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Old 11-21-2013, 04:50 AM   #1
Vendetta V
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Question Soundcheck workflow for you

Hey guys, with a show tomorrow I am thinking about how the soundcheck is gonna go.
I'm playing at a show with 10 bands/artists sharing the stage thruout the show. It's part of a big festival. Now the organizers have the soundcheck appointed at 1pm and the show starts at 7pm.

I was wondering what your soundcheck workflow is. Once it's your turn, you get on stage, cooperate with the sound engineer then leave the stage. What happens after that? Do you unplug your gear and take it off the stage? Do you leave it there to the mercy of other bands (who might end up stepping on your pedalboards, kicking your amps and guitars, etc)?


tell me
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:48 AM   #2
Phil Starr
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First have a little faith in the sound engineer. I know it is fashionable to treat them all as dicks but really they probably do know more about it than most musicians and their best interest is in making you sound as good as possible. I used to run sound at free festivals and it is a near impossible job. By and large you don't know any of their material or any of their personal sound preferences and the number of things that can go wrong are so huge the sound engineers will spend the whole gig crisis managing.

Be prepared for anything as a musician. If you are used to your own PA and monitoring this is going to sound very different on stage, not better or worse just different. Don't let that spook you as a musician, concentrate on the music and let them worry about the sound.

My guess is that at the 1.00 soundcheck they will be keeping it very basic, just making sure they have a good feed from everyone whether by miking up or using DI, setting a basic monitor mix and a rough front of house balance. My experience is that bands routinely change all their settings between soundcheck and performance however much you ask them not to so you can't get too close on the front of house mix till the performance starts. The best way you can help here is to make sure your monitors are adequate. Unless this is a huge gig with a separate engineer mixing the monitors you are going to be stuck with this whilst you play as the guy on the desk can't hear what is going on up on the stage. just politely ask for a 'bit more vocal please' or 'a bit less guitar' until you get the sound you are happy with.

I'd remove most of my gear after this, they will want a clear stage not 10 pedal boards cluttering the place up and it isn't a safe environment, neither roadies or musicians are particularly careful. They should have a system set up with your gear waiting at the side of the stage before you go on and cleared from the other side at the end of your set or whatever. Get set up as quickly as possible. If they have allowed a 15min changeover and you take 12 min's to plug your pedals together then you have only 3 mins to solve any other problems. If you walk in plug in and are ready to go in 3mins then the pressure on the engineers is reduced and they can sort out more niggles, they'll also take you more seriously because you are showing a more professional approach.

Relax and enjoy it, whatever it sounds like on stage it is likely the audience will get a good deal as the front of house mix is going to be the best sound going. Be confident whatever happens and concentrate on performance for now the sound is someone else's problem.

Have fun.
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Old 11-21-2013, 06:57 AM   #3
Blackst4r
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+1 on what he said.

1.Do not forget to tell the sound engineer your preferences and if you like me have 3 different stages on your amp that both you and him are happy with the final volumes, you donīt want to mid gig go and turn up your amp and put him on the spot.

2. Donīt be afraid to nit-pick....if you canīt hear yourself, or someone else in the band, tell him in a precise and kind fashion what the problem is...there will be no going back when its go time

3. Remember heīs dealing with the stress of 12 other bands and the more professional and curtious you are the more likely youīll end up having an awesome gig

4.Never leave your gear lying around
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Old 11-21-2013, 07:54 AM   #4
Vendetta V
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Thanks for the replies guys! It's not my first gig and not my first soundcheck either. just the first time where there are tons of other bands playing/festival gig.

I actually can't agree more about the soundguy. I'm a mixing engineer myself and have had a few concerts where I was mixing the FOH (not big concerts though) and some bands' attitude is just killing the fun.

I'm usually the one to walk up to the engineer and talk to hiim prior to setting up and then usually the only guy who walks up to him at the end of the gig and say thanks.


for soundguys!

Anyways what I worry the most tomorrow is how all the bands are gonna fit their gear there on the stage or backroom. I wonder who is gonna bring what. I'll definitely try to keep my pedalboard and the rest off everybody's reach once i'm done playing cause there's too many expensive pedals that one could steal or something.
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:04 AM   #5
ryanbwags
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I did a few larger shows in my days with the old band. We were fortunate enough to know and befriend quite a few of the bands from playing around town with them. This meant we had good enough rapport with them to share some equipment (gasp! playing someone else's rig! the hell you say!) we grouped our sets to share the bass amp, drum kit. etc. We all used our own pedalboards, cymbals, and instruments. We just used them on whichever amp rig and drum kit was best. Cut teardown/setup in half and the sound guy was super happy. It was also a show where everything was backlined, so we saved a ton of space on stage. More room to run about (I never stand in one place when playing).
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:51 PM   #6
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They'll probably have you backline your amps and such and just move peoples off stage as the first bands finish. After soundcheck though, I'd unplug everything, put guitars in cases, pedals up. Just don't touch the mic or amp settings.
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Old 11-23-2013, 03:35 PM   #7
Vendetta V
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Unfortunately it turned out to be a HUGE mess. some of the bands didn't even show up. Another band came and then refused to play. Anyways All that aside the show was great. I figured out I better play the first then just take my gear off the stage completely. After me the band that played was meh so a lot of the crowd got out of the place already so I got lucky to play the first (and to the most of the crowd)

here's a bonus pic


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Old 12-04-2013, 11:47 PM   #8
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Bummer about some of the "issues." Professionalism among some sects of musicians can be a rarity.

Ten bands and everyone got a soundcheck?! I'm impressed. I've done shows where there have been three bands and the headliner got a sound check, but the other two never got any more than a line check.

CT
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