Jump to content

Etiquette question


SteinbergerHack

Recommended Posts

  • Members

Back to the topic at hand:

 

I agree with wades_keys and others. If it were my PA equipment and a lead singer comes into the band and insists we use HIS choice for a soundman (along with the $250/night costs), he better give me a damn good reason why.

 

A guy I was going to have in my band last year was basically talking along similar lines. We were going to be co-lead singers, but he opted out after he realized my girlfriend and I would be running the show, not him. I told him I purchased some PA equipment which was minimal to start with, but that it sounded pretty good and was brand new and reliable.

 

He strongly suggested that we hire a sound company instead so that we could "look like rock stars." I was not interested in handing over most or all of our gig money just to look cool. I wish to be compensated for my performance and I'm not as concerned with paying someone else for the privilege. I think he caught that vibe and told me he had to decline, which worked out for the best.

 

Perhaps this lead singer is thinking along similar lines? In that case, you might need to hash out these details about where you see your band now and in the future. He might not be able to stick around for the long haul.

 

 

While I would tend to agree with the OPs position there is one thing I would like to know that no one has asked. What are YOU providing for a PA. If it is cheap garbage then maybe the singer has a valid point wanting to hire his friend with maybe a better PA.

 

 

Again, this needs to be discussed. If most of the band thinks the PA equipment that the OP is providing them (at no cost to them) is crap (Behringer, Nady, etc.), then the next step should be worked out. Upgrade the equipment eventually...rent good stuff for now...pay someone else (and let THEM set it up, as part of your hiring them). Personally, I prefer having portable but good-sounding equipment, because I am doing 80-90% of the setup. Since I'm not that strong nor fit, I don't need to break my back hauling a bunch of crap that the other band members can't (or won't) haul. Then again, I'm also not trying to play big rooms for thousands of dollars a night either, so it's all relative.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 136
  • Created
  • Last Reply
  • Members

 

While I would tend to agree with the OPs position there is one thing I would like to know that no one has asked. What are YOU providing for a PA. If it is cheap garbage then maybe the singer has a valid point wanting to hire his friend with maybe a better PA.

 

 

No, he wants his friend to run my PA (I think - he's been a bit unclear).

 

FWIW, I'm providing a pretty basic system. 24x4-ch Mackie board, 4 monitor mixes, Crown amps, dbx EQs and crossovers (31-band on all sends), Yamaha monitors and mid-highs, JBL subs, etc. Most of this stuff is less than 5 years old. It's not a touring-level rig, but it's a very decent portable club system. I think I can safely say that it's several notches above {censored}-on-a-stick with a lunchbox PA head.

 

Are there better systems available to rent? Sure, but I don't feel that we need to pay 2-3x as much for the night's sound given we have something decent in-hand.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

 

While I would tend to agree with the OPs position there is one thing I would like to know that no one has asked. What are YOU providing for a PA. If it is cheap garbage then maybe the singer has a valid point wanting to hire his friend with maybe a better PA.

 

 

He wants to hire his friend with the bands money. That would be a deal breaker in most bands that have been getting the job done with the PA the band has at its disposal for free. 250 off the top wont flush without a back lash

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

No, he wants his friend to run my PA (I think - he's been a bit unclear).


FWIW, I'm providing a pretty basic system. 24x4-ch Mackie board, 4 monitor mixes, Crown amps, dbx EQs and crossovers (31-band on all sends), Yamaha monitors and mid-highs, JBL subs, etc. Most of this stuff is less than 5 years old. It's not a touring-level rig, but it's a very decent portable club system. I think I can safely say that it's several notches above {censored}-on-a-stick with a lunchbox PA head.


Are there better systems available to rent? Sure, but I don't feel that we need to pay 2-3x as much for the night's sound given we have something decent in-hand.

 

Yeah, that system definitely sounds pretty good, as opposed to my "{censored}-on-a-stick with a lunchbox PA head" Yamaha system. ;)

 

So, the vocalist wants the band to pay this other guy $250 to run YOUR stuff...how does this make sense again? :idk:

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

I provide the PA for our band...grattus to the band. I run it from the stage OR I pick the guy who I want to run it (when we are in a big venue that running from the stage doesn't permit). I have a similar rig to the OP with 4 monitor mixes, JBL subs and up to 9kw of FOH power with trailer, lights (led) and hazer.

 

If someone had a problem with the sound, I'd be very open to listening to the solution...but NOT at all open to a unilateral change made by a non-invested band mate.

 

BTW, you mentioned in the original post that someone took an additional cut for booking/admin duty. I'd take offense at that too. I mean you are providing a quantifiable resource to the band that saves them $250+ a night. When I worked with an agent, they got 15%. If you make a grand a night that's only $150 a night value to the band and he's getting an extra bump in pay? Seems kinda lop sided to me.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members
No, he wants his friend to run my PA (I think - he's been a bit unclear).


