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Cheap Advice On Live Sound
48 Tips To Make Your Band Sound Better
(pdf format)

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Mini-Tip: Keep Your Eye On the Band!

6:00 am Live Sound

If you’re the sound man for a band, the tendency is to relax a bit after the first song or two. After all, it sounds balanced, the overall level is OK, nobody seems upset. You may find yourself kicking back, having a few fries, scoping out the crowd, maybe even wool-gathering, whatever that is. What, me worry? The fact is, maybe you should.

There are a lot of things that can happen onstage that can upset the sound of the band. If you spot these events right away, you can usually compensate for them before they happen. But spotting them means watching, really watching, everything going on up on the bandstand.

In my work with Rusty Strings, the main sound-changing event I worry about is one of the singers suddenly starting to sing up close to the microphone having previously been farther away, or vice versa. When I see this happening I can quickly set the vocal fader to the right position for the singer’s current microphone distance.

Other events are microphones being bumped or moved or drooping in their mounts, a guitar or keyboard player resetting his or her own volume too far up or down, or a harmonica or cowbell part unexpectedly played into a vocal mike. Be ready for anything!

[An expanded version of this tip appears in my eBook, Cheap Advice On Live Sound.]

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