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No time to set-up my own gear

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by Justinvs, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've been playing with a new band since July, and since I'm the guy that owns the PA (calling my antiquated system a PA may be a stretch) I wind up being the sound guy as well. By the time I get the PA set up and manage to do a quick soundcheck, there is almost no time to set up my guitar amp and pedals before we start playing. And even if I do hook up my pedals, without a chance to set the levels on my stomp boxes or replace batteries in them I usually end up pulling them out of the chain in sheer frustration.

    It really sucks, the last two gigs I haven't used anything beyond a Tube Screamer for dirt. And the battery went dead after a few songs the last gig so I didn't even have that for most of the time.

    Grrrrrrrr!
     
  2. BlackAmpeg

    BlackAmpeg Tele-Holic

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    Where I live, unless you're really somebody who can afford to pay roadies, you get paid for set-up and tear-down; you play for free. Don't want to help set up the PA and pack it up at the end of the night? Cool, the guys who did can split your cut!
     
  3. JonnyPM

    JonnyPM Tele-Meister

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    Can you set up your gear first? Then when the rest of the band members find out that the PA gear needs set up maybe they'll help. When they complain, tell them you can't do both. That seems fair.

    JPM
     
  4. SachaPlusDeluxe

    SachaPlusDeluxe Tele-Meister

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    Hi Justinvs

    I'm in the same position with the PA being mine, the way I get round it is to use the same settings on my pedals and I only ever change the amp volume (I only run a clean channel) and the pedals are always set correctly.

    With regards to the battery issue, use a powered supply, no worries then!

    The biggest issue I have is the time it takes to tune three guitars before we start playing.
     
  5. stankepanck

    stankepanck Tele-Holic

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    Either tell your bandmates (ask) you need help so that you can get your rig together as well. You could also go a little earlier to set up. In some bands owning the PA = extra $. If this is the case Id come early and set up the PA then set up my rig with everyone else.
     
  6. Big_Bend

    Big_Bend Poster Extraordinaire

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    As the guy with the band PA that does most of the setup and teardown work, I can relate.

    Get to the gig 3 hours early is my only suggestion. :D
     
  7. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

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    All good suggestions. Thanks!

    I always try to get to a gig early, but since I work a day job I always find myself running behind. Time, it seems, is even scarcer than money.:lol:
     
  8. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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  9. vjf1968

    vjf1968 Poster Extraordinaire

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    The bass player (his PA) and I pick up the PA from his house, load it in his truck, go to the venue, set the PA up and then reverse the whole thing at the end of the night.

    The drummer also gets there a little early to set his drums up.

    Tell your bandmates to either start helping or find a new band to play in.
     
  10. syrynx

    syrynx Tele-Afflicted

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    This seems to me like a sensible and diplomatic way to bring up the subject. Where's the high five icon I need? ^5
     
  11. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I have to chime in with the Powered Pedal Board crowd.
    As hard as you work, with your given time constraints, you owe it to yourself.

    I do the bulk of the Set-up on the PA as well.
    I have system. It isn't perfect, but it works for me.

    Things that go to the Back of the Stage go in first.
    Then I work my way to the front of the stage. How I load the Van before the Gig is very important.
    I try to avoid moving anything twice. If I have to move it again, it should be when I'm tearing down to load-out.

    F'rinstance: If I bring in Stage Monitors, put them in place, then have to move them yet again to get my other stuff on Stage, I'm working against myself.

    The others in the band should know enough about the Board (what a wonderful world that would be) to set their own levels while you are getting your gear checked-out for the show.
     
  12. BottyGuy

    BottyGuy Tele-Meister

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    In our band I own the PA and know how it works, but most of it stay's in the drummer's basement which is our practice space. Its just an integrated 8-channel mixer amp with two 500W channels. Everyone loads it in and out and we put the PA, monitors, mic stands, and mains in about the right place during the load in. Everyone pretty much remembers about where they need to go.

    Once the most of the drum kit and keyboards are in the right place I set up my amp and pedal board (a powered pedal board saves a bunch of time).

