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Sound engineer rant

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by sir humphrey, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. sir humphrey

    sir humphrey Friend of Leo's

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    I'll start off by saying sound engineers have a tough job, especially dealing with egotistical musicians in the day job.

    But tonight the guy at our gig was a word I can't use on this forum without being banned.

    The moment we walked through the door he handed our drummer - unprompted - a list of the "names" he'd worked with. It went downhill from there.

    He was condescending and arsey at every turn - including claiming we wanted to be able to hear each other in the monitors on a very large stage because "we were used to dealing with amateurs and I am a pro" and refusing to eq my resonator the way I wanted it because I "didn't know what I was talking about".

    Just as we were going on stage he grabbed our drummer and refused to let him go until he'd told him how he was flying out to Japan tomorrow to work with Roger Daltrey!

    Anyhow, gig went well considering - apart from appalling feedback on the reso and poor on stage monitoring.

    After the gig we did the usual shaking hands with the punters on the way out, and they were all very nice and positive apart from a few comments on the reso sound and feedback.

    At the end of the night I went over to the sound guy and shook has hand, said "Thanks for your work tonight. Good luck with Roger Daltry. At least he doesn't play a resonator".

    We'll be playing the same theatre again next year. I've already requested that they use a different sound guy.

    Rant over!
     
  2. Tony474

    Tony474 Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    I'm regrettably not unacquainted with [rude word]s of this ilk. Like those with whom I've had to contend, your bloke claiming to be a "sound engineer" was clearly an extremely UNsound one...
     
  3. brianswindall

    brianswindall Tele-Afflicted

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    A band I used to play with did a small gig where there was a sound guy that insisted on setting up the board for recording instead of for the live performance. A few days after the gig he offered to sell us the recording. I knocked him on his ass in the street.
     
  4. william tele

    william tele Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Pretty tame as far as rants go...

    Have you been checked for low "T"?
     
  5. sir humphrey

    sir humphrey Friend of Leo's

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    Don't know about my T, but the guy was a C
     
  6. william tele

    william tele Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    :lol:

    I think you showed some awesome restraint. Good on ya...
     
  7. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yup, there are some guys who think the world of themselves.

    I would have told him a thing or two about bragging rights.
    I don't care about who you are working with tomorrow or
    who you did yesterday. Your job right now is sucking like
    a vacuum cleaner and your cocky attitude makes it worse.

    I used to have to work with a LD who took his job too
    seriously. As an audio guy I would watch him bully his
    local crew around, I mean this guy got nasty!
    Till one day he pissed off the wrong crew leader and she
    told her crew to stop what they were doing and walk away.

    He was speechless. He had a show to do and no crew! His attitude
    got the better of him.

    YOU SHOULD HAVE HEARD HIM APOLOGIZE TO DEB!!!!!
    It was the funniest sh-t for quite a while around there!

    Your sound guy sounds like he has issues.
     
  8. 1955

    1955 Doctor of Teleocity

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    If only weirdo-sound guys could hear themselves think! Then they could at least slap a 100db limiter on their quirkies that should not ever become spoken words to other humans. Thankfully, most sound guys I've encountered are pretty down to earth.
     
  9. GTRG1960

    GTRG1960 TDPRI Member

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    I hate egotistical sound guys, Luckily I've only ran into a couple. We have one around here that brags constantly about who he's ran sound for. He's always dropping names. Thing is he usually does a pretty good job but, his mixes are not as good as he brags about them.
     
  10. Timbertea

    Timbertea Tele-Holic

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    I had the exact opposite experience this week. Played in a 600 size hall, and the sound guy was asking me if I wanted to be mic'd or not. I told him, I just need a monitor that works, and a minute to walk out to hear the mix without the mic to decide. I told him I preferred to go without the amp into the mixer as I use the volume knob rather extensively, and didn't want him to trying to adjust it when he heard the guitar fade to the background. He told me he could work with it either way. Set up a mic just in case someone else wanted me in their monitor, but didn't feed that into the main PA.

    We sounded fantastic all night, and he told us at the end of the show "You guys were the easiest group I've had all week to work with." It DID help that check in for the show was at 5pm, and he gave us a full 45 minutes to tweak anything we wanted considering the number of devices we had. Once we had our own mixing board set, there wasn't a lot for him to do for us.

