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Title: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: jesseweiss on May 29, 2017, 10:13:34 pm
So I'm a drummer, not a sound tech, but I run sound for our band and when we play community volunteer stuff (we have several of the same shows a year) I volunteer to bring and run the PA.  Nothing fancy just 2 FOH, subwoofer, 3 monitors, etc... for a variety of types of acts (we're a 4 pc rock band).

The opening act was just a singer with an acoustic guitar.  I'm thinking, awesome, very easy to mix to start the day.  We begin sound check and her guitar sounds like crap.  She's giving me all these directions to boost the highs as high as they can go, etc... to clean up the sound.  The guitar didn't seem to be a typical A/E either. I put a normal low cut on it, and tried to cut here and there to make it sound cleaner. No luck. She kept harping on how long she's been performing and doing sound, blah blah blah (30 years, which is only a little shorter than my band has been together!), and constantly complaining and chirping in my ear about how long it's all taking.

I (along with my guitarist) tell her to cut all her pedals (she has like 3 different pedals which I didn't bother to look at because of time, but none of which were anything special, and a TC Helicon voice thing for harmonies I guess).  After 20 minutes of her complaining about her guitar sound and me telling her it has to be somewhere in her part of the signal chain and not the PA, she realizes she has a pedal that has a subharmonic feature that she has cranked up and she has the highs turned down.  Even after that, the guitar still sounds muddy but she made us 30 minutes behind (which coupled with the second act going 20 minutes long even after being told to stop) meant my band only played like 35 minutes even though we provided and ran sound.

So I'm feeling kind of down on myself about being able to get the guitar to sound better, etc... since I'm relatively new to sound and using our XR18.

The next act is a School of Rock, and they and our band sound great. So at least I feel better about running electric guitars, etc... The last act is an acoustic duo (Cello and Guitar) but I run direct out of their Fishman Loudbox amps and they also sound great.

I've had a few experiences with one guy in the past complaining about his monitor (he's a diva too), but this woman was the first time I experienced someone causing the problem, refusing to listen how to fix it, and complaining and pontificating about her experience the whole time. Yikes!

Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: Chrysander 'C.R.' Young on May 29, 2017, 10:26:33 pm
Simple - no $ = I take no shit from the artist.  I would have muted the PA and walked off saying "Now it's a real acoustic gig.  Good luck."

Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: Robert Lofgren on May 30, 2017, 02:16:06 am
When it comes to acoustic guitars I always prepare a mic for it even if it "has a great DI" builtin.

And as the previous poster said; If I'm doing this for free it is on my terms or bring your own guy.

Next week I'm doing a paid festival gig and one band wants to give me the main output from their own mixer that they will have on stage with them and I've told them that they are on their own as I will lose all control, more or less, and can't take any responsibility for gear that I don't provide myself.
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: Stelios Mac on May 30, 2017, 03:40:14 am
The only thing you should be blaming yourself for is that you let her go on for half an hour.  ;D

IMO, whether you're volunteering or not, you should always act professionally.
I would've gone on stage and bypassed the pedals myself. If she's still being an uncooperative b****, mute everything and tell her she's run out of soundcheck time due to her unwillingness to cooperate. She's not paying you to put up with her after all  ;D

Soundcheck for an acoustic guitar with any proper musician shouldn't take more than 3 minutes.
IMO, if you're using a properly set-up PA that's been "voiced" to taste, and half-decent microphones, the sound mostly comes down to the musicians and backline. Not the EQ.
In other words, if you can't get a rough mix going just "faders up" there's a problem with either the band or the PA.
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: Alec Spence on May 30, 2017, 05:14:02 am
We'll all have come across poor sources from time to time, and it's often a case of damage limitation.

Acoustic guitars can be the quickest (turn up the gain and all is well) or the worst (nothing you can do makes it sound good).  In the latter case, especially if time is against you, the best you can do is be diplomatic and hustle things along.  The hostile posts from the other posters are disappointing - keep the criticism internal and help things along with a big confident smile, whatever it sounds like.

