The dont's of live performance

Discussion in 'Live Performance & Stage Sound' started by 7 Dying Trees, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. BlueGrot

    BlueGrot SS.org Regular

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    Never disconnect DI connected gear unless you're given the green light to do so or your show is done. Glad I high passed everything at 40 and had a limiter on my master bus. Still, ow.
     
  2. BlueGrot

    BlueGrot SS.org Regular

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    If you have to sit, sit. It's fine. Only kids care.
     
  3. BlueGrot

    BlueGrot SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, if you don't play an instrument and hold your mic with your hands, you really need to never let it point towards or get near the monitors. It just shows thaty you're really inexperienced.
     
  4. BlueGrot

    BlueGrot SS.org Regular

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    I actually made a list for a crash course in stage rigging that I held this summer. Some of the points apply to musicians as well.

    1. Never assume. If you say "I think..." you need to examine things. I've had artists who probably had this internal monologue: "I think it's fine to plug my electrical water kettle into this outlet" and tripped a fuse.

    2. Never be afraid to ask questions. There's bound to be someone who knows information that you need to know. "No, that water kettle is 2000w and the circuit is on a 16 amp fuse, so you cannot plug that there when we're running the backline on the circuit."

    3. Smile, be happy. We're all in this together and happiness spreads. Applies to everyone doing the show, both artists, promoters and crew.

    4. Health and safety come first, never do pyro or elaborate rigs without qualified personnel. People die or get crippled for life regularly due to lack of competence.

    Must haves for a seasoned live musician/tech:
    Coffee
    Robust rigging gloves
    Black clothes (for techs, you're not doing a fashion show)
    Flashlight, don't run around with your cellphone
    Multi tool
    Duct tape, a good(expensive) one
    Multimeter
    Schedule for the day
    9V/AA/AAA-batteries
    Cellphone on mute
    Trail mix, preferably just nuts, no chocolate. A handful of this is a couple hundred calories and will keep your body and positive attitude going for longer
     
  5. Nanzivino

    Nanzivino SS.org Regular

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    Often because you didn't help out other bands.
     
  6. WishIwasfinnish

    WishIwasfinnish SS.org Regular

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    This has probably been mentioned in this thread but don't you or your asshole roadies/stage techs do front flips off the stage into the crowd/be reckless when doing a stage dive. Stage dives of any kind always annoy me. A boot to the head is a real buzzkill.
     
  7. RustInPeace

    RustInPeace SS.org Regular

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    Having taken on the mantel of being the "sound guy" with about a dozen shows under my belt now, a few things..

    1. There is precious time between bands for tear down/set up of gear, if it is needed. Please take your .... out of the way when you finish, and THEN go bask in your glory and pump your ego in the crowd, k thanks.

    2. Sharing is caring. I often start a gig by talking with all the bands and seeing if theres any gear we can all share. Cabinets and bass amps are big winners. Most guitar players want to use their amps, but have no problem sharing a good mesa cab between everyone. It makes teardown/up a lot faster too. Bass players are the best - if someone brings a good bass amp, its usually the only one set up for the whole night. Drummers are usually the most picky.

    3. No, I wont be switching out the entire PA system for yours because "Its our sound"

    4. Speaking of bass, I dont see the reason why a bass needs to be put through a PA. Most bass amps are powerful enough to be heard on their own in the average club. I find a bass through a PA is a quick way to mud everything up.
     
  8. RustInPeace

    RustInPeace SS.org Regular

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    This is a good list. I also bring paper and pens to write things down like equipment changes for upcoming bands. I'll ask bands way before how many vocal mics or guitars they are running, and plan accordingly.
     
  9. KingAenarion

    KingAenarion Resident Studio Nerd

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    - Bits/adapters box with bits marked as yours (headphone jacks, adapters of every shape, size, and colour)
    - Patch cables, Y-cables. I carry 1 good solid guitar cable and 2 good long mic cables as well
    - Water bottle
    - iPod/mp3 player you can leave at the sound desk for house music with different playlists for different style gigs
    - Masking tape + permanent marker to label things
    - Need Gaffa, electrical and duct tape. (Ideally gaffa in 2 different colours - black and red. 1 for taping .... down and 1 for marking ....)
    - Earplugs
    - Over-ear headphones (I'd recommend ATH-M50s)
    - dB meter (phone ones are rubbish)

    These days I also find myself taking an iPad more for digital mixers with remote control, but it's not necessary.
     
  10. chassless

    chassless Don'tDeserveMyGuitar

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    ... it's gaffer tape
     
  11. KingAenarion

    KingAenarion Resident Studio Nerd

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    true. Buuut typing on my phone and auto correct to my lazy mans spelling

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
  12. NicePants

    NicePants ok

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    Never bring or use picks that are more expensive than you are willing to lose. I saw a fight break out between a guitarist and some people in the audience once at a show because the guitarist decided to bring his special snowflake gold trimmed laser engraved bio-luminescent rare mongolian spider crystal picks that cost $50 each and he lost like 2 of them.