    Then I start working on hooking up the PA, by this time the Bass player is done with his setup and he starts running speaker and mic cables. First just running them from the mics to the PA to make sure we have the right lengths in place (all the mic cables have color rings on the ends). Then we hook them up to the board, I have all the channels marked on a strip of tape (Joe Vox, Steve Vox, Bass DI, Kick, etc.) so anyone can get the right cable hooked up to the right input.

    The singer/guitar player helps set up the monitors, we have two for the front and one for the drummer, and makes sure they can be heard. The keyboard player likes taping things down with gaffers tape so he does that. By the time the drummer is finished with his set-up the PA is mostly ready.

    I have a couple pictures of the mixer settings for indoor and outdoor gigs on my phone and that is how I set the mixer up to start. Mixing from the stage doesn't work too well, there were always some complaints, so lately we've been inviting a friend over to adjust the mix during the first set and pay him in a couple beers. He doesn't need to adjust too much, usually it's just the mains level and singer's mic levels and maybe telling us to turn up or down a guitar amp.

    This has worked really well (no complaints from the audience, from asking around everything is being heard), plus it's much less aggravation for me, playing is enough for me to worry about. No matter how the mix sounds initially it needs some changing when there are warm bodies in the audience and we really start playing.

    Tear down works sort of the same way, I pack up my guitar and amp first, then I get help from the other folks after they pack their stuff up.
     
  13. joeybcdt

    joeybcdt Tele-Meister

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    I always setup my gear first before we had a soundman. If the other musicians saw a need for a soundcheck they helped with the PA. They always helped.

    Load-out...no one leaves until everyone is loaded.

    I also like the philosophy that we play for free. We get paid for load-in/out.
     
  14. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    It takes me 5 minutes, maybe to dump my amp somewhere, plug it in, and plug in a compressor and tuner plus tune my guitar. I help with the PA and or drums.
     
  15. D_Schief

    D_Schief Tele-Holic

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    I'm in a similar position, but fortunately everyone pitches in -- as they should! The drummer usually drops by the club in the afternoon (he drives a delivery truck) and then usually doesn't arrive back at the gig until 10 minutes to "go time." That's cool; takes him 30+ minutes to set up. Then I've trained the bass player on setting up the PA speakers and lights, and the lead singer on how to run the PA and monitor cables and to set up the mics. So I assist them and get my own gear set up in a reasonable amount of time. I'm even getting close to teaching the lad singer how t properly roll up the cables. Almost!!

    Point being, everyone can learn to help and do something that shares the load.
     
  16. Count

    Count Friend of Leo's

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    Do your stuff first and the PA last. It makes sense to set up the PA last anyway, after all the instruments and amps are in position and set up.
     
  17. stnmtthw

    stnmtthw Friend of Leo's

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    Man, I know how you feel. I don't own the PA (the drummer does; he bought it when he started the band, and has no clue how it works), but I'm the only one in the band who knows how to run it. I'm also the guy with the pickup truck, so I get to haul everyone's crap to the gig.

    My band does help me out, though, even if it is just "run this cable that way and plug it in on number three" or "help me get this speaker cab in the truck". A couple extra pairs of hands can save a lot of time.
     
  18. jguitarman

    jguitarman Tele-Afflicted

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    Our drummer always arrives first and starts setting up to stay out of everyone elses way. I have my pedals on a powered board and can load in and set up in 15 minutes. I then start helping with the p.a. system. Our 4 piece band can tear down in about 25 minutes and then we end up helping the drummer carry stuff. Nobody leaves until everyone's finished and loaded. It also helps if you pay the band members right as everyone's ready to drive away.
     
  19. D_Schief

    D_Schief Tele-Holic

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    +1, +1, +1
     
  20. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Chiming in, set up a powered pedal board and ask a bandmate to set up your guitar rig while you do the PA. If the board is powered and it's just plugging in an adapter, the amp, and 2 instrument cables to the board, it shouldn't be a mental challenge to anybody.

    My board runs off a daisy chain that is always plugged into the pedals. Setting it up involves taking the board out of its bag, plugging in the two instrument cables and the power adapter.
     
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