One guy I've dealt with a few times has some extremely high end guitars along with expensive pickups and expensive pedals.  Unfortunately, it all sounded dreadful.  Much better with all his exotic modelling pre-amps bypassed, but still not fabulous.  Turns out he tends to self op with a Bose L1 system - I suspect he's spent a lot of time matching everything up, but that nothing works well away from his system.
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: Keith Broughton on May 30, 2017, 06:05:52 am
Plug the guitar into the DI without pedals.
If it sounds good, it's not your problem.
Remind the performer you are on a schedule and need to move on.
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: Stelios Mac on May 30, 2017, 06:12:09 am
especially if time is against you, the best you can do is be diplomatic and hustle things along.  The hostile posts from the other posters are disappointing

You always need to maintain a professional attitude, absolutely.
But sometimes enough is enough - And if the said artist kept refusing to bypass her pedals for 20 minutes straight, instead going on to brag about her experience "running sound" thinking she's a know-it-all, whilst eating up over half an hour of other bands' performance time, diplomacy has to be said aside for a moment.

The way I see it:
- She's got no respect for you & your work (as a volunteer, even!!!)
- She's not interested in how she sounds (Which you're there to help her with) but rather how she's gonna make herself appear as the ultimate soundguy/musician/genius/all-in-one or whatever
- She doesn't give a damn about others and the fact that she is eating up everyone's performance time.

It's not her fault though, someone should've stopped her. Sometimes you just NEED to move on, you don't have time to keep arguing with a "know-it-all". If the only way to do that is to mute her, then that's what you'll have to do.
I second what Keith said ^
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on May 30, 2017, 06:47:32 am
Plug the guitar into the DI without pedals.
If it sounds good, it's not your problem.
Remind the performer you are on a schedule and need to move on.

Yup.

I always want a split before the pedal board.
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: Kevin Maxwell on May 30, 2017, 09:37:10 am
If you donít know how to already on the XR18 learn how to solo a signal to headphones (directly on the XR18) and have a decent set of headphones with you. The first thing you should have done when the guitar sounded funny was to solo it on your headphones and confirmed that it sounded that way coming to you. I assume that the XR18 was on stage at that point then you just hand her the headphones and say that is the way it sounds coming to me. And it will hopefully quickly wake her up to the problem.

I have been dealing with a church that I keep telling the guy in charge of the music (who is a really good musician and can mix) that he needs to have a set of headphones so he can solo a source and see how it sounds coming into the mixer. He refuses because he says when he has someone else mixing (volunteers) when he is playing they will just mix with the headphones on. So sometimes you canít win.

I was doing a variety show in a High School and one act, solo with guitar, he had a pickup in his guitar and it sounded funny. I said it sounded like the internal battery was going dead. The father was there and he said they just changed the battery recently so that canít be it. The father was the original guitar player for a long time in a group with a number of number one hits while he was a member. I have worked with him a bunch of times. He insisted it wasnít the battery. The guitar had to be partially unstrung to change the battery so it wasnít real easy to just put a new battery in. I donít remember how I convinced him to change it but it was the battery. It turned out that if you left the guitar plugged in and just sitting there it would drain the battery and that is what his son had done for a couple of days or more. And I would guess the battery wasnít that good to start with. But this whole thing didnít take 20 minutes.
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: Tim McCulloch on May 30, 2017, 10:07:07 am
I had a whole bunch of snark written but couldn't bring myself to hit the post button...

We are expected to be deferential to artists no matter how obviously their shit is fucked up.  You will have to demonstrate that it's not your console input, mic cable, sub snake, main snake, drive snake, DI box, or anything else.  Any you'll have to do all this without touching *anything* belonging to the artist or artist's stage setup.  The artist can have dead batteries, defective cords, FUBAR processing, missing all the strings on the guitar... and it is STILL YOUR SHIT THAT'S THE PROBLEM.

It's a particularly satisfying flavor of schadenfreude to expose these egotistical fucktwits in front of their peers and doing it with a smile on your face.
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: jesseweiss on May 30, 2017, 10:15:06 am
When it comes to acoustic guitars I always prepare a mic for it even if it "has a great DI" builtin.

