Give Your Sound Man A Proper Set List!August 28, 2009 6:00 am Live Sound
In the band I run sound for, Rusty Strings, there are three singers and two lead instruments, namely guitar and keyboard (the keyboard player also plays flute on some songs). Each different combination of lead vocalist, harmony vocalist, backup singers, and lead part(s) calls for a slightly different mixer setup: turn Singer 1 up and Singer 2 down for this song, get ready to bring up the keyboard solo in the middle, and so on.
For me, it is vital to at least know what the next song is so that I can preset the mixer appropriately for it during the prolonged applause for the song the band just finished playing. Having a simple list of songs may be enough if the sound man really, really knows the band’s songs and arrangements. But even then, it’s nice to have something beyond just a list of titles to go on. If the sound man is unfamiliar with the band, it’s even more important to provide a proper set list. OK, what would be a proper set list look like? I’m glad you asked!
Good and Proper
Here is the actual set list that guitarist Rusty Jack has prepared for an upcoming Rusty Strings gig (click on the picture for a larger copy):
In addition to the attractive color scheme, notice the two columns after the song title: Who sings it? (K, J, or P?) Who plays lead? (B or P, or both?) This is very handy info to have if you happen to be the sound man! Note that Pk means that Rusty Pam plays a keyboard lead; Pf (not used here) means she plays a flute lead.
Jack puts a fair amount of effort into these lists (as you can tell), but hey, if he can do it you can do it. The best approach is probably to maintain a spreadsheet that lists all the band’s songs along with the lead vocal and solo information, then make custom set lists for each gig by copying out the rows for the songs that are in the show.Tags: live mixing, stage practice -->