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Bassman Sam

Support bands and bad sound.

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I think being nice gets you somewhere definitely, my band has supported a couple of well known touring bands, and the sound has always been top notch for us. We always come up, introduce ourselves, get to know them, I think they feel more included if people do that and not 'just a sound guy', and therefore want to make it an experience for everybody to have a good night. Including them in your band banter, taking the mick out of your singer is always a good one.

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[quote name='rogerstodge' timestamp='1481625387' post='3193745']
I'd of done the same thing
[/quote]

That doesn't make it any more acceptable as far as I can see. Just means there are two people on Basschat who are happy to commit a crime with, IMO, very little justification, not one.

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I've seen a few big established acts at my local O2 (Joe Bonamassa, UFO, Thin Lizzy, Michael Schenker) and the sound has been terrible for all of them...

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The PA at Skegness was changed a few years ago. The sound directly in front of the stage is usually very good.
At the same time, the sound at the sides of the stage near the bar is absolutely terrible, whether its bands or pre recorded music.
We've been 10 years on the bounce for the weekends to watch and the last few years has been a real change. I'm guessing, but I bet its so the staff can hear the bar orders better at the bar.

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[quote name='la bam' timestamp='1481630855' post='3193836']
The PA at Skegness was changed a few years ago. The sound directly in front of the stage is usually very good.
At the same time, the sound at the sides of the stage near the bar is absolutely terrible, whether its bands or pre recorded music.
We've been 10 years on the bounce for the weekends to watch and the last few years has been a real change. I'm guessing, but I bet its so the staff can hear the bar orders better at the bar.
[/quote]while where you are standing has a big effect in the example I gave about In from the Jam and then the Sex Pissed Dolls I was in exactly the same position, the sound couldn't have been more different

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Not wanting to play devils advocate but could some of this be that pro-bands simply have had the time and opportunity to really work out their sound that goes to FOH so that their gear is used to it`s maximum potential?

Paul - I think we lucked out at Skegness, I saw a vid on youtube and we sounded pretty good on that. I suppose being a 3-piece not to much to go wrong, but as we`re happy to say you can`t polish a t*rd :lol:

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[quote name='Paul S' timestamp='1481629106' post='3193812']
That doesn't make it any more acceptable as far as I can see. Just means there are two people on Basschat who are happy to commit a crime with, IMO, very little justification, not one.
[/quote]

i think they got off lightly. They had control of the money and had underpaid us the agreed amount on as number of gigs. It only came to light when our manager checked with us how much we had been paid of the tour.

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[quote name='ROConnell' timestamp='1481627756' post='3193792']
I think being nice gets you somewhere definitely, my band has supported a couple of well known touring bands, and the sound has always been top notch for us. We always come up, introduce ourselves, get to know them, I think they feel more included if people do that and not 'just a sound guy', and therefore want to make it an experience for everybody to have a good night. Including them in your band banter, taking the mick out of your singer is always a good one.
[/quote]

All good information, maybe next year at Summerfest I'll introduce myself to a few members of the union contracted sound crew and ask;

"How much does it cost to get top shelf sound? "

Blue

Edited by blue

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For "big time" international festivals as opposed to the local "wang dang" sound is important for the support acts. Especially for those bands that get a decent time slot, anything after 5:00pm.

If you get a 12 noon slot, who cares there's nobody there to hear you anyway.

Blue

Edited by blue

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Here's another thought. I've seen some support acts come in and had in-depth sound knowledge and experience with large stage sound and performance. These guys know how large contemporary sound systems work and how to get a proper sound from the sound crew.

For those of us whose experience is mostly in bars, well, we're just at a loss.

Blue

Edited by blue

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There is a real flip side to this argument, some of the smaller "proper" music venues can have horrible acoustics, we supported a 80's top selling act recently in one such venue, fortunately I knew a guy who had played there regularly and his only advise was "use the in house sound man" we did and had a fantastic sound both on and off stage...the main band turned up and announced they had their own sound engineer who was quite capable of managing such a limited PA...they had one of the worst sounds I have heard in a long time!

We are playing the same venue this Saturday and will be working with the house engineer again, it will be interesting to see if the main band turns up with their own engineer as they are a lesser known act from the eighties but have a good reputation as a live band

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My father's band supported Kenny Ball's band in a big theatre venue in Slough many many years ago. They had to put up with appalling sound management which changed miraculously when Kenny's band came on. Some members of my father's band were depping pros themselves and so if they also believed it was deliberate so did and do I.