And as the previous poster said; If I'm doing this for free it is on my terms or bring your own guy.

Next week I'm doing a paid festival gig and one band wants to give me the main output from their own mixer that they will have on stage with them and I've told them that they are on their own as I will lose all control, more or less, and can't take any responsibility for gear that I don't provide myself.

In response to others, I always maintain a professional attitude in everything I do as I'm a teacher.  I kept calm and tried to work with her until she at least gave up complaining. I wasn't in charge, so didn't feel I had the authority to do much (the pastor was off doing other things as this was a community event outside a church).  We also had an issue with the 2nd act (a local School of Rock, but it turns out not the one with kids from in the community) was going long so I gave them a stop time.  The owner of the school complained (as did some of the parents) as we started late (partly from rain and partly the first performer mentioned above) and we had not choice but for everyone to cut down.  So they asked for 1 last song, I said sure.  They decided to do Roundabout (you kidding me) straight into Long Time by Boston.  That's 20 minutes of music.  The pastor did talk to them and they won't be asked back, plus a performer 2 sets later (after us) and a parent in the community planned on emailing her as well. It never ceases to amaze me how self centered people are.

Back to Robert's response, excellent idea. I had some AT2020's with me that I could have just plugged in and I even had a channel setup for them for backup vocals for later.  If she hadn't been chirping in my ear, I might have been able to do that just to demonstrate it was her "stuff" :).

I did feel vindicated by the compliments on the sound I got from the small crowd watching the SOR kids, us, and the duo after us.
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: jesseweiss on May 30, 2017, 10:19:03 am
I had a whole bunch of snark written but couldn't bring myself to hit the post button...

We are expected to be deferential to artists no matter how obviously their shit is fucked up.  You will have to demonstrate that it's not your console input, mic cable, sub snake, main snake, drive snake, DI box, or anything else.  Any you'll have to do all this without touching *anything* belonging to the artist or artist's stage setup.  The artist can have dead batteries, defective cords, FUBAR processing, missing all the strings on the guitar... and it is STILL YOUR SHIT THAT'S THE PROBLEM.

It's a particularly satisfying flavor of schadenfreude to expose these egotistical fucktwits in front of their peers and doing it with a smile on your face.

Tim, it definitely surprised me as I've been a part time "working" musician for over 30 years and while I know people can be picky about their "stuff" I had never seen someone who wouldn't listen to anything.

Now it's quite possible that through other systems other board operators could get her stuff sounding better, but given her performance (just singing folks songs (flat to boot) with a guitar and vocal harmonizer) I'm guessing she's used to smaller sound systems that produce no low end so she "boosts" it on her pedal setup.

One of my guitarists, speaking of snarky, said her equipment was probably from the 80's like her hair do, when she probably peaked as an artist (not to her of course). Ouch!

This seemed to be the offending pedal, Electro-Harmonix Micro POG Polyphonic Octave Generator Pedal. So she couldn't figure out to cut the subharmonic on the pedal if all she could hear was low end?
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: Brian Jojade on May 30, 2017, 11:34:34 am
There are a couple of things that need to be addressed before ANY event that often are overlooked.

First off, is the order of authority.  There MUST be a stage manager assigned that decided when an act gets on and off the stage. For smaller events, the person doing that job may have many other tasks at hand. If the assigned stage manager leaves, then another must be there to take their place so that someone is left in charge and can keep things rolling.

Second, it must be decided how acts may be cut in the event of time over-runs.  Some events it is ok if the opening act runs a little long. But for events with a set end time, making sure the headliner hits the stage as scheduled is of utmost importance. If the opening act has problems with their setup, then they lose performance time, not the headliner!

One thing to remember.  Running sound for your own band is hard.  Running sound for someone you have never worked with before is even harder!  You've got to know your gear inside and out.  If you're trying to figure it out while they are sitting there staring at you, it's not going to end well.
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: Alec Spence on May 30, 2017, 11:44:20 am
"Could you just humour me for a moment and try" can be the best way of prefixing "removing [your crap] from the signal chain", suffixed by the apologetic "*just* in case it might be causing a problem".