    It helped being in a hall that didn't have a lot of reflections, and just generally had great acoustics. There are some really popular venues locally (that I wont name -- except to say one of the worst is just outside of U City) that have absolutely horrible reflection issues. That place isn't as bad as being in a parking garage or a high school gymnasium, but if a monitor quits on you there or you can't crank your amp enough to get over it -- its a miserable experience to play.

    I have had arrogant engineers before, but never one that bragged about who all he had worked with.
     
  11. guitar dan

    guitar dan Tele-Afflicted

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    We had one last week. New club, bands are forced to use the house system and engineer, and pay him $100. Not bad deal, except for:
    1) We have a sound man that is part of the band. We decided to cut him in on every gig so he'll be there for us when we need him
    2) the house guy is completely clueless.

    The house guy gets all the cables connected and starts checking at 9:00. The gig is supposed to start at 9:30. The house is packed already and everything is squealing and feeding back. He's mumbling something inaudible through a talk back mic. Our sound man was there but the house guy was shutting him out. Our monitors suck bad and its the 2nd gig with a new female singer.

    Log story not quite as long.... we played a short set. Went out to the truck and got out own mixer (Mackie DL1608) Our guy patched into 2 channels of the house, pulled up one of our saved shows, we adjusted our own monitors on our Ipads.. Boom!!! perfect 2nd set.

    We went on break and the house guy says "Oh, I figured out what was wrong", and then he changed the house EQ. Our sound man was pissed. He had to work around it and got it sound decent eventually.

    I can't understand why the house guy is employed there, and why he wont accept help from someone who is clearly more experienced. Oh well. We're bring our mixer again next time and hopefully he'll step out of the way and collect his $100 quietly.
     
  12. 1955

    1955 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Back in the 90's our band was playing the Chameleon Club in Atlanta, and two guitar players were discussing the Humbler Gatton tape, which if I remember correctly, was recorded from maybe two shows in Berkley?

    Anyhow, the sound man mentioned that he had run sound one/both? of those nights. He wasn't name-dropping or anything like bragging, just commenting on what a great guitar player Gatton was.

    I wish I could remember his name- I love those Gordon/Gatton shows, woulda been great to catch that band live. The sound guy did an excellent job for us that night, and that was an example of a cool aside that I appreciated.
     
  13. jmiles

    jmiles Friend of Leo's

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    " absolutely horrible reflection issues."

    Played a gig at a club outside Kent once. The walls were covered with sheets of stainless steel!
     
  14. babalooga

    babalooga Tele-Holic

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    Unfortunately, a sound tech can make or break a band. I am a firm believer that a sound man should also be a musician.
     
  15. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    The list of people I refuse to work with is very short:
    1. Narcissist

    They are by definition and nature "not team players" and they can make any job tough.
     
  16. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yeah, the feeling is rather mutual with
    respect to sound guys. Musicians should
    be a little familiar with audio reinforcement.

    If I tell the sound guy my guitar starts to feedback
    when I hit the A string, you would expect him to
    know that the frequency is about 440 right?

    Same thing goes for musicians I think.
    As a guy who also wears an audio cap,
    I don't know how many times I've heard
    musicians say they want more high end on
    their instrument but can't pinpoint what
    frequency they are talking about.

    Electric guitar guy who want 10k boosted
    but doesn't understand their amp and speakers
    take a cutoff after 5k. Or they always want
    to boost the wrong frequencies for their rig.

    Too much reverb, too much stage volume,
    too much cocky attitude.......and then you
    have a sound guy who has the same useless
    attitude.....Oh well, I already bought my ticket.
    A donation for a worthy cause, I hope.
     
  17. StuR

    StuR Banned

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    My reaction - if my guess is right - would have been
    "Why do none of these appear more than once, didn't they want you back again, why's that?"
     
  18. guitar dan

    guitar dan Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah, we all have to work together and play nice. If you go to the sound engineers message board, you'll see all the gripes from them. Loud amps, ice pick tones, banging drummers, etc.
     
  19. jmiles

    jmiles Friend of Leo's

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    Played a place once with a house system and engineer. He didn't want me to use the volume pedal on my pedal steel! I had to convince him it was an "expression" pedal, like on a Hammond Organ. He still wasn't happy!
     
  20. Triton Thrasher

    Triton Thrasher Tele-Afflicted

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    Or: "Who are you working for tonight?"


    "Well, don't you forget it!"
     
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