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Posted: 6/25/2023 3:54:48 PM EST
I'm feeling fairly confident, at least today, about my role in producing live music. Yesterday I ran a concert with an artist who has about 14 million listeners on Spotify. I wish I could say who. I can't, but I am willing to talk about other artists I've worked with in the past.

I'm primarily a house sound guy, but in the past year I've gotten into other areas of the business. On the front end, I've been involved with contracts and artist deals. On the back end, I've settled with tour managers after shows. Then, of course, there is the actual producing, where I mix audio, lead a house crew, assist guest engineers, etc. You might even find me fetching towels and bottled water, or doing a hospitality rider shop.

I work alongside talent buyers, marketing people, security, operations managers, etc., so I know a little about each of their roles.

I'm not claiming at all to be a big-time guy. I'm just a dude who's been plugged into the same local scene for about 30 years, and who's been lucky enough to work in venues full-time for about the past decade. If I can shed some light on the business of getting gigs, playing shows, and getting paid, let me know. Always down to simply share stories, too. Most of them aren't that exciting, but it can be a cool job at times.
VP
Link Posted: 6/25/2023 4:05:44 PM EST
[#1]
What percentage of artists coming through would you say actually treat the music scene like a business?
Link Posted: 6/25/2023 5:20:52 PM EST
[#2]
Who is responsible for the sound sys.
Is there really a need for big amps anymore.
Link Posted: 6/25/2023 5:27:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: thawntex] [#3]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By NostalgiaforInfinity:
What percentage of artists coming through would you say actually treat the music scene like a business?
View Quote
Even down to the club level you at least have one guy in the band that treats it like a business. Even if they're making one or two grand, he's still gonna get a deal memo with a radius clause, set times, and other stipulations. It's a contract, albeit a simple one, and if it's not abided by then they can forget about playing that venue again.

Then there are the promotional aspects of running a band, which mean managing social media sites and generating likes. Talent buyers want to see videos of past gigs and evidence that fans are attending and then following the band on social media.

And of course you have the business of buying and maintaining vehicles and equipment, and showing up to the gig on time and prepared.

So I would say a vast majoity of working musicians in a DIY scenario treat it like a business. Even if they're only concerned with building a network and maintaining a reputation, that's part of doing business. Lazy, unreliable musicians tend to go nowhere, so you don't run across them often.

At the higher level, I would argue that a high degree of success is evidence that an artist is treating his craft like a business. Yes, you hear stories about non-business saavy or gullible artists being taken advantage of or mismanaged, but I believe this is the exception rather than the rule. If an artist is big enough to have an organization around him, that organization will usually have that artist's best interest in mind. Everyone wants to succeed, and that means not fucking the artist over.

Yes, there are artists that are so huge that they don't have to think about anything but performing. Their minds can perpetually be in la-la land because they have hundreds of people doing things for them. I would say to that, however, that delegating everything but the performance to others is still an act of doing business. And at the end of the day the artist still has to deliver a show at a certain time, in a certain place, and for a certain duration, which doesn't happen unless he treats his craft at least a little like a business.

When I see an artist step onto a stage for a fee and deliver a show, even if I don't know exactly what's going on in his mind, I'm predisposed to think that that's a person who has some idea that he is conducting a business transaction. So I'd say about 87%
Link Posted: 6/25/2023 5:46:30 PM EST
[#4]
Why can’t you talk about it? Was it a 1 off show? I don’t know anyone on any major tour who can’t say who they work for. Unless it’s a on off private thing
Link Posted: 6/25/2023 5:55:12 PM EST
[#5]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By belchfire:
Who is responsible for the sound sys.
Is there really a need for big amps anymore.
View Quote
Many contracts will have language like "PURCHASER agrees that it shall be solely responsible to provide a public address system in perfect working condition..."

Then the artist will send a technical rider with more specific information about the types of systems they'll accept and not accept, and what that system is expected to do, like "System must provide even coverage of the audience area and be capable of producing 110 dBA sustained at the mix position without distortion."

In my situation as the employes of a venue, we would be the purchaser, so we'd be responsible for the sound system.

Regarding amps, no they do not need to be big.
Link Posted: 6/25/2023 6:57:07 PM EST
[#6]
For big tours like Metallica and Taylor Swift, how many sets are there.  In other words, are there two or three full stages and gear so the next venues can be setup while a concert is happening at another venue?