Remember, this game is 90% people skills....

The father was the original guitar player for a long time in a group with a number of number one hits while he was a member. I have worked with him a bunch of times. He insisted it wasnít the battery.
Old pros can be the worst, with the shonkiest kit too...   :(
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: Dave Garoutte on May 30, 2017, 12:27:56 pm
From a troubleshooting perspective, never assume ANYTHING is good.  Start with the stupid stuff to eliminate it.  Batteries, cables, pedals . . .

I've worked with good and bad stage managers.  What a difference!  The good ones don't say one more song ( the entire Dylan medley ), but five more minutes.

I had one that was so bad, he let all the fill groups at the festival go long, so the headliner, realizing they weren't going to have any time to play, left.  There was a 10pm hard cutoff at the venue.
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: Tim Weaver on May 30, 2017, 01:57:45 pm
From a troubleshooting perspective, never assume ANYTHING is good.  Start with the stupid stuff to eliminate it.  Batteries, cables, pedals . . .

This. Don't ask, beg, or plead to bypass her pedals. Walk up to the stage and just start troubleshooting. Don't ask, just do. Bring a 1/4" cable, plug it straight from her acoustic to your DI and hit the strings. Problem solved? Great, walk away. They will either fix their stuff or play straight into a DI.

If it doesn't fix the problem take a 58 and plug it into the DI cable and verify that it sounds fine. Replace DI, try again. Don't ask, just do.

9 times out of 10 just bypassing their pedals will fix the problem.


I saw a stage manager one time, in a situation just like this, take the players fishman eq pedal and throw it into a lake. He then gave her a radial proDI and started the show.
Quote
I've worked with good and bad stage managers.  What a difference!  The good ones don't say one more song ( the entire Dylan medley ), but five more minutes.


Also this. A good stage manager is needed to deal with the artist BS and keep the show moving.
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: lindsay Dean on May 30, 2017, 03:10:46 pm
++++++1
Mr. Weaver
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: Rob Dellwood on May 30, 2017, 05:10:02 pm
So I'm a drummer, not a sound tech, but I run sound for our band and when we play community volunteer stuff (we have several of the same shows a year) I volunteer to bring and run the PA.  Nothing fancy just 2 FOH, subwoofer, 3 monitors, etc... for a variety of types of acts (we're a 4 pc rock band).

The opening act was just a singer with an acoustic guitar.  I'm thinking, awesome, very easy to mix to start the day.  We begin sound check and her guitar sounds like crap.  She's giving me all these directions to boost the highs as high as they can go, etc... to clean up the sound.  The guitar didn't seem to be a typical A/E either. I put a normal low cut on it, and tried to cut here and there to make it sound cleaner. No luck. She kept harping on how long she's been performing and doing sound, blah blah blah (30 years, which is only a little shorter than my band has been together!), and constantly complaining and chirping in my ear about how long it's all taking.

I (along with my guitarist) tell her to cut all her pedals (she has like 3 different pedals which I didn't bother to look at because of time, but none of which were anything special, and a TC Helicon voice thing for harmonies I guess).  After 20 minutes of her complaining about her guitar sound and me telling her it has to be somewhere in her part of the signal chain and not the PA, she realizes she has a pedal that has a subharmonic feature that she has cranked up and she has the highs turned down.  Even after that, the guitar still sounds muddy but she made us 30 minutes behind (which coupled with the second act going 20 minutes long even after being told to stop) meant my band only played like 35 minutes even though we provided and ran sound.

So I'm feeling kind of down on myself about being able to get the guitar to sound better, etc... since I'm relatively new to sound and using our XR18.

The next act is a School of Rock, and they and our band sound great. So at least I feel better about running electric guitars, etc... The last act is an acoustic duo (Cello and Guitar) but I run direct out of their Fishman Loudbox amps and they also sound great.

