#1
Today I was sound engineering for a Jazz Festival at the Community Theatre. Twice I had these control-freak band leader people come up to where I was(The soundboard) and start telling me what to do. Since they are the ones who are paying, I generally have to do what they want. It always sounds alot worse that how I had it. I'm the one who knows what I'm doing, they don't. I was considering telling the old granny that if she wants she can sit at the board. I'd get the hell away from the board to keep the blame away from me though.
Anyways,
Anyone have this happen?
..I was watching my death.
#3
Quote by z4twenny
its horrible but turn it up/down then as soon as they walk off turn it back.


I wish they walked back. They stood behind me the whole time, which was about 20 minutes. At least all the people in the band were very attractive young females... But at a distance, anything can seem attractive.

One time a while ago, this group I work with often(Five groups directed by the same person, R&B, Vocal Jazz, Vocal Combo, Choir and Chamber Choir.).
For some reason she insists on having the mids turned down on the vocals. She even comes to the mixer and stands in front of it and ****s with the EQ. Pisses me right off.
..I was watching my death.
#5
Try this. Most people don't know their way around a mixer. Pick a knob that won't do anything and adjust it a bit, like maybe a aux send that doesn't go anywhere. Or an EQ knob on an unused channel.

turning slowly... "How's that? Better? A bit more?"

"Okay, yeah. I think that's good."

"Great! Glad I could help!"

The power of suggestion can be quite powerful, and a lot of people "hear with their eyes" instead of their ears.

Alternately, I guess you can see another good reason why the soundboard is a good distance away from the stage. The further the better in this case.


CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#6
I usually just look and go "Look, I can walk away right now and let you mix it yourself or you can leave it how I set it. You guys sound good but if you don't like it, do it yourself"
Derpy Derp Derp Herp Derp
#7
One of the things I have learned is that you have to make it known that you will do your job, and they better stick to theirs. It is really easy to just be rude and say something like, "I dont tell you how to manage your band, so dont tell me how to run the board." Trying to be polite about things like that is a bit harder. You can either do like Chris said and just fake it, or find a polite way to get them off their back. But do not give in to people like that. They just start to take over more and more if you do.


However, sometimes the band leader does know what is best for their band or might have some good tips. Like the singer/soloist might get way too close to the mic during some sections and knowing this before hand is helpful so you can monitor the volume to keep it even. They should be helping you do your job, not telling you how to do it.
#8
Quote by axemanchris
Try this. Most people don't know their way around a mixer. Pick a knob that won't do anything and adjust it a bit, like maybe a aux send that doesn't go anywhere. Or an EQ knob on an unused channel.

turning slowly... "How's that? Better? A bit more?"

"Okay, yeah. I think that's good."

"Great! Glad I could help!"

The power of suggestion can be quite powerful, and a lot of people "hear with their eyes" instead of their ears.

Alternately, I guess you can see another good reason why the soundboard is a good distance away from the stage. The further the better in this case.


CT

Sometimes I swear you have a mind-reading device that pre-empts my posts! I was going to say that, to the point where I was even going to suggest turning an aux send that leads nowhere... I guess great minds think alike though hehe.

All I can say to you, timbit, is to grit your teeth and bare it - at the end of the day, youwere put in charge for a reason, and I tell you as both a performing musician and a sound engineer: some people don't feel right until they've tried to show they know more than just their instrument, and are masters of tone - your best bet is to fake a response to them, and carry on with fewer hitches.

I had a band a while back asking me to turn the bass up several times during their actual set - despite me saying each time that the bass was neither mic'd nor DI'd as it was too small a room for that, and that their bassist's fuzz pedal was faulty or sonething as the signal was a lot louder for the other bands using that rig. Only after they played did they check and tell me it was a dodgy lead, although I've neer encountered a lead that passes signal, just a lot quieter (we're talking like 30dB quieter) so I believe it was the pedal (I hate distorted bass live anyway so might be biased).
Hey, look. Sigs are back.
#9
Quote by axemanchris
Try this. Most people don't know their way around a mixer. Pick a knob that won't do anything and adjust it a bit, like maybe a aux send that doesn't go anywhere. Or an EQ knob on an unused channel.

turning slowly... "How's that? Better? A bit more?"

"Okay, yeah. I think that's good."

"Great! Glad I could help!"

The power of suggestion can be quite powerful, and a lot of people "hear with their eyes" instead of their ears.

Alternately, I guess you can see another good reason why the soundboard is a good distance away from the stage. The further the better in this case.


CT


This is a really good idea. Thanks!
Problem with it in my said situation, the mixer is a really expensive digital with all the motorized phaders and an LED display. I have to hit select to EQ any channel, and the EQ knob is clearly labeled(There's only one to adjust all the EQ.) So generally they can tell.
As far as adjusting levels, there's no way I can do this, er not do this without them noticing.
Normally I use an analog mixer, but the community theatre has digital(They must've paid at least 100K for their sound gear. They have another 100k invested in lights as well.).

