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Do you play with PA moochers?

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  • Do you play with PA moochers?

    Sometimes I get tired of being the owner of the PA. I don't own many pieces, but I tried to buy good quality stuff and stretched myself financially to do it.

    But we could use a couple of good powered monitors, and my suggestions about each person should maybe provide their own we're rebuffed by my partners. Not shy about wanting things mixed better for them though.

    Just get a little tired of loading and unloading all the gear at home before and after gigs alone in addition to my personal instruments and sundries. Others just have to bring their own instrument. They do help with set up and tear down at gigs themselves.

    I know it's partially my fault for not saying things over the last few years. But they are grown ups and decent, well-raised adults as well.

  • #2

    I hear you... 

    I have had the same issue with my few yearly donated sound gigs...I just get taken for granted.

    A scenerio / suggestion: buy a kicking powered monitor for your mix....maybe you'd have to sell the current ones that you own and are currently using with the band (....heck, they're yours anyway) to fund the purchase......when your bandmates ask about their mix you can suggest that they follow suit.

    Sometimes being a bit selfish will open some eyes...

    or Maybe I'm just cranky.... I just shoveled out of 20" of snow!

     

    Mike M

    Comment


    • Bobby1Note
      Bobby1Note commented
      Editing a comment

      I know the feeling all too well, but that's often how it is when you're playing with non-professionals,.With those people, you either do it and suck it up, or you call it quits. Not everyone will share your enthusiasm for gear, and sound-quality.

      I play with a lot of hobbyists, and most of those guys are 15-20 years younger than me. Many of them don't have a pot-to-piss-in, let alone afford gear for back-yard jams and such. Many of them struggle to get through the month, and those with steady incomes, often have different priorities and family obligations.

      When I started buying gear, it was with full recognition that this was "my" priority, and I'm confortable with that. I make things happen, that wouldn't otherwise proceed if the gear wasn't there. Only the guys who play for money, show up with their own gear; and most of the time, that gear is nothing to write home about.

      One of the guys I play with, used to play clubs in Montreal when he was young (25 years ago). He's a very talented guy, and he still receives royalty cheques for stuff he's written and sold over the years. Unfortunately, that guy has no job, and he's a drunk. A "falling down" drunk. He often has to pawn his guitars, just to get through the month. He's aked me to lend him gear, so he can go make a few bucks playing in bars and restaurants, and I simply say no. I simply have no confidence that he would return my gear, because I know he'll get loaded, and someone could grab that gear when he's not looking, then I'm out,,,, not him. He'd never be able to replace that gear. That said; I love playing with this guy. We're incredibly well-suited to sing harmony together, and we both like and play  much of the same music. So you see,,, I DO get "something" out of it.

      It's really tough, putting a band together,,,,and keeping the band together,,, and having everybody on the same page, with the same priorities. You've got to look at yourself, and your situation, and determine whether it's worth your while. Situations evolve, and who knows, maybe down the road you'll evolve in a different direction,,,, like becoming a sound-provider for "working/paying" musicians..


  • #3
    ChiroVette I hope they help loading in and out at the gig.

    With the new gear, increase the bands price by $100/gig and have that go to you as a bit extra for PA. I don't know what your per man share is. But it increased with the sound guy being out of the picture. Bumping up $100 if you can wont affect the others bottom line.
    NO SIGNATURE FOR YOU!!

    Comment


    • Audiopile
      Audiopile commented
      Editing a comment

      StratGuy22 wrote:
      ChiroVette I hope they help loading in and out at the gig.

      With the new gear, increase the bands price by $100/gig and have that go to you as a bit extra for PA. I don't know what your per man share is. But it increased with the sound guy being out of the picture. Bumping up $100 if you can wont affect the others bottom line.

      I'm thinking either you're drunk texting, or I'm drunk reading.... eitherwise nothing is making sense here.


