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Etiquette question


SteinbergerHack

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Background: I am a long-time player in a relatively new band that's only played a few gigs so far. I am providing the PA equipment (at no cost to the band), and another member is providing the booking and marketing material (at shared cost). The lead singer is fairly new at the "band thing".

 

Here's the issue: The lead singer has decided that he wants to "select" the sound man, as he is unhappy with our existing tech. I have yet to hear a real reason why, but it's clear that he's not happy. From the gigs we've played, though, I see no reason for this - we've had decent FOH sound, no feedback issues, and pretty good monitor mixes. Given the short time we've been together and the few shows we've used the sound guy for, I am really quite happy with what we've gotten. I suspect that there is a communication issue here, but I have yet to see it directly.

 

From my perspective, I am very particular about sound. A sound tech is effectively another member of the band, and how they use and treat the PA is comparable to the way in which an instrumentalist plays their instrument. Having dealt with a LOT of sound men over the years, I find that I will only be happy with about 20% of them, and it takes time to fiind out how a particular individual operates - and this process often results in a disastrous gig. I have a good rapport with the person we have been using, and I trust him to give us what we ask for, and to respect my equipment. From my perspective, I don't think we should take a chance on an unknown sound tech unless we have no other choice.

 

Here's the rub: I feel that since I own the sound equipment, I have the final say in who operates it - or at least veto rights. While I understand and agree that everyone should have input into the selection, I don't feel that I should be forced to accept anyone that I am not comfortable with, regardless of the feelings of any other band member. OTOH, the lead singer feels that HE should have the final say, and that my ownership of the gear carries no weight.

 

I am very close to the point of simply pulling my gear and telling the rest of the band that they need to rent a PA from now on, but I have a feeling that this would be seen as being petty. On top of that, I really don't want to be paying for rental equipment when I have a perfectly good system sitting at home.

 

I'm looking for any useful input or perspective. Frankly, I'm surprised that this is happening to me for the first time - but in over 20 years of playing, I've never run into this sort of thing before....

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I disagree that you are in charge of sound because you own the equipment. The decision should be a band decision.

 

Does your band have a leader? Or do you vote democratically?

 

You really need to address these political issues, so everybody understands who is in charge and how such decisions are made.

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I disagree that you are in charge of sound because you own the equipment. The decision should be a band decision.


Does your band have a leader? Or do you vote democratically?


You really need to address these political issues, so everybody understands who is in charge and how such decisions are made.

That's stupid - he invested in the equipment, and no one else.

 

Democracy my ass.....

 

See how democratic things get when something breaks....

 

I'm with the OP - he made the investment, it's his gear - his responsibility - his call - bottom line.

 

If the band wants a democratic sound situation, they need to all fork over some cash and buy a band PA. :idea:

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I disagree that you are in charge of sound because you own the equipment. The decision should be a band decision.

 

 

Seriously?

 

OK, if I weren't providing the gear, we would be paying an additional $200-300/night - i.e., it would take $50-75/night out of each guys' pay. Would it be fair for me to simply charge a rental fee?

 

 

Does your band have a leader? Or do you vote democratically?

 

 

Basically democratic.

 

 

You really need to address these political issues, so everybody understands who is in charge and how such decisions are made.

 

 

Agreed, but: Let's assume that someone else provided a large truck to haul everyone's gear. Would it be OK for me to insist that I get to select the driver for their truck? Seriously?

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Keep the sound tech and can the singer:D. Why don't you make a list of things the sound tech is doing good and have the lead singer make a list of his sound tech complaints . Maybe then you can hash out the problems .

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The owner of the gear has the say in who he allows to use and operate it. While it would be cool if the band could come to an agreement over this, in the end, the guy that supplies the equipment has the final say as to who operates it. And if the singer cannot specify exactly why a change is needed, then his opinion is hardly valid.

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Wow....Wades, been a while since I really agreed with you :poke: ;)

 

 

But I do. :thu:

 

I do think just pulling the gear would seem petty, but in the end it is your $$ being used. You can suggest that if everyone feels the same way then perhaps the entire band could chip in on band gear, or they could buy yours.

 

I am also with Wades in that running sound from the stage could be a viable solution. If the rooms you are playing aren't all that big you could probably get comporable results.