FWIW, I'm providing a pretty basic system. 24x4-ch Mackie board, 4 monitor mixes, Crown amps, dbx EQs and crossovers (31-band on all sends), Yamaha monitors and mid-highs, JBL subs, etc. Most of this stuff is less than 5 years old. It's not a touring-level rig, but it's a very decent portable club system. I think I can safely say that it's several notches above {censored}-on-a-stick with a lunchbox PA head.


Are there better systems available to rent? Sure, but I don't feel that we need to pay 2-3x as much for the night's sound given we have something decent in-hand.

OK I must have mis read something somewhere.:confused: I thought his friend OWNED his own PA. For most bar bands your PA would be fine. I would suggest finding out if the singers friend mixes for other bands. If so talk to them or go see him in action. Maybe he is really good or maybe not. Anyway it is your rig so I agree you should decide who runs it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

I'd put this before your band ( and do not know why you haven't before ).

The PA ( yours ) is not free anymore. The band as a whole business, will pay you something per gig for using it, no matter who operates it. You could take as little as $25.00 or more, depending on you and the quality of the system. I would not let the band use it for free. If something breaks or blows, it will be you paying to fix it. If they balk at this idea, then consider renting your PA out to others, with you as the operator. You probably could make as much as you are as a member of your band when you gig. Then let the band figure out how they want to solve their sound system needs. It appears to me the singer is being dictatorial in his demands. If it's a democracy, put it to vote. But you still retain the sole determination of how YOUR property is to be used. I mean, it's yours. You should have final say. Not in how the band sounds, but how your property is used.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

bad enough bass players are so desperate to get work they have to own the pa to do so, but to actually let them choose the soundman? the bass player? next thing you know you'll be telling me a sound tech is effectively another member of the band.

 

cheesh!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

I may have a unique perspective on this because I have been the main lead singer in the bands I've been in and I have supplied the PA for the same reasons the OP has (control over quality and availability, minimize overall band hassle, etc.).

 

The OP clearly has every right to control who touches his gear, and to set the terms under which it is offered for band use. He'll just have to accept that his changing the terms is likely to bother at least some of those who have been taking it for granted.

 

As a singer, it is critical that you have adequate monitoring if you care about how you sound. If the singer is not satisfied with the monitors, you need to make every effort to solve that problem. Beyond that, he's getting out of his unique area of input.

 

What the FOH system sounds like (mix, quality, volume, etc.) is the band's business, not uniquely his. In my opinion a bar or party band playing through a system like yours should largely be setting and forgetting the monitor mixes by shortly after the first song. If your current tech gets this done to the singer's reasonable satisfaction, the singer has no business try to dictate that you employ his buddy with what I'm guessing is often 50% of the band's total fee.

 

My suggestion is to have a whole band meeting, even if the others want to stay out of it. Explain that the singer has proposed replacing your current tech at a significant increased cost, and THE BAND has some decisions to make. Tell the singer he needs to get specific with his complaints then and there, and don't give him any hints. If he doesn't mention his monitor mix/sound/volume, submit to the band the question of whether they see the need to replace your current tech at a price increase because of whatever issues he identifies. My guess is they'll all say no. If he focuses on the monitors, ask him if he has made those specific complaints to the current tech. My guess is he'll say no or hem and haw. Again, ask the band if they want to replace the current tech at a price increase without giving the tech a proper chance to solve the monitor problem. However, if he does have legitimate specific complaints about the monitors, you need to solve them.

 

My guess is this may end up solving your problem one way or another, and you won't have to get into changing your terms for supplying the PA. The singer will either get his problem identified and solved, or he'll end up making it clear he's just trying to get his buddy a lucrative job in place of your current tech at the band's expense.

 

Good luck.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

If I was some dumbass bass player in a band where the egomaniac lead singer and the avuncular PA-supplier were in a pissing match, I'd wait for it to blow over. If I found out that the lead singer's plan put a $75 dent in my take-home, I'd kick his dog.

 

I'm fairly well edumacated, but I had to look up "avuncular" to see if you were insulting the OP as well as the singer.:)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

bad enough bass players are so desperate to get work they have to own the pa to do so, but to actually let them choose the soundman? the bass player?

 

:lol:

 

..except for the fact that I am the guitarist, not the bass player. :wave:

 

Steinberger didn't just make 4-strings....

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

 

My suggestion is to have a whole band meeting, even if the others want to stay out of it. Explain that the singer has proposed replacing your current tech at a significant increased cost, and THE BAND has some decisions to make.

 

 

Basically this. But with a little coaching.