  • #4
    I'm thinking either you're drunk texting, or I'm drunk reading.... eitherwise nothing is making sense here.
    -----------------------------------
    Basically I didn't know how much an extra share is.

    My band, I only charge $100 on top of my normal split for bringing the sound gear. But everyone helps load in, set up and tear down. So there's lots of help.
    NO SIGNATURE FOR YOU!!

    Comment


    • RoadRanger
      RoadRanger commented
      Editing a comment

      An extra share for the PA and lights with everyone helping seems to be the going rate - I was charging that 30 years ago (plus we paid two roadies who also pushed faders and ran the lights). On good nights it's decent and you can add to the maintenance/upgrade fund and on bad nights or charity gigs you don't. Also a good idea to pay whoever gets the gig 10% off the top to motivate them (not for follow-on gigs booked with no further effort).


    • Audiopile
      Audiopile commented
      Editing a comment

      StratGuy22 wrote:
      Basically I didn't know how much an extra share is.

      My band, I only charge $100 on top of my normal split for bringing the sound gear. But everyone helps load in, set up and tear down. So there's lots of help.

      Ah-so.  Thanks for the additional clarification... although... well:  After a good night's sleep, everything's making more sense.

      Yes, I completely agree:  Value adding the product should increase it's marketability and market value.

      I'm the non-singing bass player (read that: production gear person) in our band.  We're doing a division of labor thing, where I'm largely responsible (purchase, mantainance, transportation & storage wise) for the band's production gear.  Another member of the band is largely responsible for promotion & booking.  Another member is largely responsible for stage attire, props, making sure everybody's got a set-list at the gig, etc...  Another member supplies the nicely approtioned practice room (and beverages during practice).  We all help each other as need be... and all take an equal cut.


  • #5

    I'm mainly playing in a duo now, where I own all the PA gear, and I handle our Web site. My partner is the business guy... he finds us gigs, he gets deposits for wedding bookings, and makes sure we don't leave the gig without a check or cash. I can handle the business side if I had to, but my partner has a real talent for it. I'll glady supply the PA in return for not having to think about the money side.

    Now, if it was a larger band, the arrangements would probably be different because there aren't any other roles as critical as either handling the business side, or providing the PA. If we ever expand to a larger band, I'd probably move to a "PA gets its own cut" approach, to offset maintenance and upgrades. And maybe a booking fee for the guy handling the band business. The rest of the band members only have to show up, and play. And help schlep the gear, but that's basically assumed, in any band I've been in.

     

    Comment


    • Tomm Williams
      Tomm Williams commented
      Editing a comment

      Guess I'm lucky on this one. I own all the gear and get plenty of help setting up and tearing down. Everyone has learned a section to take care of and they do it. I don't care about extra $$$$ because the playing is way more important than the green.


  • #6
    Is he dead now?
    NO SIGNATURE FOR YOU!!

    Comment


    • Dogoth
      Dogoth commented
      Editing a comment

      Do I play with PA moochers?

       

      I used to. Back in the 80s I had a sound production company (which provided us a rehearsal space), owned the truck, was the drummer...........Man was I stupid :-).

      Since I had partners in the company (whom also played & rehearsed there), we finaly settled on a token sum for PA rental (which came off the top of the pay before dividing it up). It usualy was something like $50 - $75 (1980's dollars). If the gig didn't pay well, it'd be less but it was there at least as a reminder of where the equipment came from. The band was also collectively liable for any damage.

       

      The band I play in now (which rarely gigs) uses the guitarists PA (mostly). I have much better equipment but no way to move it :-). It lives in a trailer and only gets unloaded/loaded once per gig. The practice PA is a seperate installed affair. Since he provides this for free, we all try and chip in with the loadin/out.


  • #7

    In the bands I've played in, the guy that owns the PA gets a bigger cut of the money. In fact, in one band, one of the other band members quit becuase he had a pa but we never used it. He didn't like the guy with the pa we used getting a bigger cut.

