First Gig Questions!


PDA

View Full Version : First Gig Questions!


QuantumMechanix
02-24-2011, 01:17 PM
It's not really my first gig, I've played at coffee shops and bars and whatnot in the past, but we've always done our own sound and brought our own PA equipment. My new band has a real show (opening at a concert venue) and I'm not used to this kind of thing.

I'm assuming we'll have to do a sound check and have someone else mix our sound while we're playing. I don't know what all we're supposed to bring (mics, stands etc.?) We have 10 minutes to set up and I was just wondering what's involved in "setting up" and what exactly the venue provides for us.

I guess I'm just looking for someone who's experienced at playing real shows like this to "prepare" me for what the experience is like and what to expect.... thanks

Guano23
02-24-2011, 01:31 PM
If sound is being provided they always use thier mics. You should only need your instrument, amp and cab. This has been the case for any show Ive palyed at where sound was provided by someone other than my band. Be it large venues or some dive bar. Honestly this is info your band should already have recieved from who ever is putting on the show.

P.B.
02-24-2011, 01:32 PM
every venue is different, so contact whomever you booked through and ask.

but typically the mics, mic stands are provided by the venue.

typically you just bring your amps, guitars, cables, pedals, drums etc.

However, once in a blue moon you might be sharing drums, or sharing amps etc.

like i said, call the venue and find out exactly what to be ready for, and if you will be getting soundcheck done, as sometime they won't do it for the opening act.

blake1221
02-24-2011, 01:33 PM
Contact the venue beforehand, but generally they should have all the equipment ready. I wouldn't even worry about stands or your own mics. They'll generally provide 2-3 vocals and enough to mic your equipment. Set up fast, don't bumble around, be nice to the sound guy and ask if you can get a sound check if not offered.

Good luck man! Get someone to record!

QuantumMechanix
02-24-2011, 01:43 PM
every venue is different, so contact whomever you booked through and ask.

but typically the mics, mic stands are provided by the venue.

typically you just bring your amps, guitars, cables, pedals, drums etc.

However, once in a blue moon you might be sharing drums, or sharing amps etc.

like i said, call the venue and find out exactly what to be ready for, and if you will be getting soundcheck done, as sometime they won't do it for the opening act.
Technically we're the second opening act if that makes any difference. Our singer arranged all of this so I never even directly talked to anyone from the venue. He just doesnt play any instruments so I don't think he asked about any of this stuff. I'm pretty sure we're not sharing drums or amps or anything, but it would just be a lot more stress if we would have to worry about bringing our own mics and trying to mic up everything by ourselves

axemanchris
02-25-2011, 12:04 AM
I'm assuming ....

Don't assume anything. Seriously. Just don't.


we'll have to do a sound check

Hmmm..... if you only have ten minutes to set up, I'm going to guess that you'll get a line-check and that's it.


and have someone else mix our sound while we're playing. I don't know what all we're supposed to bring (mics, stands etc.?) We have 10 minutes to set up and I was just wondering what's involved in "setting up" and what exactly the venue provides for us.

Now, clearly, someone else is calling the shots here. The question is "who?" You need to find out and ask them. Yeah, you'll *probably* have someone there to do sound, but it's not unrealistic to suggest that the sound person there is being paid by the headlining band to do sound for the headlining band. The other bands.... "sure, I'll do sound for you. My rate is $100/hr." Or, "So... who is doing sound for you guys?"

What will probably happen is this....

You'll have your ten minutes, which will give you enough time to haul your amps up and throw a mic at them. Your drummer will fly in his/her breakables (cymbals, snare drum, etc.), but will use core components of an existing kit.

That will leave you with about 30 seconds to do a quick line check ("Okay... singer... say something into the mic.... guitar.... play something.... bass.... play something.... drummer... hit a few things.... GREAT! You're ON!!") In the interest of time, mics will all be set up and it will simply be a matter of moving them around.

But for goodness sake.... don't assume anything.

CT

AlanHB
02-25-2011, 12:29 AM
^^^ I'm with Axeman right here. It also goes without saying that these 10 minute setup jobs usually result in a mix which is not the preferred choice, to say the least.

