listed in the contract for the band.

Well, not really-- it depends on who hired you. If it's a typical large show or festival, you're most likely hired by the promoter or the festival, and NOT the band. You don't want the band bitchin' back to the festival organizers that you're hard to work with. (One of my crew is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to get flustered at a show. He's always got this big smile on his face- no matter what's going wrong, here he is, happy as a drunken clam. My clients love him because he's so easy to work with and always has a YES! answer to their questions and requests on site.)

In the big leagues, it's routine for riders to come through and requesting X rolls of gaff tape provided, 48-AA batteries, a dozen 9V batteries- the soundco provides those (charged specifically back to the buyer) -- because things like the AA batteries for RF- even though there's fresh batteries in the mics for sound check, and whole fresh set goes in 5 minutes before show time. Screw economy- we can't have it fail.

On the lounge level, though, if it's a band you've worked with before, you hopefully have enough of a rapport that you can be all like "dude, I keep bailing you out with batteries. You wanna hit Costco and buy a 12-pack, get us both set up again?" If it's a new band, that's something that should be covered in the hiring process... i.e. "I typically have a couple of rolls of gaff tape with me for basic cable management, but if you foresee a lot more being used, then you may want to bring some yourself, or I can bring some extra, but I'd need to charge for the excess." or "I don't use 9V batteries at all for my wireless. I'll have AA with me. I sometimes have a couple extra 9Vs in my bag- and if your git forgets his/it dies, I can help you out on those, but they're really not free, since it's not a part of the main system you're hiring from me."

It's all in the approach and how you handle the situation. MOST reasonable people will understand (esp at the lounge level, where you're potentially not getting paid a lot in the first place) the expense for extra supplies that are part of *their* kit.

1/4" cables are always part of the DI package. Most players have theirs, but we also have plenty. (well, sorta. I probably need more.)

When I do delivered/setup dry hire rentals, I do have a 2.5% (of the rental package price; so $5 on a $200 rental, and so on) consumables charge to cover batteries, gaff tape used to tape cables down, etc. It's just like when you get the car repaired and the shop charges a "shop supplies" fee-- if you just picked up the rental vs us delivering it, here's an additional expense incurred because we've delivered and set up your rental system. (That you'd be paying anyways if you picked it up, since you would need to buy gaff tape to tape things down as well! I hope.)

-Ray
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Rob Gow

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Re: Where does the musician end and the sound company begin?
« Reply #26 on: April 22, 2016, 11:21:31 am »

I always have a bunch of AA's but never any 9V. I always figure my job starts at the DI. I'm headed into the city and I think I'll pick up four 6 - 10' 1/4" guitar cables to include with the DI, or to have on hand if they don't have one.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Where does the musician end and the sound company begin?
« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2016, 12:18:44 pm »

We carry 1/4" patch cables in 3 ft and 10 ft. lengths.  Nothing longer or the guitarists/bassists seldom return them.  Ugly colors help, too.

I give away used batteries from wireless mics (the sound check batteries).  They last a long time in guitar tuners but don't give much life in most stomp boxes.

Recently had an acoustic/electric player with a bad battery in her guitar.  I gave her a fresh new battery from a wireless mic that got struck from the show.  It was paid for already and I probably would have done so anyway for the long term client she was with.  For $2.00 I'll gladly massage a client relationship that has lasted nearly 20 years.

There have been a lot of good comments here and at the end of the list it kind of boils down to Ivan's "it depends..."  We seldom work directly for a band and the promoters generally don't give a shit about the players, after all they were hired to provide a service, just like we were.  Helping a 3rd party do their job comes with a price tag - one that may or may not be enforced depending of the relationship that exists between the parties.

I'm amazed at what musicians can forget - floor tom legs, kick pedal, GTR pedal boards, batteries, sticks-strings-picks, power cords, keyboard stands.  All things critical to the process of making music.  That some players routinely "forget" stuff makes me wonder about organic brain problems, substance abuse, and marvel at the autonomic nervous system (because these fucks could forget to breathe).
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Rob Gow

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Re: Where does the musician end and the sound company begin?
« Reply #28 on: April 22, 2016, 02:26:33 pm »

We are 3 hours from the nearest major city. I provide sound for a couple local venues. I set up for 3 bands at a bar. The bands arrive, each band thought the other band was bringing a drum kit that they were going to share.

lol I rented them my 4 piece kit for $60. Basically $20 a band. They are lucky I was in a giving mood.

:)
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Luke Geis

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Re: Where does the musician end and the sound company begin?
« Reply #29 on: April 22, 2016, 03:36:36 pm »

I am in the camp that items that can be lost / taken, or expended are the responsibility of the band. It is a requirement for me  / us to have a DI in order to except signal from a source. That source should have the needed cables to go to whatever they use to practice with at home or in their rehearsal space. When I get someone that asks for a 1/4" because they didn't bring one, I say " always always bring one no matter what, there is never any guarantee that the sound company will have one for you to use ". It is our job to amplify their instruments, not make sure they bring picks, strings, drum keys, their instruments and power cables. I do have one though, so please be sure I get this back......

I had one individual actually tell me he thought that I was supposed to have a 1/4" for him......... I told him bluntly that I brought everything else you see here, I suppose I am supposed to bring the talent and his instruments too???? I followed up with my earlier remark, never leave home without one, because if I, or another engineer doesn't have one, you're screwed........

In another incident, I was asked if I had gaff tape; the answer was no, it disappears quicker than I can buy it. Then he asked if I had a spare IEC power cable; again the answer was no because his other band member was using the spare one I had already. His response was what is up with this, don't you have anything we need? I gave him no response....... Not more than two minutes later he asks if I have a USB A-B cable that he forgot for his audio interface to his computer. I did have one of those and as I handed it to him I asked, so what was that about me not having anything again? He quickly retracted his statements apologizing and saying that I was right, it is not my job to make sure they have what they need to play. I followed up with make sure I get that back so that the next guy that needs one will have the same luck as you......

A musical instrument almost always has a complimentary product that goes with it. An electric guitar must have a cable and an amp in order to be played in a venue as desired. Therefore the guitarist should have those products with him. A keyboardist has the same requirements. An acoustic electric guitar that is going to be amplified through a PA again has the cable as the complimentary product in need.

I feel that the sound company's / engineer's job is to " make things easy " and simply work. I always have a drum key, 1/4" cables ( in lengths no longer than 10' ) and a spare IEC power cables for use. I am sure to let them know that they must return them and that they are lucky I have them to provide. My goal is to make it easy and pull wins, but I don't feel it's a responsibility to have it provided specifically for their use. I bring that stuff for me to deal with unforeseen issues. If it gets used to save the day for a musician that is great, I have done my job. I don't charge for the use, but you can bet I am on them like white on rice to get it back......

 
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Re: Where does the musician end and the sound company begin?
« Reply #29 on: April 22, 2016, 03:36:36 pm »


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