    If you feel like you have to take a dump and get the idea in your head that "nah I'll do it after," don't do that. No one wins.

    Also, just to reiterate what everyone else has been saying about lending gear, generally you don't want to do that unless you know the person well enough to know they won't trash your stuff. Personally, I'm semi-okay with lending amps and stuff like cables as long as they aren't abusing it or anything, but guitars I will never ever loan out unless it's someone I am incredibly close with, and even then they'll get a 10 page essay of stuff they aren't allowed to do with it. Even if I was playing a crappy $40 kids' junior squier, I wouldn't loan it out. I've heard too many horror stories of dumbass kids wrecking $2k guitars and then not being able to pay for them.
     
  13. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    QFT
     
  14. leecloudpitt

    leecloudpitt SS.org Regular

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    I'm with Popsyche: "Control your ....ing stage volume!"
    As a live show producer running the board, I like to hear the whole band. The guitarist who keeps cranking up to stay on top of the mix is a nightmare for me. It reaches the point soon that I've slid guitar fader all the way down out of the mix and it's still splitting yer ears. If I turn up everything else then all the sweetness of the music is lost and it's just a din. Sorry to pick on guitar players, but it's usually the instrument that rules the high end of the mix and is all too easy to crank louder and louder and louder.... While I'm at it bitching, I'll also say that IMHO too many guitarists over-do the treble. Go for a sound with guts!
     
  15. MajorTom

    MajorTom Supreme Being

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    There is nothing wrong with wearing a kilt on stage, I do it quite a lot, especially around the holiday season, I always wear them for Christmas and New Years Eve gigs.

    Besides I've been told I have nice legs.
     
  16. AlexCorriveau

    AlexCorriveau SS.org Regular

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    Quite an obvious one and probably already said again and again in the thread: don't be a dick. It makes people never wanna work with you again, no matter how much you kicked ass on stage.

    Also, in my experience, pack your own gear when you leave. Never count on somebody else to do it, even if you have to leave earlier than the rest. There is always someone who forgets something.
     
  17. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    :lol:

    I learned this one years ago when my bassist left his cabinet in the middle of the street in Albany NY.:lol::lol::lol:

    Help each other out lugging .... and hell, help the other bands out too but when it is time to leave. Check YOUR .... and make sure you have it.
     
  18. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    :lol::lol::lol::lol:

    I would highly recommend doing this at any chance you have.
     
  19. sevenchaos

    sevenchaos SS.org Regular

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    My list as mixing engineer would be something like this.

    - Don't turn your volumes up after soundcheck. Also don't start to change any settings on your amp. We had time on soundcheck and whole band played couple full songs, so there was your time to tell if somethings wrong. If you want to hear yourself more, just ask that i put some more volume to your monitor.

    - When i ask you is this microphone in good position for you to play, just tell that it isn't. If you decide to move for example snare drum mic during show somewhere else, i can't do a lot for the sound anymore.

    - When we are doing guitar sounds, don't smash your drums like a headless maniac and vice versa.

    - Come to the place on time. If the sound check time has gone, there is no way that i'm able to change current places policies for time's. For example lot's of places want that band has done their soundcheck before 2pm cuz they are having from 3 to 8 pm some other events. (restaurants have ala cartes, concert halls might have some theater rehearsals and so on.)

    - Don't leave your drinks on the floor. There is lot's of electrics, and also some stages get very slippery when your drinks are all over the floor. I actually remember one gig where someone accidentally kicked he's drink to the floor. Singer and guitarist where doing something 80's hard rock moves and they both slipped to the stage. ATM it wasn't so funny but now we have had good laughs with those guys when ever im doing gig with them.

    - Do not try that is your mic working by putting it in front of the PA system :wallbash:

    - Wait for your turn on the soundcheck. I will adjust everything in specifc order. It doesn't help when im doing kick sound and you are shredding your 16ths notes and tapping faster then anyone on track and field ever has.

    I could continue this list for ages but those are things that most of the people do, when they don't have so much experience doing live shows.
     
  20. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    vocalists
    never say "buy our EP because our band is the best band on the card tonight"
    and yes Ive witnessed this happening myself for real.

    Guitarists
    dont keep playing with a snapped string thats dangling down and muting the other strings and creating all sorts of weird scratchy noises over the top of your playing.
    Yes Ive witnessed this happening too.

    soundguys in the Norfolk, UK area....

    just stop...please, just...please stop now. It would honestly be better if no soundguy turned up and we had to do our own levels etc. Honestly Im not being a dick, but it really would in this instance. This area is a joke. (ive done shows allover the UK and its only this area these issues exist. I live here myself so Ive experienced too many now)

    drummers
    dont keep leaving the rest of your band mates to be the ones to mostly pack up your stuff.
    Our last drummer genuinely lost a whole trigger set for his kit and multiple cymbals, because after the show he was like "you guys picked all my stuff up right?". To which the answer was "no man?. We have all our own gear to worry about. You must have left them at the venue, quick go back and find out"

    ......all gear was missing. I.e stolen.
     

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