Sound Guys vs Drummers

How do you deal with an idiot sound guy?

  • Yell to him during first song to fix something.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Take him out back during first break and smack him.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Have him hit the drums while you adjust the board.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Throw a stick at him?

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0
  • Poll closed .

SHOGUNWARRIOR32

New member
I swear.. 98 out of the last 100 gigs i played, I feel like the sound guys running the boards either don't know what good drum sound is or don't care enough and too lazy to bother. I'm sure all of your guitarists out there have exactly the effects on their fx board to get exactly what sound they want live but when we (at least in my experiences) ask for something as small as a little more snare volume or eq tweaking or even a little reverb effect..it's like pulling teeth and the sound guys think you're insulting them or something. I'm to the point of just feeling like I'm completely at their mercy and if I ask for anything, I might piss them off and end up with an even worse sound. Lately I've been running my own mics into my board next to me, adding a slight effect, then a line out to their board but most of the time, they don't like that cuz they want to be able to control each mic. Does anyone else have 'sound guy vs drummer' issues and how to go about it the politically correct way so you don't ban yourself from that venue? Am I the only one who runs into this frustrating problem?

Shogun
 

Rockula!

New member
Quit playing clubs
Buy your own PA and play parties
People are sick of going to venues
Most clubs don't pay for shit no matter what you draw
I have seen more people watching a band at a party lately than any club I have been in lately
But I like obscure musc

Anyways,
Invest in merch, cultivate a following on a local level and you will make just as little money as you do at clubs
The payoff will be more control over the way you sound
Ever notice how the headliner gets the most effort from the soundguy?
Bring in enough people one day and the next gig gets you closer to that headling level of efort
It just seems futile to beg for scraps from the clubs who just see you as beer sales

Go out and do it somewhere else
Play clubs occasionally
Do it your way
 

SHOGUNWARRIOR32

New member
Rockula!":gvqhw2yj said:
Quit playing clubs
Buy your own PA and play parties
People are sick of going to venues
Most clubs don't pay for shit no matter what you draw
I have seen more people watching a band at a party lately than any club I have been in lately
But I like obscure musc

Anyways,
Invest in merch, cultivate a following on a local level and you will make just as little money as you do at clubs
The payoff will be more control over the way you sound
Ever notice how the headliner gets the most effort from the soundguy?
Bring in enough people one day and the next gig gets you closer to that headling level of efort
It just seems futile to beg for scraps from the clubs who just see you as beer sales

Go out and do it somewhere else
Play clubs occasionally
Do it your way



Yea, I see what you're saying... we just do clubs nowadays for the fun..i've realized years ago there's no money in clubs..yea..we try to do as many private parties and such as much as possible..we have full control there. Btw..i checked out your myspace page and gotta say..you have the most interesting drum setup I've ever seen. Pretty cool... would like to see ya play on them. Any Vids?
 

m

New member
For once, I actually got the better end of the deal on the usual soundguy fiasco.
We did a Grammy-type awards show a few weeks ago, and 4 bands had to use the backline gear.
The soundguy's stipulation ahead of time was "NO GUITAR AMPS"
ever heard that one before? We hadn't. I had some unhappy bandmates for a few days prior to the soundcheck.
Even though I had to play on a kit that was a kid's toy compared to what I usually set up, it wasn't so bad.
Aside from the no amp factor, it was a great stage, sound and light setup and went very well.
We're used to soundguy horror stories, and have hauled and run our own PA for the last 7 years or so, and with enough warning ahead of time can usually rig up something to sound consistent and predictable with whatever gear the venue has if they tell us beforehand.

Overall, I'd agree though- it's in your best interest to control as much of your sound as possible. Get your own PA, monitors- the works.
I can't really blame soundguys for hating their job (seems like so many of them do)- considering what they have to listen to these days, night after night... but still, it's their job, they should do their best to make a band sound decent.

When you are at the mercy of a soundman, though, really all you can do is diplomatically explain your needs AHEAD of time, make whatever requests you feel are necessary to get your sound across, and hope FOH-person doesn't have an attitude and is pro enough to give you what you want. If it doesn't turn out that way, there's no point getting cross about it during the show- you can still do your best and chalk it up to experience. That's what's going to happen at least 80% of the time anyway, based on from what I've seen out there...
 

Atmerrill

New member
Hey Shogun,

We run our own sound, so it's really not an issue most of the time. And, I usually only run bass mics, snare and a couple of overheads.

