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Title: It could be a great gig...
Post by: _______ on September 15, 2008, 11:06:30 am
A few years ago I worked at Six Flags, and it was an excellent gig.  It consisted of three 30 minute shows with a 90 minute break between sets.  The hourly compensation was good.  I logged six hours a day even though most of the time was spent riding roller coasters or sitting in the trailer watching movies.

I didn't run sound, however.  I played guitar.  When I asked the entertainment company about potential sound engineering jobs, the reply was, "you don't want to do that, it pays half of what you're making now".

As I scan the classifieds I see that nothing has changed.  I eagerly clicked on the "Six Flags seeks entertainment technicians" ad only to find that compensation equals $7.50 to $8.25 an hour.

http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/cwg/840754639.html

What gives?  The show that I played involved mixing a live band in addition to tracks.  It was no different than running sound in any other environment.  Why the substandard pay rate?

-Matt

(grammar edit)
Title: Re: It could be a great gig...
Post by: John Halliburton on September 15, 2008, 11:29:39 am
Matthew Whitman wrote on Mon, 15 September 2008 10:06

A few years ago I worked at Six Flags, and it was an excellent gig.  It consisted of three 30 minute shows with a 90 minute break between sets.  The hourly compensation was good.  I logged six hours a day even though most of the time was spent riding roller coasters or sitting in the trailer watching movies.

I didn't run sound, however.  I played guitar.  When I asked the entertainment company about potential sound engineering jobs, the reply was, "you don't want to do that, it pays half of what you're making now".

As I scan the classifieds I see that nothing has changed.  I eagerly clicked on the "Six Flags seeks entertainment technicians" ad only to find that compensation equals $7.50 to $8.25 an hour.

http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/cwg/840754639.html

What gives?  The show that I played involved mixing a live band in addition to tracks.  It was no different than running sound in any other environment.  Why the substandard pay rate?

-Matt

(grammar edit)


I suspect some of the allure is a steady job with benefits.  

Best regards,

John
Title: Re: It could be a great gig...
Post by: Matt Vivlamore on September 15, 2008, 11:35:16 am
well that explains why Evan's gig at Six Flags was pretty bad.



sorry, I couldn't resist.
Title: Re: It could be a great gig...
Post by: Ivan Beaver on September 15, 2008, 12:32:59 pm
Matt Vivlamore wrote on Mon, 15 September 2008 11:35

well that explains why Evan's gig at Six Flags was pretty bad.



sorry, I couldn't resist.

Would that be because the sound guy was riding the rides or that he was just a kid getting paid a low wage to babysit the rig? Laughing and just didn't care?
Title: Re: It could be a great gig...
Post by: Tim McCulloch on September 15, 2008, 12:54:06 pm
Matt Vivlamore wrote on Mon, 15 September 2008 10:35

well that explains why Evan's gig at Six Flags was pretty bad.

sorry, I couldn't resist.

I think you're closer than SFOT would admit... they'll pay some car stereo boy $8/hr to operate or babysit a high $, high profile rig/venue and not care about the result unless that result is bleed into other areas of the park.

Theme parks attempt to automate or lock out everything they can in entertainment; partly for consistency and partly so they can hire "kids" at low wages as operators.

Just like ride operators...

Have fun, good luck.

Tim Mc
Title: Re: It could be a great gig...
Post by: Scott Smith on September 15, 2008, 12:59:15 pm
Matthew Whitman wrote on Mon, 15 September 2008 11:06

...I eagerly clicked on the "Six Flags seeks entertainment technicians" ad only to find that compensation equals $7.50 to $8.25 an hour....What gives?...

"Running" the mixer is not much different than "running" the rides?   Shocked
Title: Re: It could be a great gig...
Post by: Robert "Void" Caprio on September 15, 2008, 02:29:27 pm
Just did a residency of 5 days, 4 shows a day at the new Hard Rock Park in Myrtle Beach, SC. They had a top notch crew of guys who I'm sure were making more than $8 or so per hour. But then again, it's a different mentality since Hard Rock is music oriented. They didn't seem to skimp on anything, though I opted for the EAW 850 rig over the Peavey Versarray.  Smile
Title: Re: It could be a great gig...
Post by: Dave Bigelow on September 15, 2008, 03:13:12 pm
Explains why we take in a rig for any larger shows at the local Six Flags here.