The Taylor Swift stage was incredible

Attachment Attached File
Link Posted: 6/25/2023 7:06:29 PM EST
[#7]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Ironmaker:
For big tours like Metallica and Taylor Swift, how many sets are there.  In other words, are there two or three full stages and gear so the next venues can be setup while a concert is happening at another venue?

The Taylor Swift stage was incredible

https://www.ar15.com/media/mediaFiles/57471/IMG_2239_jpeg-2863763.JPG
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Yes indeed, leapfrogging sets is a thing.
Link Posted: 6/25/2023 8:27:00 PM EST
[#8]
If the whole world is a stage then where is FOH ?
Link Posted: 6/25/2023 8:52:10 PM EST
[#9]
I have had the pleasure of listening to the OPs craft on numerous occasions at a couple of Dallas area venues and the man knows his business.
I'll be sitting to the left of the soundboard at a regional Texas talent's Birthday Bash in Dallas in August. Hope to see you there.
Link Posted: 6/25/2023 9:13:29 PM EST
[#10]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Gopher:
I have had the pleasure of listening to the OPs craft on numerous occasions at a couple of Dallas area venues and the man knows his business.
I'll be sitting to the left of the soundboard at a regional Texas talent's Birthday Bash in Dallas in August. Hope to see you there.
View Quote
I appreciate that. I'm not working in Dallas proper much anymore, but do enjoy the show!
Link Posted: 6/26/2023 12:38:52 PM EST
[#11]
Congrats on your accomplishment! Throw us a bone-what was the genre of music for the artist?
Link Posted: 6/26/2023 12:48:22 PM EST
[#12]
Why does it still take so damn long between acts? The headliners do a soundcheck, do the support acts not get to do the same? If they do why wouldn't it be easy to have everything marked like a preset for each act.

I just hate how it often kills the vibe while you wait for the next band to set up.

Is their limits on how loud systems can get now? The Who used to always be hyped as the loudest band, loudest concert. Now everyone is plugging into the same systems at these cookie cutter outdoor ampitheater venues, is their any wiggle room on the loudness?



Link Posted: 6/26/2023 12:56:10 PM EST
[#13]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By cmburns33:
Why does it still take so damn long between acts? The headliners do a soundcheck, do the support acts not get to do the same? If they do why wouldn't it be easy to have everything marked like a preset for each act.

I just hate how it often kills the vibe while you wait for the next band to set up.

Is their limits on how loud systems can get now? The Who used to always be hyped as the loudest band, loudest concert. Now everyone is plugging into the same systems at these cookie cutter outdoor ampitheater venues, is their any wiggle room on the loudness?



View Quote

Saw the Wacken USA state finals (battle of the bands) at Come and Take It Live in Austin and the bands had a flat 15 min between acts.  They all did pretty well but of course lots of backline gear used with on 7 min of setup. Nili Brosh there sitting in with one of the bands. I kinda thought that was like bringing in a ringer.
Link Posted: 6/26/2023 2:07:53 PM EST
[#14]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By cmburns33:
Why does it still take so damn long between acts? The headliners do a soundcheck, do the support acts not get to do the same? If they do why wouldn't it be easy to have everything marked like a preset for each act.

I just hate how it often kills the vibe while you wait for the next band to set up.

Is their limits on how loud systems can get now? The Who used to always be hyped as the loudest band, loudest concert. Now everyone is plugging into the same systems at these cookie cutter outdoor ampitheater venues, is their any wiggle room on the loudness?

View Quote
If done right, a changeover shouldn't take any longer than 15-20 minutes.

Yes, support acts should get to soundcheck, but they're at the mercy of the headliner (you should always check bands in reverse of when they play: headliner checks first, then the support act, then any openers). That's not to say that most headliners treat supporting acts that way. They don't, at least not intentionally. What it means is that if you have doors at 7:00, and the headliner takes until 6:30 to finish soundchecking, you have a half hour to set up the support act, which could lead to a sloppy changeover once they've played their set.

I wouldn't say that setting up multiple bands is easy, but yes, there are plenty of things you can do to make for quick and efficient changeovers. Spike tape is your friend, i.e. the more you can mark on stage where the headliner's pedalboards, mic stands, monitor wedges were before striking them after soundcheck, the better. You also label the ends of any cables you had to unplug.

And yes, you have any previously soundchecked bands' scenes stored on the audio console and/or a thumb drive for instant recall once it's go time.