 

Although, it is nice to have that extra set of hands to schlep gear.

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That's stupid - he invested in the equipment, and no one else.


Democracy my ass.....


See how democratic things get when something breaks....


I'm with the OP - he made the investment, it's his gear - his responsibility - his call - bottom line.


If the band wants a democratic sound situation, they need to all fork over some cash and buy a band PA.
:idea:

 

 

:thu: I agree with your comment to can the soundman and run sound from the stage. No soundman ,, no debate on who the soundman is. More money for the band and they are forced to learn a necessary skill. Running sound from the stage.

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Personally, I say let the singer pick a soundguy (so long as that soundguy doesn't cost any more AND he provides his own gear). Less stuff for you to lug around!
:)

 

The guy he wants to use can/will bring his own gear....for $250/night more than our current solution.

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The guy he wants to use can/will bring his own gear....for $250/night more than our current solution.

 

 

sounds more like a politics question than an etiquette question

 

 

 

I mean with the veto, I think you've got to make it clear to the band that it's a technical veto

an "I'm not confident in his ability to safely operate the equipment"

instead of "I don't like the way he makes things sound"

 

It's a clear reason and it puts the burden not on the aesthetics (which could be more of a band decision being you are a democracy) but on the costs of risk to the equipment.

 

but keep the soundguy using his own gear as an option option for the band to consider

 

so then if they want to go with the soundguy using his gear option they can.

If they want to find a different soundguy (maybe you!) that you can be comfortable with in terms of safe operation - then you can go that way

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Seriously?


OK, if I weren't providing the gear, we would be paying an additional $200-300/night - i.e., it would take $50-75/night out of each guys' pay. Would it be fair for me to simply charge a rental fee?


Basically democratic.


Agreed, but: Let's assume that someone else provided a large truck to haul everyone's gear. Would it be OK for me to insist that I get to select the driver for their truck? Seriously?

 

Seriously. You asked, I answered.

 

Your band is democratic, so propose a vote. Indicate that if the vote goes against your wishes, you might pull your equipment. This allows all members to have their say. That's how democracy works. If you want to force things to go your way, then your band is not a democracy, it's an anarchy, and that could spell trouble down the road.

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Your band is democratic, so propose a vote. Indicate that if the vote goes against your wishes, you might pull your equipment. This allows all members to have their say. That's how democracy works. If you want to force things to go your way, then your band is not a democracy, it's an anarchy, and that could spell trouble down the road.

 

 

Maybe I wasn't clear - this isn't an issue of the rest of the band "democratically" pushing me into something, it's the singer wanting to force HIS opinion on everyone else - with my equipment. I've already made it clear that I'm willing to "audition" another sound tech (i.e., meet him, watch him run a gig for someone else, talk with him about techniques, etc.), but I do insist on veto rights. The singer, OTOH, is basically saying that we have to use HIS friend, whom I have never met (and I don't think the rest of the band knows this guy, either).

 

I could pull the "band vote" thing, but I'm pretty sure it would look like I staged it against him. I don't want to cause the band to split, so I'm not sure that's the best option - at least not yet.

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Maybe I wasn't clear - this isn't an issue of the rest of the band "democratically" pushing me into something, it's the singer wanting to force HIS opinion on everyone else -


The singer, OTOH, is basically saying that we have to use HIS friend, whom I have never met (and I don't think the rest of the band knows this guy, either).


I could pull the "band vote" thing, but I'm pretty sure it would look like I staged it against him. I don't want to cause the band to split, so I'm not sure that's the best option - at least not yet.

 

 

Then you don't have a democracy, you have a (cryptoautocratic) dictatorship

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Then you don't have a democracy, you have a (cryptoautocratic) dictatorship

 

Politics has nothing to do with this.

 

It's a question of fiscal responsibility.

 

They're getting the use of the PA for FREE, they have no room at all to start calling shots in this area.

 

I'd probably tell the joker to buy his own goddamn PA, let the band use it for FREE, and at that point he can have more say in things.

 

And oh yeah, "we" the democratic band are depending on this PA, so when something breaks, YOU can get it repaired on your own dime.

 

Democracy in these situations is a thin cover for those that are getting something for nothing: put up or shut up I say.

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