I've had a few experiences with one guy in the past complaining about his monitor (he's a diva too), but this woman was the first time I experienced someone causing the problem, refusing to listen how to fix it, and complaining and pontificating about her experience the whole time. Yikes!


Seems that was a difficult position to be put in. Sometimes, when there is a vacuum of authority, you have to take over the role of 'stage manager' and do what is needed to keep the event running on schedule. An 'opening act' who thinks she somehow has 'headliner status' and can dictate to you how things are going to go needs to be put in her place. Be polite at first, but next time you get non-cooperation like that, you should simply insist she needs to work with your suggestions to fix the problems, or she is going to lose time or lose her set entirely. Her selfish behavior put the whole event in turmoil and behind schedule.

For multi-band events like this, it would be recommended to have published sheets of paper with the performers' names and set times, along with a large portable clock facing the stage performers. If set times need to be changed due to delays as happened here, then you should advise the remaining bands of their NEW set times and tell them they need to stick to those. A few minutes here and there 'going over' is normal, but 20 minutes is not acceptable.

Congrats on getting through this show and finishing strong! We all encounter situations like this from time to time, and what's important is learning from it and doing better next time.



Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: James A. Griffin on May 30, 2017, 07:05:45 pm

Also this. A good stage manager is needed to deal with the artist BS and keep the show moving.

Yes.    And in the abscence of a stage manager and and clear instructions from the event sponsor, we often assume the position (of stage manager).     We can't control weather delays but we can control the performers to some extent.     

"Your soundcheck is 20 minutes.   If you run over, it comes out of your set time, not the next band's soundcheck"

They also need to understand up front that if they are allotted 20 minutes, that includes the time it takes to get their gear on stage and adjusted.

Sometimes you have to explain the simple concept of respect.   Respecting other performers on the show and respecting the guy who booked them, set the schedule, and pays them.
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: Luke Geis on May 30, 2017, 07:37:20 pm
I won't be saying much that hasn't already been said, but will any way :)

1. Always be as professional as you can be. While you may have taken the gig pro-bono, you still took the gig. This means that the smile must remain even if it kills you. You are not required to be abused though. If you are being berated, or otherwise belittled and or treated negatively, you can pull the get off my stage card. I have done it before, there is usually no win either way though.

2. When asked what it is I do, I tell people I do sound " yada yada " and in essence I am an adult babysitter. It is my job to get what I want by making the artists think they came to the decision on their own. Artists seem to think that their way of doing things trumps all other opinions, practices and even basic fundamentals of mixing and physics. They don't care, and typically don't want to do anything, unless it is for themselves.  I have never, ever, ever, ever....... heard a musician say that I will do anything you say because you know best and I want what is best for everyone out there who is listening and others on the stage. The mentality of artists is as such, that there is nothing that should interrupt their artistic flow, damn be everything and anyone else. They have found the I in team in other words. So you have to pander to that type of mentality and get from A-Z on your to-do list with psychological warfare.

Aside from that, there is not much that you can do with crappy attitudes or stubborn artists. No one likes to take blame for things and when under the impression of being correct, or having a serious dog in the fight, they will usually fight tooth and nail. The trick is to find a way to break through those barriers and look to the end game. Audio perfection is a fallacy, a dream, a white unicorn; it simply doesn't exist in any setting. Not because you can't do it, but because physics and the peanut gallery won't allow for it. So do the best you can; always......

 
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: kel mcguire on May 30, 2017, 08:12:59 pm
Ouch... sorry for the poor experience.

These kinds of things can linger in your confidence for a while. You learn from them. Everyone says to remain calm and take abuse. I agree for the most part. That is a huge part of the business. I cringe when i hear the resume listing- "I've been playing/mixing,blah for ____ years" ...which really doesn't mean anything other than you've been at it.. I'm thinking "your tone has sucked for_____ years too"

Without sounding critical, part of this job that comes with experience is instantly knowing what's happening after a few notes from almost anything on stage. If you couldn't get something happening with the EQ in about 45 seconds then it's either your system, your skills, a wanky holdback, your ears or their rig. So, if you're confident the system is within a capture range of "OK enough so that a few twists of the knobs gets you there" on any source or with playback music, you move on.

