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What is the best policy for dividing gig $$ if one band member owns & can rent FoH & Mon gear?

Charge for gear rental at 50% discount (band expense comes off the top), then divide remaining funds amongst players.
- 10 (47.6%)
Bring ONLY your own instrument(s) (or mic); tell band to rent FoH & Mon gear from 3rd party.
- 2 (9.5%)
Share everything you can that contributes to the band's gig - at no charge; divide gross evenly.
- 6 (28.6%)
As Option [1], but offer a bigger discount (smaller rental charge).
- 3 (14.3%)
As Option [1], but everyone is responsible to supply their own wedge (or IEM); FoH remains a collective burden.
- 0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 21


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Author Topic: Policy for renting gear to a band in which you yourself play.  (Read 9622 times)

Scott Holtzman

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Re: Policy for renting gear to a band in which you yourself play.
« Reply #50 on: January 01, 2017, 02:47:35 pm »

This made me remember one of the biggest reasons why we(I) own our own PA, rather than a 'dry hire' as you mention....and I'm bring it up for anyone who is on the fence about buying vs. renting vs. hiring.

The thing I love most about having a band PA is that we are never walking into a cold system. 
We use digital boards...but even when I was analog....the board is ALWAYS dialed for our band.  Sound check takes about 2-3 minutes (as long as everyone has plugged in properly).
Monitor mixes are almost always spot on, right when we power up.  If anything the drummer likes one or two small tweaks (why do they always want their kick louder??).
But the value of having the system already dialed makes our set up/sound check REALLY fast.  This means I can leave later for gigs...which means I can eat dinner at home instead of at a bar...which means I can also have dinner with my family.  I leave an hour later for gigs, since the times when I used to hire a sound company.  That makes a big difference when you're a hobby band (and have a day job and a family).

We've all hired sound in the past, and we all have experienced excellent engineers with a great sounding system....and awful engineers (even though they may have great equipment).  For a control freak like me....not knowing what I'm going to get sometimes, is just frustrating.
Even when I've used the same companies over and over again....every once in a while you get an engineer that just doesn't know what they're doing.
Me: "my mic keeps cutting out because you have a gate on it......look, don't you see that light turning on telling you the gate is engaged?!!!"
Him: "what's a gate?"
And when you find a great engineer, it now becomes a game of trying to schedule him/her like a member of the band.  It's hard enough dealing with the band member schedules, but trying to make sure you get a good engineer each time is a hassle I got tired of dealing with.

Just food for thought....




As the sound company guy, striving for consistency is tough.  What's worse is when we all have "that guy" who has moments of brilliance but sometimes puts the puzzle together upside down.  You need people and you keep working with the guy because good help is hard to find.  If you are consistently getting "that guy" you are not very important to the sound company and should consider a new relationship.

That being said, how does owning your own system and mixing from the stage equate to having a real functioning engineer.

Sure your inputs are labeled right and gain in the ball park.  Conceptually your EQ's are in the ballpark but I can't set dynamics properly for a four or five piece band in 3 minutes. 

If the gear was plug and play as you say we would not need engineers in the first place you could just hire in the same board and gear every time and use a preset.

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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

Ghost Audio Visual Solutions, LLC
Cleveland OH
www.ghostav.rocks

Jay Marr

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Re: Policy for renting gear to a band in which you yourself play.
« Reply #51 on: January 01, 2017, 03:52:39 pm »

As the sound company guy, striving for consistency is tough.  What's worse is when we all have "that guy" who has moments of brilliance but sometimes puts the puzzle together upside down.  You need people and you keep working with the guy because good help is hard to find.  If you are consistently getting "that guy" you are not very important to the sound company and should consider a new relationship.

Agreed, but there are very limited options when play club gigs (and you don't want to spend half of your earnings on the sound company).
Keeping in mind...the context of my post is for a bar/club cover band....and 99% of the gigs are indoors.

Back when I was booking sound companies, the pickings were insanely slim.  You had to absolutely take what you could get.
And if you had a last minute gig....forget about it.  You might as well grab a Karaoke machine of the shelf at Sears and hold it above your head.

