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Are all split shows this bad?

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  • Are all split shows this bad?

    Last night at the benefit had my band follow the previous band . 12 bands for two nights, When our band finished our set our drummer said he could not hear the lead or rhythm guitar thru his drum monitor. I told our drummer to tell the sound man to turn up the lead and guitar rhythm in his drum monitor. Our drummer said the drum monitor was off our entire set and the previous band that played before had turned the drum monitor off. Why did the soundman have no monitor mix coming thru the drum monitor? Our drummer said it was a guessing game since he could not hear us and he guessed on the chord changes. How many have you had experiences with bad sound men? I will drill them and ask them questions before they mix our band again. They may think I am rude trying to tell them their job. But if they suck at their job they make us suck.
    Last edited by chord123; 08-06-2017, 02:02 PM.

  • #2
    You get what you pay for.

    And doing big multi-band shows --- especially "benefits" where it's mostly a bunch of local bands playing for free? The sound men have little or no chance to know what every band wants or needs, or is able to provide it in the amount of time allotted, or cares. 12 bands in 2 nights is a lot of work.

    On a not-very-related note, but I was reminded: I went to see Hall and Oates and Tears For Fears a couple of weeks ago. Tears For Fears sounded GREAT. Great mix in an arena setting which, as we all know, often don't sound good. I got seats near the soundboard as, if I can't afford to sit up close (crazy what ticket prices are these days....), I like to be where you think the sound is going to be good. And they delivered.

    So then Hall and Oates comes on. Wait 30-45 minutes as they change out the stage for a bigger show. I figure they should sound AWESOME considering how good the first band sounded. But they didn't. Sounded like someone had put a blanket over the entire mix and the vocals sounded like I was listening to just the effects send. Way too echoey/reverby and buried in the mix. Even when Daryl was talking between songs. And I'm looking over at the sound guys and they are high-fiving each other between songs. First time in my life I was tempted to go over and try and tell the soundman how to do his job. (One that wasn't working for me, anyway.)

    So yeah. Even the biggest pros can screw it up, have a bad night, or just have vastly different ideas of what a 'good mix' is.
    ______________

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    • #3
      If the previous band turned the monitor off (??!), then the sound man may very well have not known it was off. He's not a mind reader. What did he say after the first song, when you guys told him that the drummer couldn't hear?

      Guido - your description sure sounds like that's what you were listening to! I actually made that error once, I didn't route the lead vocalist to the vocals sub group. The band sounded like crap until somebody told me and I walked out front. I hate doing sound from stage for that reason.
      Do daemons dream of electric sleep()?

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      • #4
        The best thing you can do when playing multiple band shows is to bring your A game and have a really good stage mix. Give them something to work with.
        "you mess with him and you mess with the whole trailer park"

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        • #5
          I have trouble with the drummer went the entire set blind. Nobody noticed?
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          • #6
            To answer your question: I can't say ALL split shows are that bad, but it is not uncommon. I can't tell you the number of times I've come off a stage at a festival or concert series and been told "you guys played great! Too bad we couldn;t hear _________." It's just the nature of it, I guess. The good news is, in the grand scheme of things, the effect on your life isn't going to make a hill of beans. The audience, if they noticed at all, was over it by the time the next band started, and I can all but guarantee you no one was driving home that night thinking "did you hear how the drummer in that third band flubbed that break in the 4th song of their set? "

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            • #7
              We played a local bar during a multi-day music conference, the place was packed with not only musicians but talent scouts as well. We knew one was there specifically to see us, and he came with 4 others who we could only assume were also in the biz. No pressure!

              We were band #4 out of 5, and I went to the sound guy to have my usual chat, please set my level and don't adjust it after that, I use a volume pedal because I play very dynamically and fall under and over the mix based on the different songs. Pretty simple instruction. So long as I can hear myself in the monitor, I can judge and adjust. He seemed a bit buzzed, or well on his way to drunk town, he was slurping down something on the rocks, but told me no problem, he has me covered.

              We go up, he sets the levels quickly and we're off. I'm under the mix intentionally, playing clean, it's primarily a piano song. I noticed he pushed me up in the mix.. argh. Come song two.. I come in hot with distortion, and BOOM, it was like turning a marshall up to 11 in a bathroom, I mean, through the monitors, all anyone in the band could hear was me.. I look up and he's not even paying attention, he's chatting with a group of people with a drink in each hand. We had to play out the song, and hail him through the mic at the end, he turned me down a little, enough to still say I was at volume 10, and for the remainder of the set I kept backing down my volume pedal, and he kept jacking me up in the mix.

              Because the monitors were so badly mixed, all guitar (me) and everything else drowned, we of course were distracted, annoyed, and played like crap. We could see our failure on the talent scouts' face from the beginning. He and his pals all left about 4 songs in. We never heard from them again.

              Needless to say, I went to the sound guy after our set, and of course he was drunk as it gets, and threatened to kick his ass in the parking lot. My band subdued and calmed me. The sound guy was oblivious and didn't understand why I was so infuriated.
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              • #8
                I've had great sound men, some decent ones, and one horror show. The horror show actually chopped the fiddle (Lead instrument!) out of the mix entirely because he couldn't ring out the feedback. I finally had him just cut the fiddlers monitor, I won't play there again.
                http://thekiltlifters.com

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