What I have noticed though is that at any particular gig where someone else is running sound, there's usually only one guy who is really pleased with their sound. It seems to vary from gig to gig, and it all depends on what instrument the numbnut at the board either plays or favors. At one show, we had a drum nut and man the drums came out strong and clear, but sax, bass and guitar suffered. At another show, the numbnut was a bass player and the bass from the monitors and mains rattled our fillings, but everything was in the background. As far as guitarists running the board...Well, it ends up being a guitar showcase with musical accompaniment.

Long and short, not sure if it's you or just the nature of the beast.

Ciao!
 

rufus4dagruv

New member
During the summer, we play a bunch of gigs in Atlantic City. We've worked with a bunch of great sound guys down there. Occasionally, there are a few problems, but they are few. With the clubs, it can be hit or miss. We're not real picky about our stage sound. We'll make it work. If it sounds bad out front, and we always have ears out there who let us know, then we get a little bummed.
 

Drumosaurus

New member
our sound guy is our singer/guitarist, so he doesn't want the drums miked cause hes afraid it will overpower his singing.
 

SHOGUNWARRIOR32

New member
Yea..you guys are correct about using your own PA...we do have our own PA..in my last 2 bands I was in, the bands were already established and always used their own PA's ..a problem with that was they both had their own "sound guy" come to the gigs to run our boards....kinda like a long time friend of the band's..me being the newest guy in both bands, I always struggled with both of them..but a lot of times the venue wants you to just use their PA...at least the clubs around here...now in this newest band..we did a couple gigs now and seems I might be running into the same problems. I guess I'm just a victim of circumstance. I guess I'm asking too much to turn up my snare one notch...I think I'm gonna just start plying harmonica...they seem to get more respect.

I think Atmerrill hit it on the head.. a lot of it depends on what the sound guy has an ear for..if he's a guitarist..the guitars will sound great, etc. .. or the sound guy could just be butt stupid.

Shogun
 

SHOGUNWARRIOR32

New member
m":99xs5ljc said:
For once, I actually got the better end of the deal on the usual soundguy fiasco.
We did a Grammy-type awards show a few weeks ago, and 4 bands had to use the backline gear.
The soundguy's stipulation ahead of time was "NO GUITAR AMPS"
ever heard that one before? We hadn't. I had some unhappy bandmates for a few days prior to the soundcheck.
Even though I had to play on a kit that was a kid's toy compared to what I usually set up, it wasn't so bad.
Aside from the no amp factor, it was a great stage, sound and light setup and went very well.
We're used to soundguy horror stories, and have hauled and run our own PA for the last 7 years or so, and with enough warning ahead of time can usually rig up something to sound consistent and predictable with whatever gear the venue has if they tell us beforehand.

Overall, I'd agree though- it's in your best interest to control as much of your sound as possible. Get your own PA, monitors- the works.
I can't really blame sound guys for hating their job (seems like so many of them do)- considering what they have to listen to these days, night after night... but still, it's their job, they should do their best to make a band sound decent.

When you are at the mercy of a sound man, though, really all you can do is diplomatically explain your needs AHEAD of time, make whatever requests you feel are necessary to get your sound across, and hope FOH-person doesn't have an attitude and is pro enough to give you what you want. If it doesn't turn out that way, there's no point getting cross about it during the show- you can still do your best and chalk it up to experience. That's what's going to happen at least 80% of the time anyway, based on from what I've seen out there...

Yea.. we had a backline situation similar..we(my last band) played at the "PINKS ALL OUT" show on Speed channel here at milan dragway in Mi. ... i had to play on the smallest, crappiest kit..fortunately they had a great sound system goin. The coolest part, I got to party with Vinnie from Sponge before we went on so I didn't care what we sounded like before we went on. :shock:
 

FiestyRedDrummEr

New member
either my dad does all my sound or my good friend of the family Bob does. and he's great he's worked with Pink Floyd, and done a bunch of other things. including the sound for Beetlejuice.
Real cool guy. I guess I've just never had to deal with a dumb sound guy. But I have had a few tiffs between me and my dad about sound.
 

SGarrett

New member
I generally just let the soundman do his job. It is what it is. Generally the good clubs have good soundmen who don't like being told what to do by six bands every week. The bad clubs either don't have sound or have soundmen that just don't give a rat's ass because they aren't being paid much either.
 

