[Dixielandjazz] Recording Engineers

Robert S. Ringwald robert at ringwald.com
Wed Jun 8 22:39:29 PDT 2005

Stan Brager sbrager at socal.rr.com writes:

> If you're talking about Jack Wadsworth's bass sax with the Great Pacific
> Jazz Band, I can understand why he did that. He had to, Bob. The acoustics
> were so bad that no one in the audience could hear Jack's bass sax.
> Especially when it in the back of the bandstand.

Stan, my comments were about recording engineers in a studio.

If, on stage, the bass sax could not be heard, then that was the fault of 
the sound person.

As you must know, when a musician is playing on stage, he cannot be out in 
front at the same time.  We, unfortunately, then have to rely on the sound 
person to make the proper adjustments i.e. move a mike closer to the 
instrument, turn up that channel, etc.

I recently played 3 nights for an Indian casino.  They had a professional 
sound person.  The difference between him, & what we often have to put up 
with at Jaz festivals with volunteer sound people, was like the difference 
between night & day.

I don't know why volunteer sound people do not work at improving their 
skills.  I sometimes think that there is an organization of amateur sound 
persons who get together at conventions & figure out how they can best screw 
up a musician's performance.  This organization must be an international 
organization because I have played music all over the world & it is the same 

Let's see, their constitution and bylaws must certainly include the 

 1.  Always turn off a mike if it is not being used at that exact moment.

2.  Never watch the stage to see when a mike needs to be turned back on.

3.  Always wait until a vocal or solo is half over before turning on the 

4.  Never turn the volume down before turning on a system.  That way you get 
terrible feedback which hurts everyone's ears.

5.  Never identify the mikes so that it takes you at least 5 minutes to 
identify which mike is feeding back.

And most importantly:

6.  Never, under any cercumstances, listen to, or watch what is going on, 
on-stage.  It is especially important to never look at a musician when 
he/she is frantically waving at you to turn the g** d*** mike on.

--Bob Ringwald K6YBV

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