Last night our sound was terrible. Many things were breaking and not working correctly. Set 2 we recovered by plugging mics directly into our JBL eons, but it took far too long to get to that decision. I was *very* stressed by the feedback, distortion, etc. and it affected my performance and of course, decreased my enjoyment level (which is mainly why I play out anyway). So, here's what I learned . . . a. either cough up the dough to hire a pro soundguy and his system b. or KISS - keep it simple stupid - if you have many pieces of gear that's more stuff to break, and extra wires to jiggle around in the rack and maybe get loose. And more knobs to worry about while you're busy playing. c. When several different things are obviously going wrong w/ sound during the performance, go to your backup plan immediately. Do not attempt to fix any problem for more than 5 minutes. d. Always have a backup plan, and know exactly how you should wire it. It took us 2 songs to remember the mic level switch on the Eons, so even set 2 started poorly. A backup plan may mean lugging extra gear, but it is worth it. My sub drummer had his kiss Carvin PA box die on him at a show just last month. They play jazz so they got through w/ instrumentals w/ lots of solos, but no singing is not an option for most bands. e. It is just a gig so try to keep perspective to manage stress. If things go really poorly, just apologize and maybe offer a discount. I apologized but wish I had thought of givng the discount last night. The manager I dealt with was a very cool guy, in retrospect I wish I had offered even just a tip for having a good attitude. f. When a unit fails, sell it or retire it to non-performance uses. Yes you can have simple things repaired, but fixing one part does not mean that other bits won't break too, especially if you have budget gear. The peace of mind and dependability of new high quality gear is worth the extra expense. g. Test everything at home. Don't bring new gear to a show, even if it's stuff you've had for awhile, without fully vetting it at a rehearsal. This also includes new connections between old gear. You never know when a jack could go bad or that 1 cable that looks fine has developed a short. Get one of those cable testers and discard all iffy cables. KISS so you don't have lots of cables in the first place. There's probably other stuff to learn, but that's what I got for now. Anybody else have PA lessons?