I'd take the 850s over the Peaveys any day too.
Title: Re: It could be a great gig...
Post by: A Man on September 16, 2008, 02:24:51 am
Matthew Whitman wrote on Mon, 15 September 2008 11:06

A few years ago I worked at Six Flags, and it was an excellent gig.  It consisted of three 30 minute shows with a 90 minute break between sets.


Was it the Coobrila show?
We did a fly date there.

http://api.ning.com/files/-2S6v13OTK0mWrxWlTQCNh7fl1yVVLbzoRGBwyzcPhtFG*lVPAL1zCy8AxOt3eZtApsShz9sZX9LLHrRnTYx*oJjQ1-6BhPu/S6300999.JPG?width=737&height=552

The PM5Ds were brought in by a outside vendor and there was a installed Xynon (sp?) line array with Xynon subs that looked just like SB1000s. Took a bit of EQing but the end result was good.
Title: Re: It could be a great gig...
Post by: Evan Kirkendall on September 16, 2008, 01:29:08 pm
Just did that same gig 2 weeks ago Jon. The end results were not as favorable:

http://srforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/t/37385/6178/




Evan
Title: Re: It could be a great gig...
Post by: A Man on September 16, 2008, 07:27:32 pm
Evan Kirkendall wrote on Tue, 16 September 2008 13:29

Just did that same gig 2 weeks ago Jon. The end results were not as favorable:

http://srforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/t/37385/6178/

Evan


Sorry to hear that.  Razz

It was certainly no Vdosc / d&b / Milo rig and I had to make all kinds of tweaks on the Lake and console PEQ to get it where it was useable but I don't spend the majority of my gigs into the limiters as you do so that could be a factor.

Now that I have heard / used them I won't be adding them to my rider any time soon but in a install situation you just have to "run what they hung"
Title: Re: It could be a great gig...
Post by: _______ on September 16, 2008, 10:48:37 pm
Quote:

Was it the Coobrila show?
We did a fly date there.



The show I played in was not a one-off.  Although a separate entertainment company produced it, I was employed by the park.  I came in during the last month after they fired the original guitar player.  I believe we worked six days a week.

A couple of posters have made references to "babysitter" type sound guys who work at the park for $7.50-$8.25/hour.  While I understand this point of view, I remember our sound man doing a lot more than babysitting.  If I recall correctly he had to mix around 23 channels of audio.  He did a decent job, and I was floored when I learned they only paid him $7.50 an hour.

-Matt
Title: Re: It could be a great gig...
Post by: Matt Vivlamore on September 17, 2008, 08:11:34 am
Matthew Whitman wrote on Tue, 16 September 2008 22:48

Quote:

Was it the Coobrila show?
We did a fly date there.



The show I played in was not a one-off.  Although a separate entertainment company produced it, I was employed by the park.  I came in during the last month after they fired the original guitar player.  I believe we worked six days a week.

A couple of posters have made references to "babysitter" type sound guys who work at the park for $7.50-$8.25/hour.  While I understand this point of view, I remember our sound man doing a lot more than babysitting.  If I recall correctly he had to mix around 23 channels of audio.  He did a decent job, and I was floored when I learned they only paid him $7.50 an hour.

-Matt



I'd take that job at $7.50 an hour only under several circumstances.
- $7.50 is final pay after taxes
- They put a good amount of money into my retirement plan
- They give me a house, 3 bedroom 2 bath with a garage in a decent neighborhood
- My friends and family visits the park for free, they also get to eat and drink for free
- They pay for my insurance

But with that, I don't think they'll employee me to be a house engineer.

