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Postby MarvelousOptimist » November 11th, 2004, 11:25 am

So The Hosuehold Gods played a show last night.. pretty small turnout. The band before us was like.. strange Arabic music and their crowd didn't stick around to see what we were about.. which I thought was very nice of them. Anyway... that band ended their set and proceeded to stand around and talk to people and effectively block the load in area for several minutes while we're supposed to be getting our gear onstage. Once they got the hint (which was me grabbing our stuff and sort of just walking through them with it) They got their gear offstage and left. We set up... nothing new there.. then did sound check. The sound guys D.I. didnt work and when i told him I usually mic my bass rig anyway he said he didnt have any bass mics.... so he was prepared to just not run my bass to the P.A. at all until I pointed out my onboard D.I. to him. Sound check took all of 3 minutes.... and he didnt ask us to check the vocal mics.... just gives me a hand signal to start. Didnt ask us what we wanted in the monitors.... nothin. Since we kinda hurried our setup I was a bit cramped with the guitarist... during the first song he stepped on my chord and unplugged me. Whoops... haha he actually hammered on his chords while replugging my bass in with his picking hand.... so all that really dropped was the bass.... good save... hahaha.. So we kinda sorta settled in for a few songs... then start one of our louder ones.... halfway through the first verse the drummer flubs and stops cold... turns out his monitor isnt even ON and he'd lost his place... we'd complain to the sound guy about this.... but he's nowhere to be found!! He'd wandered out of the booth with his girlfriend and wasn't in the room anymore. So we just started up agian and made it through. After the show our small but very appreciative crowd let us know that all they could hear from where they were sitting was the guitar.. no vocals or anything much else really. But everyone felt that we'd played a good set despite awful sound... We'd even played this club before.. and last time the sound guy (different guy) was VERY accomodating and the sound overall was great... not so much this time... hasn't soured me or anything.. Just makes me angry that people who just dont care about what they're doing have jobs like that.

Ok... rant over...

-marv
Andrew Delaney & The Horse You Rode In On ---> http://www.myspace.com/andrewdelaney

You can and should buy my album "Scoundrels!" in mp3 format on amazon.com or iTunes etc...
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Postby Taso » November 11th, 2004, 11:02 pm

I got mad reading that! Anything you can do about it?
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Postby MarvelousOptimist » November 12th, 2004, 12:59 am

Shrug it off and put up an angry post on this site..... hahaha. That's about all i can do about it. I'm over it though... it was jsut a bad show.. they happen

-marv
Andrew Delaney & The Horse You Rode In On ---> http://www.myspace.com/andrewdelaney

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Postby Laz » November 12th, 2004, 5:45 am

I hope his pay did not come out of your take...

-Laz
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Postby Wes Inman » November 12th, 2004, 11:52 am

Marvelous Optimist

OK, I'm gonna go a little against the grain here. It is easy to blame the soundman for bad sound. But is that the case here? Your guitarist steps on your cord. Is that the soundman's fault? Your drummer stops cold in the middle of a song. Is that the soundman's fault? I have played hundreds maybe even thousands of gigs. Just about everything that can happen has happened to me. But you never just STOP. Yeah, you might get out of beat for a few seconds, hit the wrong notes or play the wrong chord. It happens (even to the pros). What do you do? You just act like nothing happened and get right back in the groove. Many times people will not even notice, sometimes they even think it's part of the song.
And even you described this song as one of your LOUD ones. Well, when you play a big house it's the soundman's job to control your band's volume. The best sound is when the backline volume is kept down. A good soundman will make sure the house hears you. If you guys had not cranked up so much the drummer would probably have been able to hear the monitors.

I am not saying this soundman was good or bad. He should not have been off with his girlfriend while you were performing. On the other hand, he may have given up on getting your band a good sound. Most soundpeople care about what they do and try to make you sound good. But all too many times bands do not cooperate. They crank up on stage which just ruins and muddles the sound. Then you also have problems hearing yourself on stage.

Next time you play a venue where the sound is provided, go up and meet the soundperson before you go on. Buy the guy a drink. If you have a set list, go over it with him and give him an idea what you are gonna do. But also listen to him (or her). This person knows the venue and knows how to get a good sound. If he or she tells you to bring the volume down on stage, then listen. If you treat this person with disrespect they are gonna get you. And they know how.
If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis
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Postby MarvelousOptimist » November 12th, 2004, 12:32 pm