It really all comes down to everyone knowing exactly what they're doing during a changeover. Sometimes I'll write notes detailing all the moves I need to make, but most of the time I just try to have it impressed upon my mind everything that needs to happen. I find the time between acts exhilarating.

I'm sure there are changeovers that are too complex to be executed in the 15-20 timeframe, but in my experience, that's a reasonable.

Then, of course, there are bands or musicians who show up late or stall before taking the stage, and there's only so much you can do about that.
Link Posted: 6/26/2023 8:31:29 PM EST
[#15]
Do big bands really use back tracking? Not 100% sure that is what’s it called.
Link Posted: 6/27/2023 1:48:16 AM EST
[#16]
What is the trick/method used to roll up cables and prevent memory in them?  Is there a video on it?
Link Posted: 6/27/2023 5:06:11 AM EST
[#17]
What’s the deal with all the hidden fees when purchasing a ticket? Why do music venues even let ticket master even exist?
Link Posted: 6/27/2023 5:18:09 AM EST
[#18]
What do you set your low cut for male and female singers?
Link Posted: 6/27/2023 8:13:56 AM EST
[#19]
what is your favorite desk? foh mains?
Link Posted: 6/27/2023 8:51:39 AM EST
[#20]
Why do drummers always want to rush tempos?
Link Posted: 6/27/2023 9:48:12 AM EST
[#21]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DrRemulak:
Do big bands really use back tracking? Not 100% sure that is what's it called.
View Quote
Some of them do, sure.
Link Posted: 6/27/2023 9:52:43 AM EST
[#22]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By AR15Texan:
What is the trick/method used to roll up cables and prevent memory in them?  Is there a video on it?
View Quote
Over/under. And don't tie a knot in them to keep them coiled. I attach a piece of tie line (on the male end if it's an XLR cable) and tie it like a shoelace.

How to Wrap a Cable the RIGHT Way: "Over Under"

Link Posted: 6/27/2023 10:03:08 AM EST
[Last Edit: thawntex] [#23]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BIG-DUKE-6:
What's the deal with all the hidden fees when purchasing a ticket? Why do music venues even let ticket master even exist?
View Quote
A lot of venues are Live Nation venues. Live Nation is merged with Ticketmaster. They not only let them exist, they're the same company. The question of whether they should be allowed to exist should be directed toward your Congressman

Independent venues can sell tickets however they want. There are some reasonable fees that they may charge, like a facility fee, which may be a couple of bucks.
Link Posted: 6/27/2023 10:12:35 AM EST
[#24]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By coldair:
What do you set your low cut for male and female singers?
View Quote
Totally depends on the singer. I try not to cut too much low end if I can help it. There's power in male vocals in particular from about 120-180 Hz. Get rid of those frequencies, and you're robbing the voice of its oomph.

It's a balancing act like everything else in live sound. Cutting low end can improve intelligibility, but I can't stand it when high pass filters are set too high in vocals.

Practically speaking, though, I usually land at about 165 Hz for male vocals, and 185 Hz for females.
Link Posted: 6/27/2023 10:44:04 AM EST
[#25]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By coldair:
what is your favorite desk? foh mains?
View Quote
Right now I'm digging the S6L console.

Regarding FOH, I think any modern line array can be made to sound great. I don't have a favorite.

Honestly, I don't focus much on the make and model of any piece of equipment. My philosophy is work with what you have. Staying impartial keeps me focused on the work and the results instead the system. For me, focusing on the system is a slippery slope that leads to blaming the equipment if things go wrong, or insisting that you have to have x brand of loudspeakers to do things right.

What's that line from Apollo 13? "I'm not interested in what it was designed to do, I'm interested in what it can do."
Link Posted: 6/27/2023 10:54:48 AM EST
[#26]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By cmburns33:

Is their limits on how loud systems can get now? The Who used to always be hyped as the loudest band, loudest concert. Now everyone is plugging into the same systems at these cookie cutter outdoor ampitheater venues, is their any wiggle room on the loudness?
View Quote
Circling back on the loudness question, any large, modern, amphitheater PA is capable of making a band louder than The Who was in 1976.

To your question, no, there are virtually no limits now. Most contracts will stipulate that a band's FOH engineer have access to, and control of, every part of the sound system. They can come in and do whatever they want.

