I was asked to do a piece on how to set up small and large sounds systems, but I figured that if you can't set the damn thing up you sure couldn’t operate the crap either. Instead, I decided to start with the thing that makes the noise. Yes, you muszoids!!! (muszoid: sound man slang for musicians) The overly loud crappy tone guitar, uneven keyboard patches, badly tuned drums and screaming cat lead vocalist.
You know who you are out there. You are the ones who should resign yourselves to flipping burgers anyway. Let’s face it - this is what you want to do for a living!!! Start treating it like something that you want to make money at. Lord knows your mommies and daddies have spent a butt load of money for your gear. Dig your finger out of your nose and your head out of your ass and get real.
Let’s start with my favorite muszoid - the guitar players. Now don’t get me wrong I love the guitar, I own and play many. If I had a dollar for every guitar player that came up to me after making a board mix for the band and complained that, “there ain’t no guitar in the mix,” I would be living in Tahiti. Get a clue dude! You are in a 100-person club and you decided to bring your double stack and rip it up. They could hear you in the next state. Why would I clog the P.A. up with more of your noise? I know there are some of you that think that the only way you can get “your sound” is by playing full tilt boogie into a double stack. When in a club either turn it down or buy a small 35-watt amp. Another way to not irritate the patrons and the sound man is to face your amps on stage right or left and play across the stage. This will not only NOT piss off the sound man; it will not fry the patrons that have not swallowed a bottle of Jack yet.
Start being professional and think of the big picture… and that would be producing a product that sells. When you are established enough and are playing the concert tours, then by all means crank it up dude.
Now let’s get to my favorite bitch about guitar players… their tone! Searing high end is not going to win you any friends in the audience or with the sound man. I have turned off more guitarists because of their tone than anything else. Guitars are basically a mid range instrument. Leave the high end for the cymbals and vocal nuisances. Play some of your favorite guitar player’s music and look at it on a real time analyzer - not a lot of 4k and above. These two problems really rear their ugly heads when the guitarist complains that they can’t hear the floor monitors. It’s because of the conflict with your tone and the vocals and the over bearing volume. Give the monitors some space. Learn what the frequency range of all the instruments are on your stage and your mix on and off stage will magically fall in place. The club owner will thank you later.
And remember rule Number 1... Don’t piss off the sound man.Buy me a shot! [CLICK HERE]