Is a soundman part of your show/band?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by gpasq, Jan 1, 2018.


  1. gpasq

    gpasq Member

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    I'm in a tribute band and we play semi professionally at festivals, theaters, events, etc. Being in a tribute band, we strive to sound as much like the original artist as possible, so we need to have the right mix, the solos boosted correctly, etc. To that end, we're starting to train a few sound engineers that we can keep on call, to manage sound at our shows. Basically, they just become familiar with the set, then we can call on one of them for any particular show. Most venues are ok with us bringing our own guy.

    Anyone doing similar, or have a sound guy as a full or paid member of the band?
     
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  2. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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    Yes. I have 2 guys that I use. They get an even split for mixing on my gear.
     
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  3. mattball826

    mattball826 Member

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    In my event band Yes.

    In my other band, yes and no. Depends on the event, venue requirement, and $$$. If we can bill them for a sound guy, we'll bring one. If not, we just run our own mix, adjust our levels as needed, allow for boosts and whatnot. Nobody is really into weedily weedily mega solos (at least not as much as we tend to think) so we keep them just below main vocal level (slightly above band in mids, but not volume boosted).
     
  4. Papanate

    Papanate Gold Supporting Member

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    My company does staging and production. As much as I would like the revenue
    no one pays my audio techs the same as band members. Not even the Freelance
    staff gets paid the same as a band member - not anywhere close.

    In your situation - asking for a commitment from someone to be at your
    beck and call - If I was the Audio Tech I would ask for a retainer. In your situation
    you probably don't have enough income to manage a retainer.

    That said - does your Audio Tech own the gear? Are they setting things
    up as well as tearing them down? If so - $50+ HR that includes setup
    and teardown - and if not $50 per hour of performance with a 4 hour
    minimum.

    Take my suggestions with a grain of salt - as I can't stand the current
    economic model that exist in live music at the local levels.
     
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  5. Rex Anderson

    Rex Anderson Member

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    I was a soundman for many bands for many years. To nail the sound of the original songs, they need to listen to them, take notes and know the effects to use on vocals and maybe other parts. One assumes the guitar players do their own FX. Use of delays and reverb is critical. Delay times must be known for each song and be setup before the song starts and used at the correct times.

    Short and long reverbs times, short and long delay times. Getting the right sounds with those FX (on vocals, guitars and drums especially) is a big part of the original sound.

    For example, are the drums tight and dry or big and wet? Is there a slapback delay on the vocal at some point?

    Mix balance is one thing, nailing the details is another.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  6. gpasq

    gpasq Member

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    I hear what you're saying. Just to be clear though, they're not at our beck and call.... we keep a list and hope someone can make it to the show, and if they can, we know we have someone that we can count on. Generally it's with house gear; if we lug our own PA, we charge a lot more, but most venues in this area have excellent sound systems.
     
  7. gpasq

    gpasq Member

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    Yes, that's exactly why we bring them "on board", rather than just use the house sound guy.
     
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  8. jrjones

    jrjones Supporting Member

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    It really just depends on the gig. If it pays enough to warrant a soundguy, I’m happy to pay someone. If it doesn’t then we won’t. I am up front with venues about this when we talk about pricing.
     
  9. IGuitUpIGuitDown

    IGuitUpIGuitDown Member

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    In my last progressive rock tribute band, yes. But when we morphed into the original music progressive rock band my idiotic ex-keyboardist thought he knew everything and jettisoned the soundman who was part of the band for four years prior. Which really sucked because instead of the soundman knowing to turn up my 12-string for a harmonics section of a song, I was told that it was now my responsibility to make everything loud enough. And it should have been controlled by the soundman.

    Steve Howe in Yes NEVER could perform some of those songs without a dedicated soundman who knows what to turn up and what to turn down - for him. "And You And I" being a prime example. Progressive rock is extremely dependent on how the band is mixed, live. Yes took Eddie Offord (who engineered their famous albums) on the road WITH them in the 70s.
     
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  10. gigsup

    gigsup Supporting Member

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    Just as long as your not poaching my guys for a nice cushy $200 - 4 hour white glove gig with free beers and dinner on Friday night, we'll get along just fine.
     
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  11. Rex Anderson

    Rex Anderson Member

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    Wish I was in your neighborhood. I'd happily do those gigs!
     
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  12. HoboMan

    HoboMan Silver Supporting Member

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    If I'm playing with the band and we Supply our sound system we will pay a sound tech $100.
    But I also run sound for other bands if they Supply the Soundsystem I charge a hundred if I bring my own sound system and lights I charge 250
     
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  13. wpawley

    wpawley Member

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    A "Good" sound tech can make or break a band really fast. Finding a "Good" sound tech is a difficult task, just as much as finding a "good" player for the band. IF you do get a "Good" sound tech, and, he stays true to the band's best sound interest, he is part of the band. Why not take care of him, especially if he has the gear? Down here in SW Georgia where I live, there are not enough high paying gig's to warrant keeping a sound tech on the payroll. There are several "semi professional" sound/production companies in the area and they want an arm and a leg just to show up. It's a money thing here with too many bands willing to play for just about nothing but free booze (and maybe a meal). The "Big Cities" may have enough better paying gig's to support a band AND a sound person but the Rural areas certainly don't. If you are a tribute band, have a sound tech that works with you, I hope that not only the band but the sound tech has been to several concerts by whomever you are being a tribute to, to actually hear and see what they sound like live. Video's just don't tell the whole story most of the time (post production corrections and such).
     
  14. FenderBigot

    FenderBigot Supporting Member

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    I think in a tribute band scenario it's a definite yes. I also think that if a band is serious and moving beyond the standard bar cover band, it should be a major consideration for consistency. :dunno
     
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  15. Yer Blues

    Yer Blues Member

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    Yes... usually there is atleast one drunk in the crowd instructing us to "turn it up" or "turn it down". They also help with the setlist... "play Sweet Home Alabama!!". :)
     
  16. gigsup

    gigsup Supporting Member

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    The ones saying "turn it down" aren't drunk yet, guaranteed.
     
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  17. hackenfort

    hackenfort Supporting Member

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    I've did live sound from about 1978 to the mid 90's, typically walked in miked up and mixed, no gear hauling. A great sound guy can make or break any band providing the equipment is decent.

    Today I'm rather selective on who I work for and don't do it for the $$. For reference I was charging $50 a night back in the late 70's and when I pretty much quite in the mid 90's I was charging $100-150 a show, this didn't include the opening act's. I still mix but only for old friends at special shows.

    What really makes me sad is when I hear how little bands make for performing these days, but I guess the crowds are not there anymore.
     
  18. griggsterr

    griggsterr Supporting Member

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    Funny I always make at least 2 times as much as a band member if I'm providing the rig. Usually 3x
    And I get easily as much as a band member IF I use their stuff.
    Must be a regional thing. I also just don't take on cheap work it's always disappointing for both me and the client.
     
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  19. nsureit

    nsureit Supporting Member

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    We have a working relationship with three sound engineers - a lead and two back ups. They’re all good, so they are engaged frequently by other bands and venues. With three guys, we never have a problem with ours, or their schedules. Plus, we pay $500 a night, set up to take down, their gear.
     
  20. ToneGrail

    ToneGrail Member

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    If we bring our own PA we run sound from the stage. We do a thorough sound check hours before the gig and walk out front to make sure everything is balanced.

    I use for pedals to boost myself for solos. I like to have as much control over the mix as possible.

    Even when we use the house soundman, I bring my own IEM system where I can control my own vocal monitor mix from the stage.
     

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