    Comment


    • #8

      Something that worked really great for one band I was in was a "points" system. The way it worked was the dollars were divided up by points. An example:

       

      Four band members play four instruments. Then there is also a PA.

       

      You bring yourself: 1 point.

      You bring an instrument: 1 point.

      You bring the PA: 1 point.

      Four members with one instrument each and one pa equals 9 points.

       

      So imagine a gig that pays $900 for the above band. Every member brings their own instrument plus one member brings his pa. That is a total of nine points, so each point is worth $100. Each member would get two $100 points, or, $200. The guy that brought the PA would get his two points for bringing himself and his instrument, plus a point for the band using his PA, for $300.

      As you can see, if the band gigs a lot, the guy who owns the pa will get it paid for in short order. And once it's paid for, it's pure profit AND he gets his PA paid for.

      That's why the guy in my band that had a pa that we never used quit.

       

      Comment


      • RoadRanger
        RoadRanger commented
        Editing a comment

        Easy Listener wrote:

        As you can see, if the band gigs a lot, the guy who owns the pa will get it paid for in short order. And once it's paid for, it's pure profit AND he gets his PA paid for.

         

        Simple math shows a rather cheap $10K PA taking 100 gigs to pay off - hardly "short order". Then there's upgrades, replacing "missing" cables, transport, etc...

    • #9

      My son (& his highschool aged rockband) is going through similar growing pains.

      As a musician and sound provider, I have let my son use one of my yorkville tx rigs for their free shows.  He can set things up without my assistance and for the most part he is pretty responsible. 

      During a recent band meeting the boys discussed $ and it was suggested (by the vocalist...) that whatever the gig pay is, it should be split evenly amongst the band members.  Since my son (the drummer) brings the PA he thought that it may be a bit unfair due to the fact that my son brings the PA plus his drums and the vocalist just "shows up" (the vocalist doesn't even own his own mic).

      My son asked me what I get to provide a club rig for a band and he said that he'd ask for that.....  basically, since kid bands do not get paid much (as they are starting out) he would end up taking the whole night's pay....  I told him that scenerio doesn't work in a band situation.   His answer, "well then, I won't bring the PA and just show up with my drums"....also not a good idea.

      I do not want to say much (he won't listen to me anyway) as he needs to work out the dynamics of being a member of a band. (Good practice for married life - lol.) 

      When I gigged the club/wedding circuit (80's-mid 90's) in most of the bands the lead vocalist (& leader of the band) brought the PA ( 2 speakers on sticks and maybe one monitor) which was not elaborate by any means but was sufficient.

      IMO: a PA owned by the band is a bad idea, but, individual band members owning seperate components of a complete system is the way to go.  That way, if the guitarist leaves, he/she can take the component with him/her or the band can "buy him/her out". 

      When I started contracting bands for clubs/weddings I brought the PA as I was the leader.  I took some $ off the top for contracting the gig anyway and no-one else in the band complained.  Being responsible for the gig and the rig got old really fast.  I used to look forward to playing sax with other bands as a sideman....no responsibility other than to play.

      Mike M

       

       

      Comment


      • Bobby1Note
        Bobby1Note commented
        Editing a comment

        delete. double post.

         


         


      • Bobby1Note
        Bobby1Note commented
        Editing a comment

        Mike M wrote:

        My son (& his highschool aged rockband) is going through similar growing pains.

        As a musician and sound provider, I have let my son use one of my yorkville tx rigs for their free shows.  He can set things up without my assistance and for the most part he is pretty responsible. 

        During a recent band meeting the boys discussed $ and it was suggested (by the vocalist...) that whatever the gig pay is, it should be split evenly amongst the band members.  Since my son (the drummer) brings the PA he thought that it may be a bit unfair due to the fact that my son brings the PA plus his drums and the vocalist just "shows up" (the vocalist doesn't even own his own mic).