The question is why would you want to mix at levels that are painfully loud? If there are any limits, they're self-imposed by engineers who choose to run sound at appropriate levels so as to create an enjoyable experience.
Link Posted: 6/27/2023 12:39:57 PM EST
[#27]
Why does it seem like every concert has to use TicketMaster for their tickets when those scumbags intentionally make it easy for scalpers to swallow up all the tickets for resale?
Link Posted: 6/27/2023 12:56:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: thawntex] [#28]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PewPewPew1212:
Why does it seem like every concert has to use TicketMaster for their tickets when those scumbags intentionally make it easy for scalpers to swallow up all the tickets for resale?
View Quote
See above answer about the merging of Live Nation and Ticketmaster. Live Nation is a dominant global force, and has its hands in all aspects of the business. If it seems like every concert uses Ticketmaster, it could be because the concerts you're looking at are operated from the top down by Live Nation.

eta: Also see my comment about independent venues ticketing concerts as they please, often with lower fees. Consider seeking them out.

eta 2: I edited the first paragraph to clarify that not all Ticketmaster events are Live Nation events. We're not a Live Nation venue. I just asked our talent buyer who we don't use TicketMaster, and he said that it was because of their high fees, fees that do not come back to us. We use Prekindle, which he said keeps our ticket prices reasonable while guaranteeing us a good return.

The benefit to using Ticketmaster seems to be their reach.
Link Posted: 6/27/2023 1:57:43 PM EST
[#29]
Great thread.

I have a 13 year old aspiring/passionate/talented drummer - any advice
Link Posted: 6/27/2023 2:31:47 PM EST
[#30]
The benefit to using Ticketmaster seems to be their reach.
View Quote


I have my issues with Ticketmaster but I do appreciate their ticket insurance program. It has saved me from having to eat some tickets when a last-minute issue has prevented me from using them. For $8 a ticket, it's cheap peace of mind.
Link Posted: 6/27/2023 3:44:32 PM EST
[#31]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By thawntex:
Circling back on the loudness question, any large, modern, amphitheater PA is capable of making a band louder than The Who was in 1976.

To your question, no, there are virtually no limits now. Most contracts will stipulate that a band's FOH engineer have access to, and control of, every part of the sound system. They can come in and do whatever they want.

The question is why would you want to mix at levels that are painfully loud? If there are any limits, they're self-imposed by engineers who choose to run sound at appropriate levels so as to create an enjoyable experience.
View Quote


Maybe I am going deaf from years in industry, and shooting, and concerts, but concerts don't seem loud enough to me.  Metallica, My Chemical Romance, Green Day, some inside, some outside all could have been louder.  

I use the NIOSH decibel app, 108db is about max, running in the high 90's, except for when Taylor Swift came on stage the crowd noise peaked at 110 db.
Link Posted: 6/27/2023 3:45:40 PM EST
[#32]
For small venues, like House of Blues size places...what is the take for opening, mid and headlining acts?  

Link Posted: 6/27/2023 9:40:29 PM EST
[#33]
Originally Posted By thawntex:
I'm feeling fairly confident, at least today, about my role in producing live music. Yesterday I ran a concert with an artist who has about 14 million listeners on Spotify. I wish I could say who. I can't, but I am willing to talk about other artists I've worked with in the past.

I'm primarily a house sound guy, but in the past year I've gotten into other areas of the business. On the front end, I've been involved with contracts and artist deals. On the back end, I've settled with tour managers after shows. Then, of course, there is the actual producing, where I mix audio, lead a house crew, assist guest engineers, etc. You might even find me fetching towels and bottled water, or doing a hospitality rider shop.

I work alongside talent buyers, marketing people, security, operations managers, etc., so I know a little about each of their roles.

I'm not claiming at all to be a big-time guy. I'm just a dude who's been plugged into the same local scene for about 30 years, and who's been lucky enough to work in venues full-time for about the past decade. If I can shed some light on the business of getting gigs, playing shows, and getting paid, let me know. Always down to simply share stories, too. Most of them aren't that exciting, but it can be a cool job at times.
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I take it you’re in the Texas country scene, possibly metal? Cool. My friends wanted me to manage their band one, and they were awesome. I said no thanks.
Link Posted: 6/27/2023 10:11:50 PM EST
[#34]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Ironmaker:
For small venues, like House of Blues size places...what is the take for opening, mid and headlining acts?  

View Quote
It depends. If some fat cat wants to rent out HoB and pay Sting a quarter of a million bucks to pay his birthday party, there's the answer; the sky's the limit.