That being said, how does owning your own system and mixing from the stage equate to having a real functioning engineer.

Sure your inputs are labeled right and gain in the ball park.  Conceptually your EQ's are in the ballpark but I can't set dynamics properly for a four or five piece band in 3 minutes. 

It certainly has some limitations, but again....keeping perspective of cover band / hobby gigs....it does not have to be perfect.
The drunks don't care if it is: 'great' vs. 'outstanding'.
I get frequent compliments from bar owners that we sound great (in comparison to other bands in their rooms), so I'm comfortable that our mix is decent.

If the gear was plug and play as you say we would not need engineers in the first place you could just hire in the same board and gear every time and use a preset.

I have spent plenty of time at home/rehearsal dialing in the gates and comps for our drums and vocal mics. 
Every thing else (bass/guitars/sampler) is direct, and exactly the same every night (Axe FX guitars).  I even have a trigger on the kick, which means it's exactly the same sound...every night (....I also put a Beta52 on the kick and blend them together...it sounds crushing).
The variability in the Toms/Snare is so minor, that quick tweak of a gate or eq, is really fast.
Anytime I change a piece of gear, we rehearse with it, and dial it in.

I am not trying to minimize the value of a great engineer, so I hope nobody takes post as insulting.
If I have a really important gig, I have a pro engineer friend that I will hire to run my system (if he's not touring).  But the budget needs to be there too.
If the mix needs to go from an '7 or 8 rating' to a '10 rating', and I have to pay a 5th person....then the gig has to warrant it.

If the gear was plug and play as you say we would not need engineers in the first place you could just hire in the same board and gear every time and use a preset.
Or buy the gear, and save my preset.

Again, I am not trying to insult the fact that a lot of people on this board have spent countless hours perfecting their craft, and could no doubt make my system (and band), sound much better than I do....and Scott, I'm certain you are one of them.
The fact that individuals are on this board means they care about their craft.  But there are many many many many others, that but a set of Eons and call themselves a sound company.  That's not a joke.  I can send you some Craigs List postings from my area of that exact advertisement.

For what I do, I'll take my '7 or 8 rating' mix every night vs. getting a few '10 rating' and a few '4 rating' from a hired company.....and keep all the money.
Do you know how aggravating it is to know that your band sounded awful, you have sh*tty monitor mixes all night, the band played poorly because we sounded awful.....and THEN you get to pay that person at the end of the night?

I play the bar/club scene in Boston.  There are 2 rooms that are huge, and thus have in house PA and engineer.  All other rooms, bands provide sound.  I am very friendly with somewhere around 40 other musicians that play the same scene, and I only know of 1 band that does not own/run their own gear.  I'm just saying that bands running a small PA is becoming the norm in my market.
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Policy for renting gear to a band in which you yourself play.
« Reply #52 on: January 01, 2017, 04:33:12 pm »

It is in our market too.  I was more commenting on that scheduling is still an issue with a band provided BE.

There is a whole "scene" in Cleveland area too of bands that run from stage.  There is also a next level up.  The merits and if the money is worth it has been the examination of countless threads and I certainly am not going to go back there.

Carry on.
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

Ghost Audio Visual Solutions, LLC
Cleveland OH
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Rick Powell

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Re: Policy for renting gear to a band in which you yourself play.
« Reply #53 on: January 01, 2017, 04:51:09 pm »

I'd say we are about half and half in our area for club level sound (north central IL, west of Chicago). We are one of the only bands that carry our own sound/lights and also have our own BE who is available for every gig we need him. There are 4 or 5 providers who are at least moderately busy around here, and the busiest one sometimes has 3 rigs out on a weekend and occasionally contacts us to cover a gig if we are not booked with the band.  My reasons for being an owner/provider are very similar to Jay's. Too long in this business to chance playing on crap gear. When we do use a provider, it's a quality outfit.
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Mike Monte

