Our fifteenth show is over and we have only one to go. Filzbach was amazing. We had a full house of very enthusiastic people who loved the music and even danced to some of the tunes. Our venue and hotel is way up in the mountains overlooking a large lake. It’s also in sight of my favorite mountain peaks in Switzerland.
The room that we played in was very boomy and reverberant. It would probably be great for classical or acoustic music, but for us it was difficult to tame. Our sound guy, xxxx, was a trip. I’m leaving some advice for sound people based on some of the things that went wrong last night.
1. If your system uses speakon cables, you should have speakon cables on hand. Storing them halfway down the mountain will not be useful and you will have to spend an hour driving to get them while the band twiddles their thumbs.
2. When mixing sound in a room with a large number of reflective surfaces, consider providing the band with monitors. If you don’t have monitors, at least try to have a way to connect the monitors that the band themselves have provided into your system.
3. It’s not enough to simply plug powered speakers in. You also must turn them on. Remembering this step will save you five minutes of checking cables while the guitarist in the band reminds you that operator error is much more common than sudden catastrophic cable failure.
4. Never lose your cool and run around nearly knocking expensive instruments over. Yes, it’s true that expensive instruments should not be left in precarious positions while you are running sound, but this problem is unavoidable unless you observe rule number 1 regarding speakon cables and mountains.
5. Once the show has begun, you might be tempted to add extreme amounts of reverb “for effect” without consulting the band first. Avoid this temptation at all costs! Extreme digital reverb in a room that already has a 1.5 second decay time will cause a great deal of confusion on stage.
If you follow these five simple rules I predict success in your future sound person endeavors.