 

You can't control the band, you can only tell them what parameters within which you will operate. So I'd call a band meeting and say something like:

 

"The singer has proposed replacing the current tech, and so the BAND has a decision to make. I'm cool with whatever you guys want to do, but at the same time I have some expensive gear to worry about. What I am willing to do is let the band use my gear for free, as long as I have final say on who uses it, because I have to be comfortable that my investment is going to be protected. Under any other conditions, I would have to charge a rental fee to cover possible damages."

 

This lets them know that you are trying to be as flexible as possible, but at the same time, you have to protect your investment. You are not telling them what they MUST do, you are simply stating what YOU are going to do, and allowing them to make the decisions within that framework.

 

Just my 2c. A lot of time the way you frame a response goes a long way to getting good results without anyone getting insulted.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

I think it's a control issue. You say your particular about sound....but who isn't? I guess the singer is too. The singer is unhappy with the sound guy perhaps, or maybe he just wants to get his buddy(who he will have more influence over) a gig. I think a singer has to rely on a sound guy more than a guitarist. I'd hate to be a singer fronting a band and feel uncomfortable with the sound coming out of the monitors. A guitarist creates his sound with his amp. Of course you want a good monitor mix, but hopefully everyone can have their own. A singer, especially a less experienced one, is dependant on the sound guy. It's clear from your post you want to control the issue, and frankly, I don't think that's warranted unless the other guys are ok with it.

 

I agree it's your call who operates your gear period. Nobody else should have a say. The singer is an idiot to think he can dictate who runs your gear. But it is a group, and if the members don't like your guy, they need to get another one with his own pa. Personally, for 50.00 or so less(your share of the other solution) I'd leave my pa at home. I don't see how it's worth hauling pa, paying for it's upkeep, etc. for 50.00

I think it was a mistake for you to bring your pa to the party for no money while the band is paying another member for promo......that's what put you in this pickle.

 

 

 

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....

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

I think it's a control issue. You say your particular about sound....but who isn't? I guess the singer is too. The singer is unhappy with the sound guy perhaps, or maybe he just wants to get his buddy(who he will have more influence over) a gig. I think a singer has to rely on a sound guy more than a guitarist.

 

To clarify even a bit more - I also sing lead on a few songs, and sing harmonies on just about everything we do. I agree that the lead singer has to rely on the monitors, but the rest of the singers need them to be right as well.

 

Of course you want a good monitor mix, but hopefully everyone can have their own.

 

That's why I'm providing multiple independent mixes (see post above).

 

Personally, for 50.00 or so less(your share of the other solution) I'd leave my pa at home. I don't see how it's worth hauling pa, paying for it's upkeep, etc. for 50.00

I think it was a mistake for you to bring your pa to the party for no money while the band is paying another member for promo......that's what put you in this pickle.

 

You make a good point here. OTOH, I brought the PA in because I really hate having a night of bad sound/bad monitors/bad attitude, and all the other myriad problems attendant with rented sound. I can't count the number of nights I've gone home with no voice left because the sound guy refused to properly EQ and/or mix the monitors - or the guy just brought junk. Over the years, I've had far more bad experiences with rental or house sound than good experiences; the really good sound guys generally aren't the ones running medium-sized club gigs, and they are very rarely the guys renting out gear for small clubs.

 

In fact, the last time I worked a club gig with rented sound, when I asked the guy if he could add a bit of edge in the 2-3K range, he responded with "Oh, I left the EQs in my truck - do you think you guys really need EQ for the monitors?"

 

:facepalm:

 

[This is not to say that you can't find a good for-hire sound solution. It is however, to say that in a price range that makes sense for small-to-medium club gigs, there are a lot of posers - just like the instrumentalists.]

 

It would really tick me off to have a gig ruined by a bad rental experience when I've got a perfectly good system sitting at home....life is too short.

 

I can also foresee what will happen down the road if we started to work with a good rental guy on a regular basis. The first time he has a conflict, the band will want me to bring my gear......and we're back to square one.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

 


Amazing. This thread is everything I'm trying NOT to have happen.


 

 

I say you call a band meeting, and just lay it out there.

Get the others in the band to have your back, and just simply tell the singer "no".

 

He'll get all indignant, to be sure. But at that point, you nail him down, and ask him why he wants to change to an unknown quantity, while also taking a huge cut out of everybody's pay for that unknown quantity.

 

If he has a great explaination, tell him that you'll "take it under consideration".

 

You might agree to a one-shot deal, where the band tries this guy.

If it sounds great, maybe you use him.

If it doesn't sound better than what you've already got, then you tell the singer he had his shot, and didn't measure up.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

 

I gotta ask: why do you think a vote is required in this case, and why do you think that a firm NO is not adequate?

 

Not required.

I suggested it simply as a means to calmly deal with the situation, and smooth any ruffled feathers.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.




×
×
  • Create New...