Soundguy Angst!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Mark Reccord, Nov 22, 2000.

  1. I'm a new member and I'd just like to say hello to everyone! I'm a bassist but I'm also a pro sound engineer. I've notice a fair number of threads in the last litte while with horror stories and general angst and distaste toward soundguys. I'd just like to say that we're not all jerks or idiots!! It's really horrible that soundguys like that are giving the rest of us a bad name. Have faith, we're not all bad.

    p.s. Bass players make the best sound engineers:D
  2. hello and welcome, i have never had a problem with a sound guy and i agree, bass players as sound guys are a perfect combo. i have more problems with guiar players that think they are sound guys
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Welcome to Talkbass, Spacegoat!

    I've never been fortunate enough to have a sound engineer who was a bassplayer, that would rawk! I guarantee I would be heard on THAT gig.

    Most of the ones that I've dealt with were really bad guitar player wannabes.
  4. Welcome spacegoat!

    Actually, most REAL sound guys are very understanding and helpful, I mean they want to do a good job as well as the band wants it. They cant do a good job if the band doesnt sound right.. right? :) (then we all have different views on what sound that is good..)
  5. virtual.ray


    Oct 25, 2000
    Could we have a little more talent in the monitors,please?
  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Rant On...!

    There are (at my count)THREE types of soundmen-
    1)Audio enginneers(like our friend Spacegoat)
    2)Sound guys
    3)Guys with sound reinforcement equipment

    The 1st group is by far the hardest to find; they're "artists" who actually care about their "product".
    They take it PERSONALLY if something ain't happenin'...
    I have played in bands that HIRED these types; they were part of the group & received a FULL CUT!

    The 2nd group are those with enough knowledge to be be dangerous. These guys are usually employees of, say, the "big", local sound company(each of our towns have one).
    One of the bands I'm in opens for major New Country acts...meaning I'm used to working "with" these guys.
    IMO, they'll bust their ass for the headliners & neglect the opening acts. For the past 3-4 years, I have played sans monitor; I have grown weary of asking...I get weird advice, like, cheat off "so & so's." Problem with "so & so's" monitor: "So & so" only likes HIS OWN stuff in HIS monitor.
    Another major F*** UP scenario: One time we opened for Lonestar. Lonestar brings their own In-Ear monitor system. The local company is privy to this info & neglects to bring any monitors...DUH, whadda about the opening band who surely doesn't have the In-Ear thing happenin'!? We invented a new genre of music that day...*Avant Garde/Free New Country*. :D

    The 3rd group is pretty self-expanatory & doesn't deservre any DISScussion.

    ...Rant Off!

  7. Hey everybody!
    It's good to hear that people have had good experiences also. Unfortunately there are a lot of useless hacks passing themselves off as sound engineers. Jimk is right about the three types, though some of the company guys aren't too bad. I've worked for a large company as a systems engineer and our philosophy was that everybody, including the opener is important enough to do a good job for. That's certainly my work ethic. I think it's born out of my love of music. I've toured with bands as a sound guy and have witnessed the same things as Jimk talked about. I think it sucks. Sound is very subjective after a certain point. There are basic things that have to be done right in order for something to sound good. A balanced mix is one of them. Every band sounds different and I think that the soundguy should help enhance the sound of the particular band. But sound depends almost totally on the band. If the band is tight and the players have good sounds on stage it should be a no-brainer to get good sound in the house (dependent on room acoustics and PA quality). If the band sucks, the sound will suck. No amount of eq or processing can make a bad band sound good!:D
    I think bass players make good sound engineers because they tend to see the whole picture as opposed to one particular instrument. I think that's because of the bassists role in a band as a medium between the drums and the guitars (or other so-called lead instruments). They also make sure the bass can be heard, which tends not to be a priority for other soundguys (not all, of course). I've gone to lots of shows where the mix sounded good except I couldn't hear the bass very well. Anyway that's enough of a rant for today, thanks for all your welcomes!
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Our sound man gets a full cut. It's easily worth it. Mostly because if he ain't there, I'm the sound man. Now, I love to do sound. But not from on-stage while I'm also playing bass. Between the monitors and the house mix, I'm not worth a crap for the first three songs, while I try to get the glares off the rest of the faces in the band. Although my hammer-ons and pull-offs have gotten a lot better.
  9. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I chip in cos this is subject is like Jimk and Compressors, Munji and 100w you get the drift. :)

    I call them mixing desk attendants.

    I work mainly in the amateur realms so you can guess how the sound guys are. The main problem I come across is an unjustified superiority complex. The only reason they got the gig is cos they do it for free (wait a minute!).

    Lets take their point of view. They arrive first leave last work the whole time and have the heaviest gear. They get no thanks if its great and all the blame if its not.

    RE bass players making the best sound engineers apart from one drummer and one non muso it has stood up in my experience.

    Theres a myth that sound engineers give you a bad mix if you upset them. Untrue. They stuff it up by accident every time. :D
  10. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999 clarify my rant-
    Most of my arrows were shot at the monitor guys(we do have our own guy outfront). But here's the problem of not having a decent monitor mix...
    The stages we play are pretty big; from my position(hi-hat side of the drummer), I'm not going to hear the guitarist or the pedal steel/banjo player...they're about 30' away.
    While it's true the band is responsible for their stage volume/mix, it makes playing damn difficult when you're asked to turn up. Or you ask someone else to turn up...then the viscious cycle begins & the resulting CRAP enters through the mics.
    The point is we're all sorta used to a comfortable volume level where our playing "happens". As I've said before, "too much me ain't cool; too little me ain't cool"!

    Small clubs/venues will always be my favorite places to play(I'm totally responsible for ME). :D

    Our soundman arrived LAST, departed FIRST, & NEVER helped with moving the equipment. He didn't show up for rehearsals & didn't participate in the band's expenses(like practice room rent & band truck maintenance)...and he got a full cut. What the Hell, he was damn good.
  11. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Jim Ive done the seperate monitor mix thing a couple of times. Its ranged from nothing out of the monitors to absolutely deafening so you turn down and nothing comes out FOH.

    If you get a good un keep him, even if he's a lazy git:)
  12. I've never had any problems with sound engineers either. Then again, that might have something to do with the fact that I've only ever played in miscellaneous school performances, and we have no 'school sound guy'. :D