Suggestions for a future sound guy

pianistfingers

New member
Hello all you drummers!

I am a pianist, drummer and keyboardist. As all of you have, I've been screwed over by bad sound guys at one time or another. I also, in some cases, am a person who says "if you know so much about it, then YOU do it". As for sound, I have said this to myself.

After highschool and college, I want to become a sound guy. I already run the sound at local parties, and I have been working on recordings for some bands.

All you drummers...what are your suggestions for a sound man? Any tips you would tell someone who wants to become a sound guy (like me, for instance)? I already can think of a few:

-run a good monitor for the drummer if they want it
-don't mess up the kit to mic it. If I cant mic the toms, I usually just throw some more overhead mics in

any more suggestions would be more than welcome. I know how much people hate the sound guy, and I want to be one of the ones people DON'T hate.
 

Rockaflodge

New member
Me and my sound guy have a great friendship, I would think the best way is just run the sound to how the band wants it. I mean as long as they are happy, your happy.
 

screamkevin

New member
Rule Number One: LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN. Your drummer knows what he wants to hear. He may not be able to explain it in terms you understand, but he'll get the point across if you listen, have an open mind, and work with him.


Rule Number Two: Be patient. Most drummers know exactly what they want from their drums. Problem is, it usually sounds like crap out front. Trust your ears, work with the drummer and find a common ground. Don't be a dick.


And most important...













SEE RULE #1!!!
 

Flatliner

New member
become really good with sound, know how to get what you/the drummer wants out of the sound, there are to many "professionals" walking around that think having all the cords plugged in to the right jacks and mikes means that and sound problem isn't their fault.

The more you play the instrument you're trying to mic the better you will understand what will help when you are problem solving to get the best sound.
 

pianistfingers

New member
Flatliner said:
become really good with sound, know how to get what you/the drummer wants out of the sound, there are to many "professionals" walking around that think having all the cords plugged in to the right jacks and mikes means that and sound problem isn't their fault.

The more you play the instrument you're trying to mic the better you will understand what will help when you are problem solving to get the best sound.
Oh yea, I totally agree. My summer rock camp does a concert at the end of the week. The sound guy does JUST THAT. Sets up some mics and speakers and considers his work done.

Drums are probably the hardest instrument to mic/record. I play drums, so I have SOME idea what I am doing =)
 

percussionmafia

New member
Word! just learn the tweaks and listen to what they want to hear but I have to contradict some people by saying there are times when you will need to be a dick! We should all havbe to admit that when it comes to live sound we probably learned a few things from a GOOD sound guy who wasn't afraid to know us off our pedestal and show us what we need to sound good out front. Just cuz we play em dosent always make us right!
Are you planning on going to Full Sail, The Conservatory,etc? If you wanna be a real sound guy full time and not have a 9-5 it's worth not doing it half assed! My cousin went to school at the conservatory in Mesa AZ and now works for Yamaha showing off their new soundboards and stuff so good luck to ya and hopefully all will work out how you want it to
 

dave lynch

New member
Simple..Add high end to the drum sound...don't be so worried that you'll blow out horns and things like that..As far as the kick...alot of high mids..mediums highs..short on the low mids and alot of lows..Just don't be affraid cuz you can always back off ...Simple !!
 

sickness

New member
I'm a drummer/Knob tweaker. I do all the live mixing when my band plays live. I tweak the amps to get what the guitarists want. I set up effects pedals for what the user is looking for, if they can't get the sound they want out of their pedals I break mine out (I'm an avid Boss pedal collector). You don't need to go to a specialized school to learn how to tweak knobs. If you have an open mind to what the band wants then you won't have a problem running a sound board. Try to get a good ear pleasing sound from the board alone (before you ply on the effects) For my sleaze rock band I like to add reverb to the drums for that big arena rock sound. For my Rock/Industrial project I like a drier drum sound (a'la prong's cleansing album). For my metal band i like just a touch of reverb on the drums. It's all in the ear of the beholder. Also listen to as many styles of music that you can, don't limit yourself.
 

Drumman74

New member
Dave Lynch....I hope you are kidding....That's a good way to blow out everyone's ear drums with feedback. Every situation is different, there are a ton of things that effect the sound, and it's different every time. I'm heading to work, but i'll post again this evening and give some tips. Looking forward to helping, I've been a drummer for 30 yrs. and I graduated from audio engineering school a few years back... Check back later, and feel free to throw any specific questions my way.
 

The Alien Drummer

New member
I'm a drummer that also runs sound on my off nights. Every Band, Every Club has different needs. Outside of knowing how to set it up and twist the knobs, you need the proper equipment for the size venue and the ability to trouble shoot problems. It's not a simple task for an unexperienced person. Knowing what PA to buy, what cables, mics, snakes, processing, power, trailer, vehicle that can tow it. It's a HUGE expensive project. Every bit as challenging as to what drums to buy and how to play them.

But the drummer is only one person in the band, you also need to know how to mic, mix, process the guitars, bass, keyboards, horns and whatever else a band might throw at you. I've run sound for screamo emo bands to blues bands. Garage bands to touring bands. Every one of them has had their own unique challenge.

As far as my preperation: I started touring at 17 and helping the sound guys set their stuff up when I was done. After years of that then I was in a band that had a PA and I learned how to set it up and run it. After years of doing that then bands, that knew I had equipment, started calling wanting me to run sound for them. I am NOT an expert nor am I educated, I always learn something new. But it is nice to be able to make some money on the nights you don't play.

My suggestion is to put a list together of what YOU think you need along with the prices. Run that list by people who already do it. Then you will understand what type of financial obligation it will take to start going. If it's in your budget then buy the gear and find someone MORE knowledgable than you to help in the beginning. If you make $300 a night, pay them $100 or whatever. After you know you can do it by yourself, then ditch the training wheels and jump in. BUT if you don't know what you're doing then it won't be fair to the band that gets messed around and will ruin your rep.-- Long winded answer, sorry! Hope it helps!
 

Dale

New member
pianistfingers":9amlscsc said:
Hello all you drummers!

I am a pianist, drummer and keyboardist. As all of you have, I've been screwed over by bad sound guys at one time or another. I also, in some cases, am a person who says "if you know so much about it, then YOU do it". As for sound, I have said this to myself.

After highschool and college, I want to become a sound guy. I already run the sound at local parties, and I have been working on recordings for some bands.

All you drummers...what are your suggestions for a sound man? Any tips you would tell someone who wants to become a sound guy (like me, for instance)? I already can think of a few:

-run a good monitor for the drummer if they want it
-don't mess up the kit to mic it. If I cant mic the toms, I usually just throw some more overhead mics in

any more suggestions would be more than welcome. I know how much people hate the sound guy, and I want to be one of the ones people DON'T hate.
I suggest you do a course either at university or at an institute such as SAE. I used to sometimes lecture at an SAE institute and have seen the great results myself.

One piece of advice for when you are on a gig is that you ask the musicians what they want. Then supply what they need. Never assume you know what they want.
 
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