Private events notwithstanding, the take for headliners in the market you're talking about, in my experience, tops out at about $50,000 for headliners. Some will make half that, some about a quarter. Supporting acts, a couple grand, local openers, a few hundred.

In most cases, whoever is playing will be guaranteed a certain amount (as opposed to a door deal, where they're paid a percentage of the ticket sales or cover charge). A reasonable guarantee for a well-known act in a HoB sized venue would be 25 grand.

Then you have a "versus" clause: $25,000 vs. 85% of NBOR (net box office receipts). So if the venue's net is $29,500, the band is into "points"; the split point has been reached and venue and act now share the revenue from the event. If they don't get into points, they still get their guanantee of 25 grand, even if the show bombs. That's why it's called a guarantee.

Keep in mind that a sold-out show is only one way for an act to make money beyond their guarantee. There are merch sales, VIP lifts, meet & greet packages...these things can easily mean an extra few grand in the pockets of saavy bands who know how to hustle.
Link Posted: 6/27/2023 10:24:21 PM EST
[Last Edit: thawntex] [#35]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By kallnojoy:
Great thread.

I have a 13 year old aspiring/passionate/talented drummer - any advice
View Quote
Have him:

Play out with as many people as possible.

Not limit himself to a particular style.

Stay up-to-date regarding the market value of his services.

Learn how to play the drums he has before buying extra tom-toms and cymbals; master the rudiments.

Learn how to tune his drums and understand what a good drum kit sounds like.

Watch and learn from drummers with talent and experience.

Get a good set of in-ear monitors and learn how to use them.

Obtain backup hardware: an extra snare drum and kick drum pedal, for example.

Learn how to sing and play other instruments.

Not pound on the drums while the sound guy is trying to mic them up
Link Posted: 6/27/2023 11:10:53 PM EST
[#36]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By thawntex:
Have him:

Play out with as many people as possible.

Not limit himself to a particular style.

Stay up-to-date regarding the market value of his services.

Learn how to play the drums he has before buying extra tom-toms and cymbals; master the rudiments.

Learn how to tune his drums and understand what a good drum kit sounds like.

Watch and learn from drummers with talent and experience.

Get a good set of in-ear monitors and learn how to use them.

Obtain backup hardware: an extra snare drum and kick drum pedal, for example.

Learn how to sing and play other instruments.

Not pound on the drums while the sound guy is trying to mic them up
View Quote

Thanks for taking the time for the feedback.

We're working on most of that now.  We recently connected with a young but motivated instructor who's as much a jam partner as mentor.   Watching them cover a Rush tune in sync is pretty awesome.

Kit wise, we're all electronic at home - but I did score a few nice vintage Slingerland snares.  One we converted for the e-kit and one left acoustic for working on rudiments.

Way too late on the advice for not getting extra toms/cymbals -  I told him I'd add/upgrade when the equipment becomes a limiting factor and we've been getting gear at a quick clip since.    In his defense, you can't do a good tom roll without at least 7 or so!  

What do you recommend for in-ear monitors?

Singing is probably right out, but he does play the piano, other hand percussion (djembe, cajon, etc), some guitar and even a bit of flute...

Being an IT guy, I'll admit to having a blast being his "drum tech"  


Link Posted: 6/29/2023 9:36:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: HKD126] [#37]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By belchfire:
Who is responsible for the sound sys.
Is there really a need for big amps anymore.
View Quote


The system engineer is responsible for the design, deployment, optimization and tuning. If you are talking about who provides it, rents, owns, etc. there are many hands involved.

For PA’s? Yes, they’ve just become much more efficient. I have 98 4 channel amps at 3000W per channel for this rig currently. If you’re talking about guitar amps, no, there isn’t a need. However, my main client who I’ve been with for a long time plays with 8 amps on stage being everything from high power twins, to Marshalls, to Dumbles all set to stun. Makes my life… Interesting. That gig is all about damage control. There’s no changing his mind though.

Link Posted: 6/29/2023 10:55:04 PM EST
[#38]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By HKD126:


The system engineer is responsible for the design, deployment, optimization and tuning. If you are talking about who provides it, rents, owns, etc. there are many hands involved.

