When playing festivals, the sound company determines your fate

DanRH

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Both my bands play a lot these in the summer as I’m sure many of you do. Yesterday I played with my R&B, Funk, Classic Rock Band at a local one that we played last year. Also the sound man books the festival and we are quite close with him as both bands play in the area often. That being said, our mix yesterday was horrible.

I gave him a set list with details on sang what weeks ago. I know we have a complicated mix with everyone singing. Man, it was a torture to listen to it. He has a habit of mixing the drums way low in the mix. I also sing a lot.

Problem is, you really can’t complain about it or you’re nixed for other gigs he runs sound on.

OK, rant us over. BTW, the crowd loved it but man, it’s hard to listen to from my perspective...
 

tommykat1

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Oooh, ouch. One of mine from last summer had the same results. Especially my snare drum. It just sucked--ringy and metallic sounding somehow, when it was wood!
 

Targalx

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I will do everything in my power to get my monitors perfected (I don't use IEMs, I only use wedges), which only happens about 30% of the time (the other 70% is somewhere between no monitors at all to "well, at least I can hear the lead vocalist"). But I will never mess with FOH...never! It is a battle not worth fighting.

I was lucky for a couple tours where we traveled with our own soundman. That made a world of difference. He knew exactly what I wanted and how my kit should sound every night. Amazing to get a consistent kit sound for 3+ weeks straight!
 

rculberson

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I show up, do what the FOH dude asks me to do, and get on with it. I’m all about making people who employ me happy, so I do what they want me to do, even if it means compromising my stance on things.
 

BennyK

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Please and thank you, hearts and flowers before and during . Afterwards , that's the time for the right words spoken by the right person at the right time in the right place .

Monitors are the key . Out front , the band has little or no control .
 

TheBeachBoy

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I've started asking the sound guy if they're using a Behringer M-32 or X-32, or any mixer really that has the ability to let me set up my own mix via phone app. I don't have to keep bugging them and I can get exactly what I want. If the board isn't capable, we go through the mon mix during soundcheck, tweak as needed, then just roll with it.
 

SteveB

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BOY, ain't that the truth. I heard a cell phone version of a concert I did....which wasn't bad at all, but you could tell that a sax player's mic wasn't working so his solos didn't exist and also it was pretty much bass drum and band. I could hear it echoing off the buildings; this was outside also. The snare drum was awful. The sound guy said we would get enough bleed for the cymbals, which can happen inside but outside you have to have an overhead and mic on the hats. What he did was add a ton of 10K on the snare to make up for it. It sounded cheesy.

Actually he is one of our singers but he supplies the gear and mix for all the different acts. When we play he hands the tablet over to another guy who doesn't have a clue who is doing what.
 

REF

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I may be wrong but, I had the impression playing a festival was basically backline drums and cymbals, or if you have your own, things are basically set the same out front for every drummer to keep things simple and moving along as smooth as possible, for better or worse.
 


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