To those saying "you don't need to bring a mic", whilst this is true I usually bring my own mic anyway. For a singer, it's equivalent to using a "house guitar" instead of bringing your own. To be fair, venues "usually" have the type of mic (SM58/Beta58) in which case I don't use my own, but if I get to the stage and see say a Beringer, I have a quick talk to the sound guy and stick in my own mic.

Punk_Ninja
02-25-2011, 05:40 AM
Yeah I'd bring your own mics just in case, cos depending on the venue you don't know how prepared they'll be!

All I can really say, as it's been pretty much all been covered, mainly by Axemanchris, prepare for everything.
Bring all the stuff you need, make sure you've practiced setting up and taking down, and definitely be nice to the sound guy and the other bands!
If you do end up borrowng gear and you've not been very nice to whoever you're borrowing it off, there will be complications!

Phil Starr
02-25-2011, 06:20 AM
First of all you do need to talk to someone before you turn up and find out what is there. If you've only got 10 mins there won't be time to set up a drum kit for example, so 10 mins is hopeful or they are expecting you to use a house kit. They may prefer you to use the existing backline as well. You also need to know whether they are going to mic up your gear, DI it or leave you to use the backline and just have vocals/acoustic instruments going through the PA.

As a promoter and sound engineer I know there is a compromise between getting a good sound, which takes time, and a smooth running show which needs to keep down the changeovers. Axeman is right, you are probably only getting a line check, and if you are lucky they will set levels with the meters on the mixer. It helps the sound engineer if you just do what is asked and ideally have something ready to say over the mics, sing the national anthem or recite a nursery rhyme rather than say one-two which won't give time to set a level. If you are asked to play then give them ten seconds at your normal volume.

Be prepared to ask for things, if at the end of the first number you can't hear something you need to perform, tell the sound engineer. If he doesn't know then he can't do anything to help. Keep this down to a minimum though as the audience doesn't need to hear too much of this.

Don't worry about what the audience hears, this is the engineers job, you need to concentrate on performance. I reckon to get a reasonable balance in the first 30 secs and a good sound a couple of songs in as I tweak levels and eq/effects.

If you get a good engineer then you will sound better than ever, if you get a poor one then there is nothing you can do. Assume the guy/girl is competent and work with them as best you can. Do your homework, find out exactly what you need in advance and read up as much as possible about PA. Start on UG http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/the_guide_to/the_guide_to_pa__part_two_-_setting_up_and_soundchecking.html and loads of others

QuantumMechanix
02-25-2011, 02:50 PM
Yeah, you'll *probably* have someone there to do sound, but it's not unrealistic to suggest that the sound person there is being paid by the headlining band to do sound for the headlining band. The other bands.... "sure, I'll do sound for you. My rate is $100/hr." Or, "So... who is doing sound for you guys?"


CT
Geez really? I thought the sound engineer was paid by the venue. I mean, they made us sell at least 50 tickets at $10 a piece so they're making pretty good money off us. Luckily we do have a decent amount of mics we could bring just in case but I really thought all of that would be taken care of by the venue. We can't even practice mic'ing everything up because for practice we only use a small PA just for the vocals. I guess all we can really do is bring the mics and hope for the best.

But we're a metalcore band so even if we suck everyone will still love it :haha:

Edit: I do know they at least provide a house PA and monitors. I've seen pictures of the place

Punk_Ninja
02-25-2011, 03:21 PM
Usually sound guys are paid by the venue (any gig I've done which has had a sound engineer has been paid by the venue) but what Axemanchris is saying is he might say "I'm only being paid to tech for the headliner, if you can give me some cash I can do your stuff too" or something along those lines.

axemanchris
02-25-2011, 07:00 PM
Exactly. And the key word is "usually."

For instance, some venues say that they have a PA but you have to pay their sound guy yourself or provide your own.

Sometimes, if the headliner has their own sound guy, the venue will tell their own soundguy to take the night off. Because the headliner is the one paying the sound guy, well... you're NOT paying the sound guy.

CT