For PA's? Yes, they've just become much more efficient. I have 98 4 channel amps at 3000W per channel for this rig currently. If you're talking about guitar amps, no, there isn't a need. However, my main client who I've been with for a long time plays with 8 amps on stage being everything from high power twins, to Marshalls, to Dumbles all set to stun. Makes my life  Interesting. That gig is all about damage control. There's no changing his mind though.

https://i.imgur.com/lHJFSaN.jpg
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By HKD126:
Originally Posted By belchfire:
Who is responsible for the sound sys.
Is there really a need for big amps anymore.


The system engineer is responsible for the design, deployment, optimization and tuning. If you are talking about who provides it, rents, owns, etc. there are many hands involved.

For PA's? Yes, they've just become much more efficient. I have 98 4 channel amps at 3000W per channel for this rig currently. If you're talking about guitar amps, no, there isn't a need. However, my main client who I've been with for a long time plays with 8 amps on stage being everything from high power twins, to Marshalls, to Dumbles all set to stun. Makes my life  Interesting. That gig is all about damage control. There's no changing his mind though.

https://i.imgur.com/lHJFSaN.jpg
Glad you jumped in
Link Posted: 6/29/2023 11:10:29 PM EST
[#39]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Ironmaker:


Maybe I am going deaf from years in industry, and shooting, and concerts, but concerts don't seem loud enough to me.  Metallica, My Chemical Romance, Green Day, some inside, some outside all could have been louder.  

I use the NIOSH decibel app, 108db is about max, running in the high 90's, except for when Taylor Swift came on stage the crowd noise peaked at 110 db.
View Quote

All phone decibel meters are garbage BTW. Last time I saw My Chem I had to wear earplugs
Link Posted: 7/4/2023 12:37:24 PM EST
[#40]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By NostalgiaforInfinity:

All phone decibel meters are garbage BTW. Last time I saw My Chem I had to wear earplugs
View Quote


I wear my Sensaphonics earplugs every show. Changeable filter for different dB’s of attention. Extremely transparent. Everything sounds the same, just quieter.

Funny story, I open for My Chemical Romance when I was 16 or 17.
Link Posted: 7/5/2023 8:18:59 PM EST
[#41]
Link Posted: 7/8/2023 1:11:33 PM EST
[#42]


Tampa this week.
Link Posted: 7/9/2023 2:05:44 PM EST
[#43]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By HKD126:
https://i.imgur.com/7OAWuOU.jpg

Tampa this week.
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Hey.

There's a lot I'm wondering about with this setup, but I'd like to start with the three delay towers. Are those subs in the middle?

What part do you play in arranging those? How much time do you have to dick with them when you arrive on the scene, and what's the process for getting them dialed in? Are they behind your mix position? If so, how do you manage them during the show?

Thanks.
Link Posted: 7/9/2023 3:52:44 PM EST
[#44]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By HKD126:


The system engineer is responsible for the design, deployment, optimization and tuning. If you are talking about who provides it, rents, owns, etc. there are many hands involved.

For PA’s? Yes, they’ve just become much more efficient. I have 98 4 channel amps at 3000W per channel for this rig currently. If you’re talking about guitar amps, no, there isn’t a need. However, my main client who I’ve been with for a long time plays with 8 amps on stage being everything from high power twins, to Marshalls, to Dumbles all set to stun. Makes my life… Interesting. That gig is all about damage control. There’s no changing his mind though.

https://i.imgur.com/lHJFSaN.jpg
View Quote

You're starting to narrow it down with the plural of Dumble
Link Posted: 7/9/2023 5:02:21 PM EST
[Last Edit: HKD126] [#45]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By thawntex:
Hey.

There's a lot I'm wondering about with this setup, but I'd like to start with the three delay towers. Are those subs in the middle?

What part do you play in arranging those? How much time do you have to dick with them when you arrive on the scene, and what's the process for getting them dialed in? Are they behind your mix position? If so, how do you manage them during the show?

Thanks.
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Nope, that picture has the center as a smaller hang. We had a stack fall off a forklift a couple weeks ago due to the driver driving like a maniac. We’ve been having to modify the deployment every week since there is no more GTO to be had in the country. That part of the stadium was much smaller so we didn’t need as much coverage there.

Unfortunately the towers are the towers once they’re up. The guys who build them set the angles and sometimes they nail it, sometimes they miss and we’re stuck with it. Unfortunately seating plays a lot to do with the layout and we have to make lots of compromises due to that. The deployment pictured doesn’t have them turned out far enough, so the top corners kind of suffered.