But at the same time, that kid could walk over to the McD’s and make $10 an hour flipping hamburgers.
Title: Re: It could be a great gig...
Post by: Ivan Beaver on September 17, 2008, 08:34:03 am
Matthew Whitman wrote on Tue, 16 September 2008 22:48

 I remember our sound man doing a lot more than babysitting.  If I recall correctly he had to mix around 23 channels of audio.  He did a decent job, and I was floored when I learned they only paid him $7.50 an hour.

-Matt

Yeah mix 23 channels is a lot more "work" than mixing 16 channels Laughing

Sorry, I couldn't resist.
Title: Re: It could be a great gig...
Post by: _______ on September 17, 2008, 09:38:55 am
Ivan Beaver wrote on Wed, 17 September 2008 07:34

Matthew Whitman wrote on Tue, 16 September 2008 22:48

 I remember our sound man doing a lot more than babysitting.  If I recall correctly he had to mix around 23 channels of audio.  He did a decent job, and I was floored when I learned they only paid him $7.50 an hour.

-Matt

Yeah mix 23 channels is a lot more "work" than mixing 16 channels Laughing

Sorry, I couldn't resist.



I've seen (and I bet you have, too) plenty of people who can't even achieve decent GBF with one microphone.  My whole point in starting the thread was to argue that a guy who possesses even a modicum of live audio skill deserves more than a poverty level wage.

-Matt

Title: Re: It could be a great gig...
Post by: Charlie Zureki on September 18, 2008, 06:52:04 am
Matthew Whitman wrote on Wed, 17 September 2008 08:38

Ivan Beaver wrote on Wed, 17 September 2008 07:34

Matthew Whitman wrote on Tue, 16 September 2008 22:48

 I remember our sound man doing a lot more than babysitting.  If I recall correctly he had to mix around 23 channels of audio.  He did a decent job, and I was floored when I learned they only paid him $7.50 an hour.

-Matt

Yeah mix 23 channels is a lot more "work" than mixing 16 channels Laughing

Sorry, I couldn't resist.



I've seen (and I bet you have, too) plenty of people who can't even achieve decent GBF with one microphone.  My whole point in starting the thread was to argue that a guy who possesses even a modicum of live audio skill deserves more than a poverty level wage.

-Matt




Hello,

 That's why Unions are popular.... not with some Management, but with the Workers.  Cool

Cheers,
Hammer
Title: Re: It could be a great gig...
Post by: Ivan Beaver on September 18, 2008, 08:06:14 am
Matthew Whitman wrote on Wed, 17 September 2008 09:38

  My whole point in starting the thread was to argue that a guy who possesses even a modicum of live audio skill deserves more than a poverty level wage.



Agreed 100%!  Audio seems pretty simple to those who do it, but there are many who think they can (and that it is simple  Rolling Eyes ) but have no idea. Laughing

There is a lot of responsibility placed on operators, and that needs to be compensated for.  Low wage jobs should be reserved for the type jobs that anybody can do-not skilled labor.

The sad thing is that audio is a "love affair" and you do it because you enjoy it, and many people will do it for dirt cheap-just to be doing it.  They are not doing themselves or anybody else a favor by doing so however.
Title: Re: It could be a great gig...
Post by: Scott Smith on September 18, 2008, 03:55:22 pm
Ivan Beaver wrote on Thu, 18 September 2008 08:06

...They are not doing themselves ...a favor...


Well, that may not be completely correct.  "Interns" will often work in the radio business for "free" just for the exposure and experience.  I suspect that these "bottom feeder" workers are not only in love with the work, but will be able to get a "foot in the door" with this experience.
Title: Re: It could be a great gig...
Post by: Steve Weiss on September 18, 2008, 04:19:09 pm
Matthew Whitman wrote on Wed, 17 September 2008 06:38

Ivan Beaver wrote on Wed, 17 September 2008 07:34

Matthew Whitman wrote on Tue, 16 September 2008 22:48

 I remember our sound man doing a lot more than babysitting.  If I recall correctly he had to mix around 23 channels of audio.  He did a decent job, and I was floored when I learned they only paid him $7.50 an hour.