You didn't know the pedals because of time. Being aware of everything is a skill. Greeting a player and making small talk is also a time to eyeball everything in their rig. Within a few warm up notes you just know what is up. After that 45 seconds of EQ tries, you should be up there looking at the pedals, at their settings, if the guitar had an EQ onboard, bypassing...that is if you couldn't already guess what the signal chain is..

Tim Weaver's advice is spot on and in the spirit of what I'm saying. Know your stuff, make quick decisions. Grab a cable and walk fast!  You can blame their crap signal chain on your rig if you want..." You probably have a great tone in your studio but I want to make it good on my system and it may not be what you're used to, so can we try a couple things"?

Another thing to keep in mind: If this player's guitar sound was that bad, I doubt the presentation was going to be very good. So, you have to write it off and move on. Yea, it's ALWAYS the sound person's fault, and that's something you kind of get used to...and learn from. Many times in my past it wasn't them, it was me, who could have done a better job problem solving.
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: Stephen Kirby on May 31, 2017, 02:09:14 pm
A POG is this weird thing that makes the guitar sound like an organ, sort of.  Check out John Mayer's "In Repair", there's a video of him fooling with the POG and getting inspired to write the tune.

I've had folks with piles of pedals on acoustic guitars as well.  Sometimes if there's an amp around you can plug their rig into that and voila it sounds the same though a "neutral reference" that they can hear right at them.  Then suggest going straight from the guitar, then adding each pedal one by one.  Electric guitarists like to make up Eric Johnson pedal boards but for some reason the coffee shop crew just throws them on the floor and the intermediate patch cables take a beating.  I've had a couple of times where someone was fighting with no sound and doing the one at a time thing flushed out a cable.
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: Rob Gow on June 01, 2017, 11:54:18 am
As far as scheduling is concerned, I've always ran with hard end times. If you have 45 minutes and you take 5 minutes to set up you get 40 minutes if you take 20 minutes to set up then you get 25 minutes to play. That keeps everything on time. In the past one more song, for each act left the headliner lacking on their time.
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: David Smeaton on June 01, 2017, 12:37:55 pm
..... because physics and the peanut gallery won't allow for it......

Thanks Luke, that really tickled me and made me laugh  ;D
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: Tim McCulloch on June 01, 2017, 12:38:07 pm
As far as scheduling is concerned, I've always ran with hard end times. If you have 45 minutes and you take 5 minutes to set up you get 40 minutes if you take 20 minutes to set up then you get 25 minutes to play. That keeps everything on time. In the past one more song, for each act left the headliner lacking on their time.

When I've stage managed I tell acts that I don't care when they start playing but that they WILL be off stage at the scheduled conclusion of their performance - and if that means I have to send the local hands to remove their kit while they are playing - I will do so.

25 or so years ago I was a fledgling systems guy helping on a festival gig that at the time was well above my pay grade.  The short version of the story is that I was chatting with Marty McCann of Peavey (now retired - I hope the fishing is good, Marty!) off stage in monitor world when some guy with a bunch of laminated passes gave us a ration of shit for being in the way, that the show was running behind schedule and that there "were problems with the union."  At the time I was not an IATSE member but I knew there were no "union problems" because we'd just had lunch with the Steward.  Marty looked at the guy and turned over one of his lammies and said "hey Tim, this guy is from M***** T*****, I think we're supposed to be impressed!"  "I dunno Marty, he's kind of a jerk."  "Yeah, well my mom told me I didn't have to talk to assholes, lets go get a beer."  On our way to the adult beverages I saw the promoter rep and informed him of the potential "union problems" and that the MT guy was in everybody's face about the schedule.  The Promoter Rep had me point out the guy and said "watch this."  The Rep went to the guy and asked "is that all your bands stuff on the back of the stage?"  "Yes."  "Are those your guys on the floor?" "Yes."  "I hope they can catch your gear because I'm gonna have the stage hands push it off the deck, we'll cancel your bands performance, get back on schedule since you're so worried about it and you can explain to your boss why we're not paying them.... and don't stir up shit with the union stage hands."  The 'tude and dude disappeared, the band's performance was cut short to get back on schedule (Roy Orbison was the coheadliner that night).  Marty & I just smiled.
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: Mike Caldwell on June 01, 2017, 01:57:41 pm
I had an acoustic guitar after about two songs turn into distorted fuzz tone.
Through the talk back I say it sounds like the battery in the guitar just died, they say it's been sounding that way for the last couple shows and were enlightened to find out their guitar had a battery!!!