        My son asked me what I get to provide a club rig for a band and he said that he'd ask for that.....  basically, since kid bands do not get paid much (as they are starting out) he would end up taking the whole night's pay....  I told him that scenerio doesn't work in a band situation.   His answer, "well then, I won't bring the PA and just show up with my drums"....also not a good idea.

        I do not want to say much (he won't listen to me anyway) as he needs to work out the dynamics of being a member of a band. (Good practice for married life - lol.) 

        When I gigged the club/wedding circuit (80's-mid 90's) in most of the bands the lead vocalist (& leader of the band) brought the PA ( 2 speakers on sticks and maybe one monitor) which was not elaborate by any means but was sufficient.

        IMO: a PA owned by the band is a bad idea, but, individual band members owning seperate components of a complete system is the way to go.  That way, if the guitarist leaves, he/she can take the component with him/her or the band can "buy him/her out". 

        When I started contracting bands for clubs/weddings I brought the PA as I was the leader.  I took some $ off the top for contracting the gig anyway and no-one else in the band complained.  Being responsible for the gig and the rig got old really fast.  I used to look forward to playing sax with other bands as a sideman....no responsibility other than to play.

        Mike M

         

         


        I dunno if that's such a bad idea after-all. That would immediately eliminate any discussion over whether or not the P/A is a separate entity. Maybe charge a token amount, and everybody agree to set-up and tear down too. Most would have no idea about the "worth" of a hi-end P/A like that TX rig would be, and they'd probably be just as happy with a JRX rig,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,until they hear the difference that is. Those kids are VERY lucky to have a rig like that at their disposal.


    • #10
      It does add up for sure. I was in a three piece band a couple of years ago. I would take $100.00 off the top, (so in essence I was paying $33.33 to rent my own PA). For that money I provided Two Unity U15's for FOH, one Unity U15 for a drum monitor, one LS608 for a sub, Yorkville power amp for sub and drum monitor, two NX350's for vocal monitors and a Yorkville PM16 powered mixer (with four internal power amps). Plus stands, cables, mics, crossover and so on. Sometimes I went with a MixWiz and processing and amps, but usually the powered mixer was more than enough because it was 2 x 800 watts for the mains.
      The above quick and dirty PA comes out to over $11,500 including tax. Just the three Unity U15's alone would be $4200.00 tax in (exactly) if I had to purchase new. And all this without any special gear or fancy speakers with DSP etc.
      Yep, it adds up. And it would take over a hundred gigs to pay for it. More than that if I didn't include my share. And as you said RR, that doesn't include the abuse my Ford Escape would take, or the gas.....
      Now I'm thinking a box mixer with a couple of JRX ain't so bad after all!
      -------------------------------

      I started off on a similar route.

      2 U15's
      2 LS800p's
      PM16
      Mics
      Stands
      Cables

      I think it was around the $12k mark to get the ball rolling. Then I would rent monitors and a snake for gigs. It got to the point where it made sense to buy monitors and a snake so I did, and its just gone from there.

      I did a quick tally, with gear, lights, and the trailer.

      Lets just say if I was married, I probably wouldn't be if she found out.

      But I'm not, so it's all good!

      NO SIGNATURE FOR YOU!!

      Comment


      • Audiopile
        Audiopile commented
        Editing a comment

        StratGuy22 wrote:
        Lets just say if I was married, I probably wouldn't be if she found out.

        I'll suggest it depends on the spouse.  Some (or at least one that I know of) would likely be 100% supportive... so-long as the business plan could be MOL explained... and even if the business plan wasn't much more than a blank stare into space... she'd still probably understand.


    • #11
      My wife gets to stay at home with the kids due to the money she makes by booking DJ's and dealing with brides. She's fine with gear buying.

      Comment


      • #12
        Actually I was married when I bought the original gear. But it was so we could do sound for our kids band, at all ages shows.

        She was a pretty good ex-wife.

        NO SIGNATURE FOR YOU!!

        Comment


        • Mike M
          Mike M commented
          Editing a comment

          She was a pretty good ex-wife.



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