Short sound guy rant.

Jasta 11

Well-known Member
Soooo, we play a really nice venue with a top notch backline and sound board. The sound is run by the house sound guy, and the other night, it was a disaster. First he asked if we wanted a sound check? Um...yes idiot. after that the first set was fine. We came back for the second set, i hit the bass drum and it was like 200 decibles. The tom mics were off completey and when i said something he was like " no they are on" but i tapped them with my stick and there was no popping? My stage monitor only had my super loud bass drum for some reason and he said I was correct but wtf i didnt ask for that? so i said take me out of my monitor and add an even mix of the other guys. He then said its all set but i had no lead guitar and too much of the rythmn and barely any bass, needess to say it was tough to lock in with the bassist. Our rythmn/singer asked to be turned up slightly and he went right to 11, then back to like 2. when we left i was glad it wasnt just me in the band that had an issue with what went down, it was just really weird that he changed everything while we were on break, who does that??
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry" - Administrator
Staff member
I've played at big outdoor gigs where the soundman ruined the entire event for everyone. It's sad when the band rehearses and works hard to nail their show, and it being all for naught if the soundperson is bad at their job. Worth their weight in gold, a great soundman is. IMO best case scenario is when a band has their own competent soundman as a band member and who understands what the band needs and wants soundwise.
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
We used to use a guy who brought a trailer full of gear to pubs. It was total overkill and I think he enjoyed people seeing him mix via iPad BUT he was actually pretty good and rather than blow everyone's eardrums he mixed the sound well within the available power he had so was using only a small percentage of what he had.
The problem though was that he'd fiddle. Everything would be mixed and sounding great but he'd tweak which meant he'd need to tweak something else to counteract the first tweak and on it would go. Before you knew it there'd be weird hums and the monitors would start misbehaving, a shame as otherwise we'd have continued to use him.
 

ottog1979

Senior Member
One of the two bands I play in has a permanent sound guy. He is paid and participates just like a full band member. He comes to every gig we do whether there's house sound (including house sound guy) or not. The second band is about to get a sound person on-board similarly. It's worth it for consistency's sake.
 

drumnut87

Silver Member
you sure the soundguy wasnt smoking some funny stuff in the break?


had a soundguy once who was stoned off his face do one of my bands. told me to put moongel on my snare because "every drummer does it in here" without hearing my already dampened drum, and then proceeded to mess everything up because he was too out of it to notice anything
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
Soooo, we play a really nice venue with a top notch backline and sound board. The sound is run by the house sound guy, and the other night, it was a disaster. First he asked if we wanted a sound check? Um...yes idiot. after that the first set was fine. We came back for the second set, i hit the bass drum and it was like 200 decibles. The tom mics were off completey and when i said something he was like " no they are on" but i tapped them with my stick and there was no popping? My stage monitor only had my super loud bass drum for some reason and he said I was correct but wtf i didnt ask for that? so i said take me out of my monitor and add an even mix of the other guys. He then said its all set but i had no lead guitar and too much of the rythmn and barely any bass, needess to say it was tough to lock in with the bassist. Our rythmn/singer asked to be turned up slightly and he went right to 11, then back to like 2. when we left i was glad it wasnt just me in the band that had an issue with what went down, it was just really weird that he changed everything while we were on break, who does that??

Happens a lot more than you'd hope - it just happened when doing a big Symphonic show - we had a trio performance, then about 40 minutes of our music arranged to play with a symphony.

We showed up at 4 - sound checked...and somewhere between 4 and 7 - everything was difference in the monitors, etc. when we got back.

We typically travel with a sound engineer when time and $ permits to avoid this very thing.

The worst was we played a theater in Montana - brand new $20 million dollar sound upgrades...they were proud of their system and we were the first band to run it.

Well I had in ears in that show....THE GUY HAD THEM OFF ON HIS BOARD THE ENTIRE FIRST HALF OF THE SHOW.

So I pulled them out and just locked in with the bass and what acoustic trumpet I could hear....luckily I knew those songs inside and out of I'd be hurting.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
I think my band used that same sound guy a couple times.
 

Out of Round

Active Member
I'm still salty about a house sound guy who smugly read a book during the entirety of an "important" show at a brand new, semi-upscale venue. He wasn't referencing a manual for his gear, but was reading a paperback like he was sitting in a coffee shop.

This precipitated an after-show meltdown on my part and it got me fired from my band. So naturally, I refuse to take responsibility for my own actions and blame the whole thing on the sound guy. 😜
 

Jasta 11

Well-known Member
Sounds personal when you say “short sound guy”, bro.

With that attitude I’d turn up the suck knob too 😉
Bo i wish you were the sound guy, i know you at least know what youre doing! the 3k mile commute is a bitch though...
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Bo i wish you were the sound guy, i know you at least know what youre doing! the 3k mile commute is a bitch though...
I feel for the pseudo-audio guys though. There’s not a lot of training out there and the people who would want to do a good job aren’t prepared enough. Considering the type of digital gear becoming commonplace nowadays it’s even harder for someone to learn how to do it right. So I try to cut newbies some slack and not scream at them for making some mistakes. But, sometimes the performers need to be cool too and realize that everyone involved is part of the same team pushing towards one goal. So maybe some give and take from both sides might yield better results.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Just sounds like a bad monitor mix. Don't stress, we've all had bad on stage sound at some point with or without monitors.

Occupational hazard!
 
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