Thursday, May 27, 2010

Showing up

I want to jump ahead. Get our feet wet before we go back to basics. Basics being what kind of instrument will you be using, amps etc.
I want you to know how to hold your own in the face of ....the sound person. The question first asked," what is your set up"? Ok, this is can be the easiest
and concise answer. Follow me here...
how many vocal mics do you need and where are they? (Is the drummer singing? Will you have a backup singer for one song? I always play it safe with an extra mic in front for any surprise guests.)
"2 across the front and one for the keyboard player"
"What about guitars?"
Means how many mics for amps needed? If someone is playing an acoustic guitar or fiddle/mando/banjo will they need a D.I. ( Direct input box;more to come with better description? )
Personally in my group it's 3 amp mics.
"3 amp mics across the front. " Soundman looks at my acoustic and assumes I also need D.I. "I run my acoustic through my amp."Sounds like shit but less feedback. Keep my mix down in the mains"
"Bass" usually will be run off a D.I. off their amp.

Easy enough? Here's where most fail. Too much information. "well, usually so and so does this but he had to do that so we will do it this way...." Guess what? They don't care. Most likely there's a 7 minute crossover. And 3 more band s can't wait to get up and play as well.
Keep it simple be articulate and lay off being precious.
Oh first thing, is first...introduce your self and learn their name.
I will be posting an interview with a local sound man very soon. I think it will be helpful for all of his to hear his side.
Then let's go back to the basics and talk gear. Yum!
Until then, turn it up and make mistakes.

Friday, April 2, 2010

"The mighty E" excerpt from Laurie Lindeen's "Petal Pusher"

"I wish you could strap on an electric guitar right now.Place your left index finger on the 4th string up from the bottom on the 1st fret. Now place your middle finger on the 3rd string and wedge your ring finger next to it,on the 2cnd fret,one down from the top. Now,bend your right arm and pull that hand up to your shoulder while pinching a guitar pick between your right thumb and forefingers. Don't move your left hand out of position as you swing back your right.
Release your right hand across the strings,strumming,down up,down up, all the while shimmying your right shoulder to the beat,any beat.Your right hipbone might help out by banging against the body of the guitar while you do this. Let it."
"...Nothing in the world feels better than letting a big E chord rip."
Laurie Lindeen from "Petal Pushers"

She's right. It's powerful. On an acoustic or an electric. ( for an electric I think it's effect is truly magnified when "ripped" on a SG through a very,very loud amp.
More to come on gear...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

First things first

It's the big gig. Or the first,doesn't matter. What matters is how to be in control of your gear and your sound. That's why I'm here.
What's a D.I.? Why are there 2-4 channels on your amp? Tube vs.solid state? What's that buzzing sound? These are all questions that I have found women are afraid to ask.
So who am I to be the one to answer? I'm a working musician who has been gigging in every type of room for 10 years and have been working guitar retail for 20+ years.
That's who.