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The value of good sound vs. budgets


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I know these situations have been brought up a number of times but still wanted to share it. Local arts council wants sound for a highly talented act from Central CA that's costing them $1,500 for a 2-hour show. I give them a bid of $500 to do it. They say they can't afford that and will do it themselves. Then I get a call that they want to rent some equipment that is in the rider. They want 4-Senn 421's, 2-SM57's and 6 mic stands. I quote them $100.00. They decide that I'm asking too much for the mics/stands and will use whatever they can find. Show is in 6 hrs. Can't wait to hear how it went. 10-piece Tower of Power tribute act, 5-piece horn section, singer runs out through the audience on a wireless. Really don't wish them bad tidings but it looks like a recipe for a crap show. Talent at this level (and cost) should be treated better. :facepalm:

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Could you have done anything more to help them understand why stuff costs what it costs?

 

 

My bet... they wouldn't care. People get assign values in their head on what things are worth and what they are willing to spend with NO basis in reality all the time. Any attempt to calibrate them, and they think you're trying to screw 'em.

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Do-gooder non-profit types are the worst :mad:. They are either working for free and expect everyone else to be "into" their cause or drawing down obscene "stipends" and used to conning everyone else to work for free so they can take the bux home for themselves :mad: . Lest anyone forget the 13th Rule of Acquisition is "Anything worth doing is worth doing for money" :D . And if you violate that you will incur the rath of rule #285 "No good deed ever goes unpunished" :facepalm: .

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Yeah, this sort of thing happens to me a lot. Fortunately, it's been enough years and I've worked with enough of these people for them to understand that my services are worth the price... after a few trainwrecks they got themselves into.

 

I cut them a deal to help out their cause, they get a good show, and they take good care of me.

 

Nowadays the only problems I get are with these stupid "youth groups" that are have no idea what they're doing, and are unwilling to learn anything about how the world actually works.

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Hopefully the band will get there, see that they didn't meet their contract terms/rider, and split with their $1500
:lol:
. I really hate them cheap mfin' "promoters"
:mad:
. (sorry, listening to some classic Carnivore through my new buds
:rawk:
)

 

 

You like Carnivore? That rocks!

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My bet... they wouldn't care. People get assign values in their head on what things are worth and what they are willing to spend with NO basis in reality all the time. Any attempt to calibrate them, and they think you're trying to screw 'em.

 

 

You're right about that. And indeed it can be dangerous to try and educate folks who don't "get it".

 

Personally, though, lately I question how much to go through to try and get a sale of service, so I'm always wondering at what point am I a lousy sales guy for letting folks walk and at what point I'm a wise sales guy for letting folks walk. Through hard knocks, I'm getting better, but I'm always interested in what other people think...

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Someone just asked me advice about a band rider. The band (well known local band) starts playing right after a conference banquet. the band requested a meal as part of their rider.

 

So this person asks me why does the band need a meal if they're starting at 8:30 pm!!!! I try to explain that the band has a big PA and lots of personal gear and that they need to have it set up before the banquet doors open.... most likely between 5 and 6:00pm. I told them, by my estimation each musician would have to leave their house at 2 or 3:00pm and the techs would have to leave earlier still.

 

Amazing to me that I would have to explain this, but it shows how little people know about the work involved in putting on a show - and how much gear it takes.

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Regarding meals, if they start playing at 8:30, they need to be on site by 8pm, and they will need to get set up and sound checked either before folks arrive or during a break, and if food is not available on site then they need to travel and that creates additional time issues (including traffic) so generally it's just better all around for meals to be provided on site so that nobody gets stuck off site and everybody eats.

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I get people hat will call about a gig and when I tell them how much it'll be they usually tell me that they know someone else that will do it for half that price. I tell them I won't go anywhere near that price and they get all butthurt about it. I'm nice and informative to a point but I have a short temper and don't put up with bull{censored} I don't need to.

 

I much rather have half the gigs for twice the money.

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Regarding meals, if they start playing at 8:30, they need to be on site by 8pm, and they will need to get set up and sound checked either before folks arrive or during a break, and if food is not available on site then they need to travel and that creates additional time issues (including traffic) so generally it's just better all around for meals to be provided on site so that nobody gets stuck off site and everybody eats.

 

 

And that's exactly the thing, you don't want people leaving and getting lost or late. Maybe folks think the musicians will drive home and grab a peanut butter sandwich but as you point out that can be a recipe for disaster.

 

All of the gigs I do like that, meals are provided.

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If they had to do what we do then they would be glad to pay someone for a event. They don't really understand that there is more to it than just a finished Product. ( Good Show) They don't understand that there is many hours and a trailer full of stuff, wires to hook up and things to be placed and if you have stuff happen to a peice of gear then you have to track that down and if you can fix before hand then great. and let's not forget the hot temps of summertime heat all this is why we charge and we have to compensate for the repairs on the gear if something blows. So far i haven't ran into this very much. everybody has been pretty satisfied with my prices and gear and understood my point about it and some of the events that i have done have been non profit organizations . but My advice to ya man. is this . and this is what you ought to tell someone that does that again if there is a next time and i am sure there will be. If $500.00 is too much for renting great gear then you don't need my services in the first place. tell them to try to rent from someone that has the same quality of gear and see what happens i can promise you it will be more than $500.00. They must not have been wanting to meet the rider's. I remember one time when i was fronting a band, we were opening up for a artist named Deborah Allen and They got to the event. and the guy took one look at the gear and said no way we aint playing on that. and it was very professional gear , I know the guy personally that had the gear , But anyways they had to get another Sound Company to do her show and I had done a show and played on that same gear that they said no to and it sounded great to me I had a great show. So i am interested to see how this goes. I bet they will rent a 6 channel P.A. Head and a set of speakers and no subs. mainly because they dont know what they are doing.:D Stick to your guns on it and do the shows you know will pay what you ask. I always say No pay no play. GOD'S blessings to ya.

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Could you have done anything more to help them understand why stuff costs what it costs?

 

 

Early in the season, they asked me for a multiple-gig bid. I submitted my bid and they received two others from local, somewhat larger providers (only other providers around) My bid was approx. 3x cheaper and was still within my comfort zone. I ended up doing only one of the events, which with the help of JRBLE, was a huge success. Even with my best equipment and the help of a truly seasoned pro at my side, they just were not happy with the price. I've talked to them about the difference between a DJ set up and what I'm doing, they just don't see the value in it apparently.

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