Rookie Sound Guys

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by bluewine, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. bluewine

    bluewine Inactive

    Sep 4, 2008
    I doubt this thread will get much interest.

    I just have a question.

    Are there many people out there running sound that don't know what there doing?

    I have noticed a lot of bands with crappy sound in some smaller rooms lately.

  2. Mads

    Mads Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2005
    Oslo, Norway
    Unfortunately, yes...
  3. modulusman

    modulusman Inactive

    Jan 18, 2004
    Probably because they are working with crappy bands.
  4. Mads

    Mads Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2005
    Oslo, Norway
    Well there is the "$%!T in $%!T out" side of things as well.

    But unfortunately there are people out there claiming to know what they are doing, who doesn't have a clue.

    But everybody have to start somewhere.

    Becoming a good sound guy takes experience.
    Calling yourself a sound guy takes none.
  5. Nagrom


    Mar 21, 2004
    Western Canada
    Gotta love those self taught 'soundmen', for example....

    1) Him: "we've been having trouble with that speaker for a few weeks now-keeps cutting in & out. Wiggling the wire near the amp output seems to help sometimes..." Me, (after spending 2 minutes cutting back the wire & reconnecting the leads): "all good now."

    2) Me: " why is the sound so shrill out of this side?" Him: " the tweeter's blown on the other side and I'm trying to compensate for it"

    3) Me: " can I get some more vocal in the monitor, a bit less guitar, and a touch of bass?" Him: " Don't say that out loud! Everybody can hear you! Just whisper in my ear next time I come up!"

    And yet, god forbid anybody run sound but him, the house sound guy...
  6. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Worst I ever had was way beyond "rookie". :scowl:

    I'm still disappointed but no longer surprised when it takes an hour and a half to do a simple line check and requested changes in the monitor mix never materialize, probably because they're turning the wrong knob. :rolleyes:

    I'd almost think this was supposed to be the norm. But then you work with someone who really knows their system and, lo and behold, things go smooth & quick and you actually get what you ask for! Happens just often enough to remind me I'm in purgatory, the rest of the time. :(

    I know it's not an easy gig and they probably have at least as many horror stories about us as we do them. :p
  7. ive seen some great bands with an awful guy in the sound booth, it doesn't sound good..

    a good portion of the sound guys in my area are pretty good at what they do. but, theres definitely that few that dont have a clue what theyre doing. unfortunately we all have to deal with them once in a while..
  8. Jehos


    Mar 22, 2006
    DFW, TX
    My experience is that a lot of sound guys in smaller clubs know just enough to know how to plug things in, turn on all the PA gear, and set the levels so they don't clip.

    And that's it.

    That's why I've given up going to a lot of places to check out live music. You can tell all they're doing is making sure nothing clips. The mix is horrible, and it's turned up as loud as the PA gear will go.
  9. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    Yes, just like there are lots of people in bands that don't know what they're doing. Everyone starts somewhere, and some people don't go any farther than that.

    Other soundguys are just deaf, stubborn, drunk, possibly stupid. I even had one warn me that he was deaf, drunk, and stupid once. I thought he had some bad self-esteem problems until downbeat, and then I realized he was just being honest.

    There are plenty of great soundguys, too, but they're rarely found working in small or even medium clubs, at least not for long.
  10. AlembicPlayer

    AlembicPlayer Im not wearing shorts

    Aug 15, 2004
    Pacific Northwet, USA
    it's more then worth the price of another cut of the take to hire your own sound person.
    I wouldn't go out without our FOH guy. I just came home from a small run of shows on the road and our soundguy was the most valuable person on the tour.
    I would pay him twice what he asks for.
  11. I've been pretty lucky with most of the soundmen that I've dealt with around Des Moines and the few other places I've gone on tour. Most of them have been pretty understanding and easy to work with.

    I've never seen a crappy band sound good just because of a good soundman.

    I have, however, seen really good bands sound like absolute trash because the soundman isn't doing his job. I have also seen talented bands sound "just ok" even with a good soundman because they don't have good gear to work with. I'm talking cheap Crate, Peavey and GK Backline amps, low-end Sonor drums, etc. I've also heard pretty mediocre bands sound awesome when they play through good equipment.

    That's why I'm so glad that everyone in my band has good gear. Even if the house sound isn't awesome, we can still sound pretty good because.
  12. Yes, and I've hired a couple in desperation. Never again...I'll run sound from the stage instead if I have to.
  13. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Then of course you have the standard time allocation per instrument (i.e., amount of time spent getting proper levels and EQ), which goes something like:

    Drums - 50% (of which 90% of that time is spent on the kick)
    Guitars - 25%
    Vocals - 20%
    Keys - 4%
    Bass - 1% (plug in, play two notes, "OK, you're good") - this is why bassists absolutely must take responsibility for their own sound, i.e., good bass, good amp, good direct box.
  14. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    If you are in a soundcheck , and the kick takes more than 3 minutes , start worrying !

    I've done sound at festival , we have 20 minutes to setup AND soundcheck !
  15. Most of the shows my band plays, the band before you gets about 5 minutes to tear their gear down, you have 5-8 minutes to set up, and the sound check generally doesn't last much more than 5 minutes.
  16. LOL. Sad but true.:atoz:
  17. AlembicPlayer

    AlembicPlayer Im not wearing shorts

    Aug 15, 2004
    Pacific Northwet, USA

    if you bring the frenchbread to eugene oregon, I'll mix you. You won't be disappointed. :D
  18. Valerus


    Aug 4, 2005
    Austin, Texas
  19. Thanks!:hyper:
  20. OtterOnBass


    Oct 5, 2007
    My experience has been that rookie soundmen are like rookie musicians - they run too loud.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jun 15, 2021

Share This Page