Edited by Bobthedog

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Last band we supported was a Take That tribute who where vocals only, they asked for our requirements in advance even though they didn't need to engineer a whole band, the performers themselves helped with our sound and they even lent us thier radio mics. They where a top bunch of guys, who wanted us to sound the best we could.


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[quote name='Lozz196' timestamp='1481618965' post='3193684']
Was that the one in Skegness at start of October, Paul? If so we played there on the Friday (we were on the Introducing Stage, and won the competition entry to the Main Stage next year).
[/quote]
Nice one! Congrats on bagging a main stage slot!

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[quote name='ivansc' timestamp='1481627167' post='3193777']
Makes a difference if you are the TOUR support band rather than the "one night" support act in my experience.

Probably because the PA guy knows he is going to see you every damn night of the tour.... cuts both ways, you still have to be nice!
[/quote]
my experience is only of "one night" support slots with a touring headliner, it has depended entirely on what channels are left or how the pa is configured by the main act, the sound people have always done their best for us though, despite this IME. We are always polite, professional, flexible & get them drinks in!
If my band had bought onto the whole tour I would be expecting to get enough channels & decent sound every night, although I get the sense that might be naive.

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[quote name='lojo' timestamp='1481695221' post='3194323']
Last band we supported was a Take That tribute who where vocals only, they asked for our requirements in advance even though they didn't need to engineer a whole band, the performers themselves helped with our sound and they even lent us thier radio mics. They where a top bunch of guys, who wanted us to sound the best we could.
[/quote]

Cool and rare.

Blue

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[quote name='Low End Bee' timestamp='1481555740' post='3193239']
Whenever I've been in a supporting band it always seems to go 1 of 2 ways.

1. The headliners are complete gents and are checked in very little time leaving you enough for a decent go yourselves resulting in a good on and off stage mix for both bands.

2. The headliners turn up late. They spend hours on one of the toms as 'it's alway too boomy' doing .5mm turns on the adjuster after they've spent ten minutes looking for the key in the drummers bag. They decide to do a complete valve swap on stage on some old guitar amp that's ready for the scrap yard. They play one song 14 times to get the level of the stylophone right (they don't end up playing this on the night as they change the set at the last minute), The singer wanders aimlessly around the stage on his phone telling the soundman the guitarist is 'Nearly her, literally just around the corner. Just needs to find somewhere to park' None of the band go and help him unload his gear letting him do 3 trips from the car park solo that's about half a mile away.
You then get a sub 2 minute line check and hope for the best and end up sounding like your playing through a tin can and foam filter.

Band 1 have been around the block and are normally quite well known.

Band 2 think they have and normally aren't.
[/quote]

Ha ha! I Think I've played with "Band 2" a few times!! :lol:

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[quote name='la bam' timestamp='1481630855' post='3193836']
The PA at Skegness was changed a few years ago. The sound directly in front of the stage is usually very good.
At the same time, the sound at the sides of the stage near the bar is absolutely terrible, whether its bands or pre recorded music.
We've been 10 years on the bounce for the weekends to watch and the last few years has been a real change. I'm guessing, but I bet its so the staff can hear the bar orders better at the bar.
[/quote]

I used to be the Technical Manager there and left about 13 years ago. Before that I was the Centre Stage engineer. One of the reasons I left was that they were becoming obsessed with SPL levels and Noise in the Workplace regs - trying to apply regs designed for machine shops into a live music environment. Their options were to give FOH staff (bar staff etc) hearing protection, or turn it down - they were trying for the latter when I left. I once walked into the Reds venue to find a colleague trying to mix to an SPL meter that a manager had shoved in his hand and threatened to discipline him with if he didn't keep levels to 90dBSPL. I had to show him that if he shut the PA off, the level was still over 90dB, because the guitarist had his amp cranked on stage, pointing straight at him.

Add to this, Butlins has usually been a bit of a training school, not just for Redcoats, but for engineers, techs etc too, especially due to the location and low wages. You would get some talented, eager to learn young people there, but you would also get some rubbish ones too. Also, as sound is subjective, you, and many bands may think your sound is good, but you also get a lot of critics. Add into the mix bands showing up being way too loud on stage, asking for stupid monitoring, then it can also cause massive variances.