Another guy had a really expensive acoustic electric guitar and ran it through three, yes three Fishman preamps all connected in series.
What came out of that mess sounded like an acoustic guitar ran through a big muff fuzz amplified through a JBL2445 with a shattered diaphragm.
The guitar player was actually happy with and somewhat bragging about his set up and the sound. Either really deaf or clueless I figured.
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: Ray Aberle on June 01, 2017, 02:34:33 pm
I had an acoustic guitar after about two songs turn into distorted fuzz tone.
Through the talk back I say it sounds like the battery in the guitar just died, they say it's been sounding that way for the last couple shows and were enlightened to find out their guitar had a battery!!!
Guitars have batteries?

Another guy had a really expensive acoustic electric guitar and ran it through three, yes three Fishman preamps all connected in series.
What came out of that mess sounded like an acoustic guitar ran through a big muff fuzz amplified through a JBL2445 with a shattered diaphragm.
The guitar player was actually happy with and somewhat bragging about his set up and the sound.
And THEN, the whole damn thing was ran through a band saw?!? bwa ha ha!

Either really deaf or clueless I figured.
What? What?

Hope everyone is having a great day!

-Ray
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: Kemper Watson on June 01, 2017, 02:48:37 pm
Guitars have batteries?


-Ray

Quite a few models of acoustic guitar come powered by a 9 volt battery.
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: Ray Aberle on June 01, 2017, 03:02:14 pm
Quite a few models of acoustic guitar come powered by a 9 volt battery.
I was being facetious. :)

Maybe it would have been better to say, "Guitars can have batteries?!?"

-Ray
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: Mike Caldwell on June 01, 2017, 03:12:05 pm
Guitars have batteries?
And THEN, the whole damn thing was ran through a band saw?!? bwa ha ha!
What? What?

Hope everyone is having a great day!

-Ray

Actually you could have compared the sound of his guitar to the sound of cutting a piece of sheet metal on a "band saw". I normally wear ear plugs for that type of work. Thankfully that show was not as loud as cutting sheet metal on a band saw!
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: Jay Barracato on June 01, 2017, 09:22:31 pm
I was being facetious. :)

Maybe it would have been better to say, "Guitars can have batteries?!?"

-Ray
Ray, you are always well prepared. Do you have a set of jumper cables for guitar batteries?

9 volt battery connector wired to a wall wart  on the nearest pedalboard.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: Tim McCulloch on June 01, 2017, 10:47:45 pm
Ray, you are always well prepared. Do you have a set of jumper cables for guitar batteries?

9 volt battery connector wired to a wall wart  on the nearest pedalboard.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

We power acoustic guitars the old fashioned way - STEAM.
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: Ray Aberle on June 02, 2017, 12:46:21 am
We power acoustic guitars the old fashioned way - STEAM.
soooooooooo do you have a cup of steam I can borrow?

:D
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: John Fruits on June 02, 2017, 06:22:17 am
We power acoustic guitars the old fashioned way - STEAM.
Remember George Gobel when he explained his new guitar was electric, his old one was gas.
Title: Re: Working with a difficult performer when volunteering to run sound
Post by: Mike Caldwell on June 02, 2017, 07:27:57 am
The question that's starting to present itself is how much do we assist musicians or even BE's who are clueless on the set up and operation of their equipment. I'm talking about major trouble shooting and set up not throwing them a guitar cable or a battery.

It quickly becomes obvious after watching them set up if their having a one time equipment failure issue or they or just clueless and can never get their rig working with out someone fixing it for them.....at every show.