Hey man, I understand that you think it's a luxury, but the reality is that your band is going to sound like crap unless you have someone running sound. You need someone who can make corrections to the band's sound as needed on the fly, as the room's environment changes. Sometimes peoples instruments need to be boosted at certain parts of certain songs. You just can't tell from the stage what it sounds like out front.
Originally Posted by Rango
I don't care how good a bunch of musicians you have on stage, without a good mix you can make the best musicians in the world sound like crap. You say a sound man is a luxury, but I say if you are trying to make money at it and book better gigs, a sound man is just as essential as a lead singer.
Last edited by nobozos; 06-29-2013 at 12:43 PM.
Allright, I think I better clarify my above post a little bit. You can do it the way you described from the stage, IF...
-Everyone in the band understands their volume in relationship with everyone else in the band, and dynamics. This takes and extremely good ear, and a lot of practice and experience.
Typically what will happen is everyone will sound check fine, and be happy with the mix. Three songs into the first set, the drummer starts playing louder than he did at soundcheck. About the fifth song in, the bass player decides the mix needs more bottom end, so he turns up his bass. By this time, the lead guitar player is frustrated because he can't hear himself over the bass, so he turns up his guitar. By about the 9th song, the singer needs more of himself in the monitor, so he turns up his mic until it feeds back from time to time. By the last few songs of the first set, the drummer starts playing even louder, and the cycle starts all over again. It usually settles out halfway through the second set, when the electrified instruments have exceeded the drummer's ability to play any louder. By the third set, when someone walks into the bar, they ususally hear a bass guitar, a bass drum, some faint guitar ramblings, and the incomprehensible murmur of a vocalist buried in the mix.
The sound man's value is to be the referee. He's the guy that you trust to make you sound good. You turn your amp up, he turns your guitar down in the mix so that it sounds good out front. I've seen a lot of bands that run sound from the stage. 10% of them are good, the other 90% sound absolutely terrible. Usually because the person who's job it is to tinker with the sound levels on-stage is so ****-faced by the third set that he doesn't care what the rest of the band sounds like.
If you have the ear and the discipline, you can run sound from the stage though.