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Re: Policy for renting gear to a band in which you yourself play.
« Reply #54 on: January 02, 2017, 07:44:42 am »

Assumptions
  • most band members do NOT have a wedge or IEM of their own and would need a rental from somewhere
  • some band members have much more invested in their instruments (e.g., saxes, multiple keyboards), than the singer who owns only a mic and an acoustic guitar
  • no other band members are familiar with production "norm" that, while backline is the responsibility of the performers, PA gear expenses are a collective burden.
Back in my "bandleader days" (80's-90's) I had a 5 piece GB (general business) band that played clubs/weddings/corporate events. 
It was the norm back then (in my neck of the woods) that bandleader would supply the rig.  Now mind you, most of the rigs were a boxtop powered mixer with FOH speakers only and no monitors. 
Maybe there was better musicianship in those days but local bands didn't need monitors....  Monitors became a necessity when we started using "tracks" to play some of the pop tunes (early Madonna, etc.) plus the drummer needed cans to lock in with the click track.

There were many "pick up" bands around and gigging was fun and creative.  Audiences seemed to be happy with different versions of the same tune with less demand of the tune "sounding exactly like the record".

Fast forward to 2016: After a 20 year stint as a mostly classical musician I started playing sax with a 7 piece band; two horns, singer, etc.  All good musicians.  Once we got a couple of sets together we started playing one of the nicest venues in Providence, RI. 
I provided the rig (I own a small sound company) gratis with the guys helping with load in/out.

The only stipulation was that the rig had to be set up in the afternoon (3-4 pm) prior to the restaurant opening for dinner...our sets started at 9:00pm.  It was a bit of a hassle driving to the city twice for one gig.

All was fine until we had an evening gig at that particular restaurant in September but I was already booked to play at a festival near Boston that ended at 7:00.  I could make the night gig but was unable to get there in the afternoon for set up. 
I told the bandleader that I could bring my rig in at the last minute but the bandleader didn't want us loading gear as we weaved through the tables at this upscale (expensive) restaurant.

The keyboard player brought an old Peavey box mixer, a couple of cabs, and a vocal mic.  (I brought my own mic.)
The leader (drummer) had no monitor as he let the singer use his personal one (QSCk10), thus I am sure that he was uncomfortable.....  although the band sounded fine...

Could I have given my rig to the guys to set up in the afternoon? - yes, but I wanted them to realize the value of a properly-deployed rig.  I also did not want to get to the gig and be in a rush to set it up properly - What if something didn't work??  I'd be stuck chasing down a loose ground, etc. at the last minute.

Getting back to the 80's/90's, most bandleaders were the vocalists that brought the PA.  The PA was used for the vocalist, primarily.  When I played in other pick up bands back then, I would bring my own mic/mic stand plus a Yamaha powered personal monitor (MS1202?? that I mounted on a stand) with the appropriate cables/patches, etc. 

The problem with a "non-leader" band member providing the PA without additional compensation is that many musicians want to "rock god" after a gig; hang out, get a beer, smooze with the attendees/chickies, club management, etc. which is an important part of the gig - hawking additional work. 

It is not uncommon that the band member who supplied the rig (without additional compensation) is left wrapping cables/cords, folding mic stands and packing up while the others "rock god".

This can get old really fast for the dude that brings the gear.

To wrap thing up: I feel that it is best to give the guy that supplies the PA extra $ plus the rest of the band helps with load in/out.
or
Each band member brings their own mic/mic stand/monitor plus another part of the PA (so-n-so brings the speaker stands and sets them up, so-n-so brings the FOH cabs and sets them up, so-n-so brings the power drops and sets them up, another brings the lights, etc.).

As PA's have become more complicated with the expected additional "light show" included....  Club-gigging has become way more than just showing up and playing.......  All of this while clubs are paying bands what I was getting paid back in the 80's....That is another discussion entirely.....

Happy new year!


 

 
     

 
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Re: Policy for renting gear to a band in which you yourself play.
« Reply #54 on: January 02, 2017, 07:44:42 am »


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