DisarmGoliath,
It was actually a competition and the rules said something along the lines of one member of the group being allowed at the mixer or something like that. It is a dumb rule... No idea why they had it. Essentially, I couldn't put the person in their place.

I DI/Mic every amp just in case. It gives me extra control.
One thing that I see often, there's some sound engineers(I know about four that are like this.) that like to DI guitar amps. ****ing idiots if you ask me. The guitarist/bassist doesn't pay a couple thousand dollars on their rig just to have it replaced by a 100 dollar DI Box. Pisses me right off.
The only thing I ever DI is bass but that's only if they have the DI out on their amp. I DI keyboard regardless though, unless they have a Leslie in which case I have no idea what to do.

One time I was doing the sound engineering for an R&B band, the vocalist says to me over the microphone that she wants more mids and reverb. Right in the middle of their set... Some people are just so damned stupid. Then everybody looks to me as if I'm doing something wrong. It sounded good in the house, and I don't think there was reverb in the monitors, due to reverb in the monitors increasing feedback.
Anyone have this happen?
..I was watching my death.
#10
Quote by DisarmGoliath
Sometimes I swear you have a mind-reading device that pre-empts my posts! I was going to say that, to the point where I was even going to suggest turning an aux send that leads nowhere... I guess great minds think alike though hehe.


Then there is the corollary of "fools seldom differ."

I like the great minds option better, though.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#11
Just question what they are trying to accomplish by adjusting that knob. If they provide a sound argument, change it for them. If they make an argument that isn't very logical (some people when they start talking will start to realize they either 1). aren't making any sense or 2). don't know crap about adjusting audio. If their argument is flawed, just simply explain to them how logic doesn't follow and they won't reach the results they are expecting. If they persist, let them know that they way it sounds, people will not want to hear their music. After all, you are the man of the people (...lol). What I'm saying is, make them explain themselves before any knob is adjusted. To prevent them from touching it, let them know that they are liable if the mixing console is to ever be damaged (make it sound expensive and throw in something about a lawsuit). You win!
#12
Quote by timbit2006

DisarmGoliath,
It was actually a competition and the rules said something along the lines of one member of the group being allowed at the mixer or something like that. It is a dumb rule... No idea why they had it. Essentially, I couldn't put the person in their place.

It is their submission to a competition they should be allowed to have control over the house sound if they want, otherwise they could claim that "you" sabotaged them into a loss.

This is why that rule is there, I know that from bitter experience of a competition I worked where the crew got accused of trashing one of the groups performance for bad sound, limiting their venue on-stage rehearsal time and their light show program failing. The fact that they were rank amateur and had a lousy program didn't seem to have any bearing on the two hour argument after judging.
#13
Quote by Quintex
It is their submission to a competition they should be allowed to have control over the house sound if they want, otherwise they could claim that "you" sabotaged them into a loss.

This is why that rule is there, I know that from bitter experience of a competition I worked where the crew got accused of trashing one of the groups performance for bad sound, limiting their venue on-stage rehearsal time and their light show program failing. The fact that they were rank amateur and had a lousy program didn't seem to have any bearing on the two hour argument after judging.


Agree 100%. Our band played a bunch of shows and we got screwed over quite a few times due to the sound guy. We did a 40 minute sound check, and then when we got to the stage to play, we had nothing in our monitors etc, and had to play based on ear. It was rough to say the least. But yeah, this is why they have this rule.
I've bought, sold, and traded more gear than I care to admit.
#14
If that is the case, I'd simply ask them if they trust their opinion over that of a sound engineer and offer them the chance to mix themselves if they want, but make sure they knew the time they had to do so before next band was soundchecking.

Thats probably a bit far if I was getting paid however, in which case I'd do what they wanted and make sure they saw me do it and then tell enough people how I wished they'd not wanted the change... then they couldn't accuse me of being the reason why they sucked ass.

For the record, I have actually shown people their idiocy when doing unpaid work, as it doesn't bother me if I get replaced mid-gig then (though that hasn't happened... yet ), with things like asking them to walk in front of FOH speakers where they were when they last got feedback from vocal mic, and say 'That's why I can't make you any louder - either you stop standing there, or I value our hearing by keeping your mic at a more manageable level'.

My favourite however, was telling the singer of one band "Could you tell young Dimebag over there to kindly be quiet while we level check the bass, unless he wants me to cut two of his strings off and throw a pitchshifter in front of his amp?" (Guitarist had a Pantera top on, and had no mid to his sound )
Hey, look. Sigs are back.