We have a load in day to get it all up, then a production day for tuning, line and sound check. We spend a few hours taking measurements and listening to dial it all in. Given the stage never changes, there’s honestly not a TON of work that goes into the tuning in open air environments. Much of he timing remains the same, but due to the different angles tonality does change a bit. There’s a good starting spot from loading the previous week’s show. We still spend a solid amount of time each week tuning and listening though. Lots of walking is involved.

Delays are behind mix. Doing some walking during the show mixed with trusting your work you did previously and watching your meters keeps it all in check.
Link Posted: 7/12/2023 2:34:21 AM EST
[#46]
Ya I got a question. I play bass. This used to happen a lot. I got my suspicious. Goes like this, at sound check everything sounds great. Un plug after, leave all my settings the same. No change, boy I am gonna be heard great tonight.

Then show time. BOOM! where the F is the bass? In the time from sound check to lights on everything else is still good but I can't hear my bass in the system. So I turn amp up. No help. Stage volume is no substitute for bass going into the front of the house property.

 What I suspect and it took me 20 years to come to this theory. When this happens it's a result of the sound man jerkin yer chain. He gives you a great sound at check time but when you hit the stage and when you don't have time to say anyting or get it fixed he turns you down in the mix because bass stresses speakers and he don't want any blown and the costs associated with that. So no one can hear the bass as they should and all those fancy licks and tricks I composed or more importantly if a cover those Iconic bass riffs are not even heard. Might as well play the root notes all night. Why bother practicing no one's going to hear it anyway.

 Am I onto anything or what else has been going on?
Link Posted: 7/12/2023 8:13:49 AM EST
[#47]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By THE_RESISTER:
Ya I got a question. I play bass. This used to happen a lot. I got my suspicious. Goes like this, at sound check everything sounds great. Un plug after, leave all my settings the same. No change, boy I am gonna be heard great tonight.

Then show time. BOOM! where the F is the bass? In the time from sound check to lights on everything else is still good but I can't hear my bass in the system. So I turn amp up. No help. Stage volume is no substitute for bass going into the front of the house property.

 What I suspect and it took me 20 years to come to this theory. When this happens it's a result of the sound man jerkin yer chain. He gives you a great sound at check time but when you hit the stage and when you don't have time to say anyting or get it fixed he turns you down in the mix because bass stresses speakers and he don't want any blown and the costs associated with that. So no one can hear the bass as they should and all those fancy licks and tricks I composed or more importantly if a cover those Iconic bass riffs are not even heard. Might as well play the root notes all night. Why bother practicing no one's going to hear it anyway.

 Am I onto anything or what else has been going on?
View Quote
I'd start by saying that chain jerkin happens on both sides, and either way it's bad form and something I don't engage in. Musicians do this all the time. I remember this guy who led this reggae band, and during soundcheck he would always play his trumpet softly, about a foot away from the mic, when I asked for it. Then during showtime he'd bury the mic in the bell of his horn and blow like a ten dollar hooker.

Soundcheck is not a time when you achieve perfection and then leave things alone for the rest of the night. It's a time to get things sounding the best you can under the conditions you're currently in , i.e. an empty space in the middle of the afternoon.

Good mix engineers understand this, and that's why their busiest time of the whole gig is the first song or two once the actual show begins. Your soundguy probably wasn't trying to pull a fast one on you; he was probably just lazy. I doubt he turned the bass down. He likely didn't turn it up when the show began to compensate for the change in conditions.

One of those changes is, of course, the presence of bodies absorbing a lot of that energy. It's also the din of people talking, bartenders shaking their shakers, the A/C that is now in overdrive, etc.

I went through this just the other night. The band started and it's like, "Where did the bass go?" So I turned up the bass about 5dB right off the bat. Problem solved.
Link Posted: 7/12/2023 10:12:24 AM EST
[#48]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By THE_RESISTER:
Ya I got a question. I play bass. This used to happen a lot. I got my suspicious. Goes like this, at sound check everything sounds great. Un plug after, leave all my settings the same. No change, boy I am gonna be heard great tonight.

Then show time. BOOM! where the F is the bass? In the time from sound check to lights on everything else is still good but I can't hear my bass in the system. So I turn amp up. No help. Stage volume is no substitute for bass going into the front of the house property.