I'm not going to blame the whole gig on the sound guy. And I didn't in my rant. It wasn't his fault with me getting unplugged.. and it wasn't his fault that our drummer quit playing in the song... usually we play through mistakes... this time he was completely lost... He's got not volume switch on his drums and certain things (open hats and cymbals and such) just creat a lot of noise even when played with a degree of touch. Our drummer doesnt play LOUD. He plays appropriately. His monitor was not on. Nothing was coming out of it. Our stage volume was no louder than in our practice space and we were playing a pretty decent sized room. First thing I always do at a show is talk to the sound guy.. shake his hand and talk about our setup and the way we like to have things miced up. The guy was very uncommunicative there.. and like I said before.. it didnt bother him at all to not run my bass through the P.A. at all. I asked for a mic check and he just waved us on to start. We didn't play our best show. I'm not denying that. But Its his job to get the front of house sounding decent and he didn't do it. He didn't put the least bit of effort towards giving us a comfortable monitor mix and he bailed in the middle of the show. The point of the whole deal is... yes. We played a rough show... Would it have been better if the sound guy had cared even a little bit? Probably.

We've played the same venue at the same volume with a different sound man... One who came up and talked to us and asked us what we needed. one who made sure we were comfortable with what was coming out of our monitors. At that show we had a problem with some garbage coming out of the bass rig (it wasnt mine we were playing on a common backline that show). He got that fixed before we went on. he stayed the entire show. And did the same with all of the other 4 acts that played that night as well whether he liked them or not. In short. He did his job. I worked in live sound for a while... my bosses saying was this.

Bad band bad sound. Bad show
Bad band good sound. Bad show.
Good band bad sound. Bad show.

No one's got control of both sides of that equation. I can't blame everything on him. but its supposed to be his job to make sure things sound decent and to communicate with us if we are playing too loud or whatever. We can't hear front of house. He can. Or he could have if he had in been in the room. Anyway... This is getting way long so I think I'm done.

-marv
Andrew Delaney & The Horse You Rode In On ---> http://www.myspace.com/andrewdelaney

You can and should buy my album "Scoundrels!" in mp3 format on amazon.com or iTunes etc...
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Postby Nick » November 12th, 2004, 12:32 pm

...and then if he screws up like that again, slap him down.
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Postby MarvelousOptimist » November 12th, 2004, 12:43 pm

Ok.. maybe to clarify my point for the whole post in the first place.

We had a bad show... This is the story of our terrible and absurd misfortune.

And the sound guy made me angry.

We'll have good shows in the future. We'll have bad shows in the future. But We'll keep playing them and we'll continue treating sound people the way we treat all sound people and all people we meet at shows period. With respect.

Ok... NOW. Im done.


-marv

And I will Nick....oh yes I will.
Andrew Delaney & The Horse You Rode In On ---> http://www.myspace.com/andrewdelaney

You can and should buy my album "Scoundrels!" in mp3 format on amazon.com or iTunes etc...
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Postby Wes Inman » November 12th, 2004, 4:22 pm

MarvelousOptimist

Well I hope I didn't get you upset, that was not my intention. I just got the impression you guys were playing at high volume. Many bands do. And this is probably the biggest reason for poor sound. You said you have run sound before, so have I. Then you know that no-one is ever happy with their monitors, they always want them turned louder. But I'm sure you know that monitors feed back far easier than front of house. And everybody wants their own mix in the monitors which complicates things even more. It's a lose lose for the soundman.

Making a few mistakes like that does not constitute a bad show. Stepping on a cord unplugging an instrument seems like a disaster to the band, but crowds are pretty understanding. Sometimes it is even comical and entertaining. That's show business.

Other than these problems, how did the crowd react? Did they like your show? Did you get a nice reaction?

I agree after hearing a little more detail, that soundguy was not doing his job.
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Postby MarvelousOptimist » November 12th, 2004, 7:57 pm

I understand about monitors.. my typical request of a soundman is "give me all of my vocal that you can give me before it feeds back". My drummer likes a lot of bass and a little guitar.. everyone else just listens to the drummer for time and listens to their own amp for themselves. (we try to keep everyones amp close to them so they can hwar) We're not picky monitor people.

The crowd was made up of mostly friends.. after all you don't get a lot of walkin traffic on a Wednesday. The show was doubling as my birthday party so we were amonst friends.. Some peopel hadnt heard us yet and they seemed to like us.;.. our "regular" fans dug the show as always though it was no shocker to hear that we'd played better shows before.Our tunout was a bit disappointing but I'm still hoping to ge tanother show at the same club.. hopefully with the original sound guy we had at our first show there. I sent the booking guy a thank you note earlier today and Im hoping to hear back pretty soon. Til then we have another one of these wednesday "Show Us Your Draw" shows coming up Dec 1st at another club.

-marv
Andrew Delaney & The Horse You Rode In On ---> http://www.myspace.com/andrewdelaney

You can and should buy my album "Scoundrels!" in mp3 format on amazon.com or iTunes etc...
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