OnusPro

New member
I just let them mike the drums. I'll have my singer or guitarist get up there and play and I'll listen from out in the house. I'm not picky, as long as I'm heard. Typically I'm playing some shitty dive biker bar or emo or beach bum hangout so I care less about nuances in the sound. Sadly there are no metal clubs here. :evil:
 

Call me Gideon

New member
I think I've experianced every problem with sound guys thats been mentioned on here! lol We solved the problem, at least for the gigs that we really wanna make an impression at, by bringing in the guy that produced our last album, to run our sound. He knows all the songs and we've always gotten compliments on the sound when he runs it.
 

screamkevin

New member
I guess I'm in the minority, because I'm spoiled. I've had the fortune of never having a bad soundguy, and I'm also able to effectively communicate what I'm looking for in my sound. You also have to learn to trust the soundman, since he's hearing the FOH sound, and you're hearing the stage mix. When you have a decent soundman, he knows what's best for the overall sound. It's give and take on each end.
 

Rockula!

New member
SHOGUNWARRIOR32":1wmfto8g said:
Btw..i checked out your myspace page and gotta say..you have the most interesting drum setup I've ever seen. Pretty cool... would like to see ya play on them. Any Vids?
I am doing a show tonight that is supposed to be recorded
Once I get that stuff edited, I will You Tube it
Thanks for the compliment
 

Johnny Cat

New member
It should also be mentioned that most clubs have TERRIBLE acoustics. There's only so much that can be done with that.
 

kErmit vOn zOmbie

New member
Drumosaurus":29q7prww said:
our sound guy is our singer/guitarist, so he doesn't want the drums miked cause hes afraid it will overpower his singing.
oh man, i feel for you. kinda like being stuck on the sixth ring of hell. i had a sound guy once who explained to me that the optimum spot to mic the kick drum was where the air from the kick stopped blowing out a match.. needless to say i had him about 8 feet out on the stage and i was still blowing out his match... what an idiot.... i told him to just stick the mic in the kick and get on with life. most times i find if you are really cool to the sound guy then they are really cool with you... if you are an ass then ... you get treated accordingly....
 

PDP9000

New member
SHOGUNWARRIOR32":2vy26ki8 said:
I swear.. 98 out of the last 100 gigs i played, I feel like the sound guys running the boards either don't know what good drum sound is or don't care enough and too lazy to bother. I'm sure all of your guitarists out there have exactly the effects on their fx board to get exactly what sound they want live but when we (at least in my experiences) ask for something as small as a little more snare volume or eq tweaking or even a little reverb effect..it's like pulling teeth and the sound guys think you're insulting them or something. I'm to the point of just feeling like I'm completely at their mercy and if I ask for anything, I might piss them off and end up with an even worse sound. Lately I've been running my own mics into my board next to me, adding a slight effect, then a line out to their board but most of the time, they don't like that cuz they want to be able to control each mic. Does anyone else have 'sound guy vs drummer' issues and how to go about it the politically correct way so you don't ban yourself from that venue? Am I the only one who runs into this frustrating problem?

Shogun


Hell ya at the venue i was playing at i kept on tell the sound guy to
turn iup my bass drum. But that dick didnt even do it. After the show
i asked him why wouldnt turn it up. he said that i should bring triggers
next time. every time i dont bring my triggers the sound guy always gets mad.
 

break the prism

New member
Last problem I had with a sound guy was when I told him to turn down my kick drum and he turned it up. I then yelled "No, down!" He turned it back to where it was and then moved right on to my snare. I told our bassist to get behind the kit then went up to the soundboard and fixed it myself. It was my equipment anyway, and I hate entrusting my machine to other people.
 

skitch

New member
As a a drummer AND a soundman, you should try being at the soundboard first before criticizing someone else's job. It is a very different story at the console. Yes, it seems like there are just as many hack soundmen as there are hack drummers out there. Owning a PA doesn't make one a soundman just as owning a drum set doesn't make one a drummer.

I was running sound last night and one of the guys in the band was pointing up for the keyboard player's mic to be turned up...it was already most of the way up! The keyboard player has a very soft voice and very loud monitor right by him. so guess what happens? As I turn up the vocal mic, the mic also picks up the bleed thru of his keyboard amp, the snare drum and the bass guitar rig as well!

You learn to deal with quite a bit and remember the old adage about the difference between a soundman and a toilet.
 
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