Host your stage

Host your stage. Know what is happening.

Find out as early as possible, say during the week or earlier that day, how many musos are playing and what the instruments are. You may need to hire extra gear or need to arrage the stage in a certain way eg. if the drummer likes to play from the side of the stage or the band has their own wireless in-ear monitoring system and doesnt need foldback speakers. Check all your leads, DI’s, batteries, mics and power supplys/outlets before every soundcheck with the band. You will breathe a sigh of relief when you find that dodgey lead and replace it before you have a bunch of people waiting around for you to find the problem and fix it. Be prepared and run an efficient organised sound check then hopefully – depending on how late the band is :p – you may even run to schedule.

When the band arrive, introduce yourself and be polite and professional. Nobody likes a snobby sound guy. Aim to accomodate them in every way that you can. Be assertive once you’re all introduced and get everyone moving. Let them know what you need from them and ask them what they need from you. Try to keep setup time to a minimum so that you have more time to sort out fold back mixes, feedback issues, and the ever important front of house mix. By taking the initiative and leading your band through this time you will earn their respect and help them give a confident performance. Some artists are always nervous before a show and often they are late and flustered. Some have a weird sense of superiority (as do many sound guys – don’t be one of them!). Others are real pros and will be a pleasure to work with. But as a musician its always a great feeling to have a friendly sound guy look after you, help you get your rig up and running, and still have time to get a great sound out the front.

Some muso’s have poured thousands of hard-earned cash into thier equipment, and spent most of their life refining thier skills as a player. Hopefully you can say the same about yourself as a sound tech. We need to prove that our PA rig and audio skills are able to faithfully reproduce their tone and showcase their ability, otherwise we are not holding up our end of the deal.

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