Leave The Sound Guy ALONE!!!!

Posted: April 9, 2010 in I Don't Know, Music, Random Rants
Tags: , , , ,

A friend of mine passed this on to me.  I thought it funny and full of truth that I wanted to pass it on.  Not sure of the origin but I did find a Facebook Group Page for it.

What follows is some good advice for all of the armchair audiophiles out there who approach the sound engineer at a show with something to say…

Section 1: General Info

1.1 Garbage in = garbage out. If the band sucks, there’s nothing the sound guy can do.

1.2 You don’t need a college degree to be a sound guy, but it doesn’t hurt. Your cool home theater system doesn’t make you qualified to be a sound engineer.

1.3 It’s great that you “run the sound” at your church on the weekends. I do this for a living.

1.4 I can’t turn it down anymore…You’ll have to talk to the guitar player.

1.5 Don’t try to impress me by throwing around a bunch of equipment model numbers or a bunch of Physics information like Ohms, Watts, Inverse Squares, Decibels, SPL, Phase Cancellation, and that kind of stuff. You can talk about your textbooks all you want, but at the end of the day you still have to have some experience to realize that the textbook stuff is usually a bunch of crap.

1.6 We’re not “roadies”. That term fell out of common usage in the early 70’s right after the Jackson Browne album came out.

Section 2: For the Band

2.1 To the guitar player: I’ve gone on at length about how much I like the sound of a Les Paul plugged into a Marshall, but in a club you might have to turn it down a bit. If you have a huge guitar amp screaming a few feet away from your vocal mic, it’s just not gonna work. Two words for you: Isolation cabinet.

2.2 For the drummer: I’m going to put a gate on the kick and the snare, and compressors on some of the other instruments and vocals in the band. Part of my job is to manage dynamics. All those cool ghost notes you’re doing on your snare drum won’t translate to the nosebleed seats in an arena. Get over yourself, or go play some jazz somewhere.

2.3 For the trumpet player: Take your part down an octave so you don’t have to play so loud. You’re not Doc Severinson, and you can’t hit the high notes anyway.

2.4 To the vocalist: Give me something to work with. I can’t turn a whisper into a shout. If you sing softly, you’re not gonna hear yourself.

2.5 For the whole band: The monitor guy is not going to change every element of your mix for every single song. Understand the difference between what you WANT to hear and what you NEED to hear. The more you micro-manage the monitor guy, the less happy you’ll be.

2.6 More for the band: I don’t care if you’re not completely comfortable. I have to do my job in some of the most ridiculous situations imaginable, in the rain, the wind, the snow, the blazing sun, and often without an adequate amount of time or resources. Heaven forbid that you might have to do the same…grow up and stop your whining.

Section 3: For other technical personnel

3.1 For the studio guy: I don’t give a f— how you did it in the studio.

3.2 For the video people: It doesn’t matter if you can see some of my equipment in your camera shot. The people watching should be looking at the talent. Zoom in and shut up.

3.3 For the lighting guys: Don’t run your cables on top of mine. No, you can’t put a light on top of the sidefill. No, you can’t use a channel of my snake for your control line. No, I won’t pack your console up for you. Get your truss off the stage and up in the air so I can do my gig. Go away now.

Section 4: Corporate gigs

4.1 To the event planners, banquet staff, hotel salespeople, florists, decorators, and various other people who walk around with clipboards: None of your sh—matters if we can’t hear the guy at the podium. Recognize!

That should get us started. Feel free to add anything I might have missed.

  1. Sammy Kinsman says:

    My husband was a sound man and one of the best. I can say that because he’s dead now and no one can disprove it. I love your comments and it’s all SO true.

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