I would add that in all my years of doing it, I was never aware of any bands being intentionally given bad sound because of bill rating, although I did hear a few stories of guys doing it because the bands had been hostile to them. I never did this, because it wasn't in my interest to ever give punters a bad gig, although I have been known to cause feedback through a monitor in a soundcheck because the prima donna singer was claiming his mic wasn't on...."[i]sounds like it is working to me..."[/i]

I have had headliners refuse to have their backline moved before even though the venue stage was not big enough to have two on it in a "don't they know who we are" kind of way - we also ignored them and moved it when they weren't looking!

As I've said many times before, there can be a raft of reasons why it can be one gig sounding totally different from the next, and it is not always the sound person's fault. However, they could just be nasty or s**t.

Edited by Huge Hands

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[quote name='Huge Hands' timestamp='1481797705' post='3195172']
I used to be the Technical Manager there and left about 13 years ago. Before that I was the Centre Stage engineer. One of the reasons I left was that they were becoming obsessed with SPL levels and Noise in the Workplace regs - trying to apply regs designed for machine shops into a live music environment. Their options were to give FOH staff (bar staff etc) hearing protection, or turn it down - they were trying for the latter when I left. I once walked into the Reds venue to find a colleague trying to mix to an SPL meter that a manager had shoved in his hand and threatened to discipline him with if he didn't keep levels to 90dBSPL. I had to show him that if he shut the PA off, the level was still over 90dB, because the guitarist had his amp cranked on stage, pointing straight at him.

Add to this, Butlins has usually been a bit of a training school, not just for Redcoats, but for engineers, techs etc too, especially due to the location and low wages. You would get some talented, eager to learn young people there, but you would also get some rubbish ones too. Also, as sound is subjective, you, and many bands may think your sound is good, but you also get a lot of critics. Add into the mix bands showing up being way too loud on stage, asking for stupid monitoring, then it can also cause massive variances.

I would add that in all my years of doing it, I was never aware of any bands being intentionally given bad sound because of bill rating, although I did hear a few stories of guys doing it because the bands had been hostile to them. I never did this, because it wasn't in my interest to ever give punters a bad gig, although I have been known to cause feedback through a monitor in a soundcheck because the prima donna singer was claiming his mic wasn't on...."[i]sounds like it is working to me..."[/i]

I have had headliners refuse to have their backline moved before even though the venue stage was not big enough to have two on it in a "don't they know who we are" kind of way - we also ignored them and moved it when they weren't looking!

As I've said many times before, there can be a raft of reasons why it can be one gig sounding totally different from the next, and it is not always the sound person's fault. However, they could just be nasty or s**t.
[/quote]cheers for that, good to get an insiders point of view, I know a sound engineer who does the' turn up the monitor trick' for guitarists who won't turn down their stack

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Supported Krokus back in the 80s .when we went on our back line had the plugs pulled by there roadies. Our road crew had to stand guard over them with some Hammond C3 legs we carried as clubs. Welcome to the business,

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I was going to start a topic of this the other day. I went to see placebo on Monday night, and they had support from a group called minor victories. The bass player was on the side of the stage in front of me, and obviously as it was the support there weren't too many people in front. So the drumming starts and the bass drum goes right through you as do the other drums. The bass player is standing there with a rather nice Jaguar bass, so i thought 'Nice bass, I wonder what that sounds like'. Then he started playing, and turns out, I was none the wiser. Pretty well couldn't hear him.

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I have done two support slots that were a bit painful.

[b]The sad remains of S***e in 1994.[/b]
The sound man came along and repeated the same litany that D*** H*** had offended me with ten minutes before:
No S***e songs - or the power goes off.
No standing in front of the monitors - or the power goes off.
Don't over-run - or the power goes off.

A few minutes before we went on, the guy behind the mixer demanded roughly the amount of our fee, or we wouldn't go through the PA. He basically said 'show me your contract that shows you are even contracted to play the show, or I am going to the pub'. The organiser of the gig was feeding D*** H*** at a restaurant round the corner, so our drummer wrote a cheque (which he cancelled the next morning). Then suddenly our set was cut by 15 minutes. We brought most of the crowd to that show.

[b]The Qu*******s 2010.[/b]
The gig was on their acoustic tour and they were seated for their show, apart from their singer. The guitarist from the band spent all of our soundcheck time complaining about a spotlight that was in his eyes. We had to put our gear on stage in front of an audience that couldn't be kept outside of the theatre any longer. No soundcheck. Their singer was a gent about it. The guitarist was moaning like an arthiritic old lady the whole time.

Edited by 12stringbassist

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I've gigged for over 40 years.
This has been going on for all that time (not every gig obviously).

Think the original post was re The Parr Hall, pretty notorious for "difficult" sound since Adam was a lad.

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