Every rookie or seasoned band/artist takes their performances very seriously. From the lead guitarist, keyboardist, to background vocals/simultaneous bassist, each musician works for months or years to master a perfected set of songs.
No matter how well a band does or how poorly, for some unlucky circumstance, a gig turns out to be, a successful show does not become a kickass one without the sound system—and this is just as important as the instruments that let out that soothing or scraping melody.
Fill Them In
Firstly, the band members must make clear with their sound vendor the specifications of the overall gig. Event and venue plotting is critical here as it combines elements such as the type of stage the band wants, area dimensions for the number of audiences watching, required microphones, mixers used, and so on. Planning here is significant to framing an ultimate music experience.
Know the Sound Engineer
A great show is not possible without impeccable sound engineering. The front-of-house sound engineer or mixer, a.k.a. the sound guy, is responsible for making a live band sound studio perfect (with a little spontaneous recklessness here and there). He/she is also a controller of the mixing board that includes important functions, such as bass, treble, special effects, mic sensitivity, pan (left/right), and monitors. He/she is also in charge of particulars, such as dynamics, boom, headset, and condenser-microphone types.
Getting to know the mixer who controls the signal path, mixing board, and overall sound quality is necessary to making a stand-out show for eager audiences. Everything must be in sync, not one flubbed harmony of sounds.
Identifying the Equipment
Musicians aren’t the sound crew and don’t need to memorize the junk in the trunk from A to Z. But they do need to be familiar with the foundation. Microphones (and other inputs), the mixer, amplifiers, speakers, house equalizer, and lines (no faulty cables, please!) are the backbone to well-balanced sound tones and proper volume control.
Finally, right before the main event, as the crew sets up the stage, sound check makes for one last major move to detect any bad feedback that may pick up during the show. Sound check is also important in seeing to it that there is balance and wholeness to the sounds produced from the instruments and special effects for the show.
The sound system is a making and breaking point for musical performances because one minor flaw could jinx the day or night’s entertainment. Watch out for those by highly critical music ears.
Herstand, Ari. 2014. “9 Things Every Musician Needs To Know About the Sound Guy.” Digital Music News, January 6. Accessed January 9, 2017. http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2014/01/06/sound-guy/.
Laakso, Brian. 2017. “Sound Equipment For Studios and Concerts.” School Band and Orchestra. Accessed January 9, 2017. http://sbomagazine.com/4849-sound-equipment-for-studios-and-concerts.html.
Murphy, Mike. 2015. “The Importance of Sound on your Event.” Event 360, May 5. Accessed January 9, 2017. http://www.event360.com/the-importance-of-sound-on-your-event/.