-Matt

Yeah mix 23 channels is a lot more "work" than mixing 16 channels Laughing

Sorry, I couldn't resist.



I've seen (and I bet you have, too) plenty of people who can't even achieve decent GBF with one microphone.  My whole point in starting the thread was to argue that a guy who possesses even a modicum of live audio skill deserves more than a poverty level wage.

-Matt





Except a job at a Six Flags type place has been and should still be a place for teens to make money in the summer.
Title: Re: It could be a great gig...
Post by: _______ on September 18, 2008, 06:19:19 pm
Quote:

Except a job at a Six Flags type place has been and should still be a place for teens to make money in the summer.



Would you please clarify this remark?  Are you suggesting that sixteen-year-olds should handle security, management, and maintenance of the park?

Not a comment I expected from a guy who lives in Vegas.

-Matt
Title: Re: It could be a great gig...
Post by: Andy Peters on September 18, 2008, 07:16:38 pm
Scott Smith wrote on Thu, 18 September 2008 12:55

Ivan Beaver wrote on Thu, 18 September 2008 08:06

...They are not doing themselves ...a favor...


Well, that may not be completely correct.  "Interns" will often work in the radio business for "free" just for the exposure and experience.  I suspect that these "bottom feeder" workers are not only in love with the work, but will be able to get a "foot in the door" with this experience.


Aren't interns supposed to have proper supervision?

-a
Title: Re: It could be a great gig...
Post by: Andy Peters on September 18, 2008, 07:21:04 pm
Matthew Whitman wrote on Thu, 18 September 2008 15:19

Quote:

Except a job at a Six Flags type place has been and should still be a place for teens to make money in the summer.



Would you please clarify this remark?  Are you suggesting that sixteen-year-olds should handle security, management, and maintenance of the park?

Not a comment I expected from a guy who lives in Vegas.


Actually, Steve's right. Back when I was that age, the Six Flags Great Adventure park in Jackson, NJ, was one of the more popular places for high-school kids to work. (I never did.)

Security, management and maintenance are obviously handled by year-round career employees. Things like running the sound system are probably considered by management to be perfectly fine for barely-trained high-school kids to handle.

-a
Title: Re: It could be a great gig...
Post by: Scott Smith on September 18, 2008, 07:53:55 pm
I ran some sound when I was in school...that was my start.
Title: Re: It could be a great gig...
Post by: Ivan Beaver on September 18, 2008, 08:07:05 pm
Andy Peters wrote on Thu, 18 September 2008 19:16

Scott Smith wrote on Thu, 18 September 2008 12:55

Ivan Beaver wrote on Thu, 18 September 2008 08:06

...They are not doing themselves ...a favor...


Well, that may not be completely correct.  "Interns" will often work in the radio business for "free" just for the exposure and experience.  I suspect that these "bottom feeder" workers are not only in love with the work, but will be able to get a "foot in the door" with this experience.


Aren't interns supposed to have proper supervision?

-a

Of course they are.  Their supervisers are in the "front office" Laughing away from those pesky musicians Shocked  
Title: Re: It could be a great gig...
Post by: Steve Weiss on September 18, 2008, 09:47:43 pm
Matthew Whitman wrote on Thu, 18 September 2008 15:19

Quote:

Except a job at a Six Flags type place has been and should still be a place for teens to make money in the summer.



Would you please clarify this remark?  Are you suggesting that sixteen-year-olds should handle security, management, and maintenance of the park?

Not a comment I expected from a guy who lives in Vegas.

-Matt





Sure. I grew up in St Louis. When I was in high school in the early 80's kids worked at Six Flags over the summer. Yes The other 3 things you mentioned were run by year round guys who made more bucks and had families. Had one of those fellows in our church and he got lots of kids jobs there. I once in 1988 after leaving college interviewed for the audio job at the park. It paid 8.50 then. Consisted of ZERO mixing, and lots of baby sitting. I did not take the job as another offer came in. So it seems to me in 20 years nothing has changed.


Compared to this town now and the jobs it is 2 different worlds. Unless six flags has changed what they need ops to do.