 What I suspect and it took me 20 years to come to this theory. When this happens it's a result of the sound man jerkin yer chain. He gives you a great sound at check time but when you hit the stage and when you don't have time to say anyting or get it fixed he turns you down in the mix because bass stresses speakers and he don't want any blown and the costs associated with that. So no one can hear the bass as they should and all those fancy licks and tricks I composed or more importantly if a cover those Iconic bass riffs are not even heard. Might as well play the root notes all night. Why bother practicing no one's going to hear it anyway.

 Am I onto anything or what else has been going on?
View Quote

I've noticed this with two diff local bands that normally have a bass tone that is really punchy and bass-forward.  What is the correct way express to a sound engineer that your sound isn't cookie cutter and you want to hear that great compressed bass sound coming through? Like Tool's live bass tone.
Link Posted: 7/12/2023 11:14:48 AM EST
[Last Edit: thawntex] [#49]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Czechers:

I've noticed this with two diff local bands that normally have a bass tone that is really punchy and bass-forward.  What is the correct way express to a sound engineer that your sound isn't cookie cutter and you want to hear that great compressed bass sound coming through? Like Tool's live bass tone.
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Originally Posted By Czechers:
Originally Posted By THE_RESISTER:
Ya I got a question. I play bass. This used to happen a lot. I got my suspicious. Goes like this, at sound check everything sounds great. Un plug after, leave all my settings the same. No change, boy I am gonna be heard great tonight.

Then show time. BOOM! where the F is the bass? In the time from sound check to lights on everything else is still good but I can't hear my bass in the system. So I turn amp up. No help. Stage volume is no substitute for bass going into the front of the house property.

 What I suspect and it took me 20 years to come to this theory. When this happens it's a result of the sound man jerkin yer chain. He gives you a great sound at check time but when you hit the stage and when you don't have time to say anyting or get it fixed he turns you down in the mix because bass stresses speakers and he don't want any blown and the costs associated with that. So no one can hear the bass as they should and all those fancy licks and tricks I composed or more importantly if a cover those Iconic bass riffs are not even heard. Might as well play the root notes all night. Why bother practicing no one's going to hear it anyway.

 Am I onto anything or what else has been going on?

I've noticed this with two diff local bands that normally have a bass tone that is really punchy and bass-forward.  What is the correct way express to a sound engineer that your sound isn't cookie cutter and you want to hear that great compressed bass sound coming through? Like Tool's live bass tone.
There's nothing wrong with just saying it. Unfortunately there are sound engineers with attitude problems who will take offense, as if you're telling them how to do their job when they know best, but such is life.

The good ones will respect your views on how you want your band to sound and do their best to represent it. The even better ones will listen to your material beforehand, familiarizing themselves with your approach.

Simply being on stage and listening to how guys have their rigs tuned is a big part of it. I want to stand there and listen to your bass rig, your guitar amp, your drums. I need to hear what that kick drum sounds like on its own before I do anything out front. If, when a guy first starts playing his bass, it sounds really punchy, then I will make a mental note that really punchy is what he's going for. I won't try to soften it up too much at the console even if it would be my personal preference to do so.

That's not to say that I don't take measures when things just aren't working in the house. The other night I had a guy whose guitar tone was so dark that I had to do something. I had a Sennheiser e609 on the bottom left speaker of his 4x12 cab. When pushed through the house system flat, it sounded like complete mush. I did a textbook cut of some low mids and boost of some high mids, and while it improved it somewhat, it was still unacceptable to me. So I grabbed an SM81 (a condenser), slapped it on the bottom right speaker, high passed it at 233Hz at the console, and blended it with the e609.

I worked perfectly, and did so, at least in my opinion, without compromising the intentions of the guitar player. That dark bottomness that he obviously desired was still there, but I took measures that added some definition and bite that, in my opinion, was sorely lacking when the band played together. I doubt he would've objected.

It's a balancing act.

eta: This was a hard rock tribute where I was super familiar with the act to whom they were paying tribute. Just reiterating that my efforts to shape the guitar were done purely to recreate the sound that I knew they were trying to achieve.
Link Posted: 7/16/2023 10:14:50 AM EST
[Last Edit: HKD126] [#50]
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Originally Posted By thawntex:
Glad you jumped in
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Glad you started this thread. There’s many aspects of the industry you deal with that I don’t and can answer much better than I can. I’m very much in my own world and prefer it that way. If it involves designing, putting up large speaker systems and making them sound good, that’s my world and where I like to stay. Beyond that, not for me.
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