[Dixielandjazz] Sound guys

tcashwigg at aol.com tcashwigg at aol.com
Sun Jun 4 23:46:51 PDT 2006

Nope Larry I am not assuming anything other than the fact that ALL 
bands and Band Leaders should be first and foremost responsible for 
their own quality sound and leave absolutely nothing up to anybody 
else,  expect the worst and cheapest thing they can get away with and 
if that is what is considered OK for your act then so be it.

I understand that you don't want to shlep your stuff in without getting 
paid, however if you know the provide system is crap and its operators 
are going to make you sound crappy and you don't do anything to 
alleviate the problem then you have no right to bitch about them.   
Bands and leaders simply need to be much more aggressive and assertive 
in the professional needs to present a quality program and not just 
concerned on the damned pay check.   The money is not always everything 
and the fact that you sounded like crap will cost you or the band 
leader a Hell of a lot more money in lost future gigs than it would 
have cost you to shlep that sound system out of the car and put on a 
decent sounding show.   You could always add the cost for it onto a 
future gig and save the day.   If the band leader does not understand 
that then personally I would never work for him again either he gets 
what he deserves and provides less than adequate professionalism for 
his sidemen.   Tar and Feather his butt and ride him out of town on the 
next rail :))


Tom  Take no prisoners Wiggins

-----Original Message-----
From: Larry Walton Entertainment - St. Louis <larrys.bands at charter.net>
To: tcashwigg at aol.com; butte1 at mac.com; dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
Sent: Sun, 4 Jun 2006 23:28:29 -0500
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Sound  guys

    You are of course assuming that the leader or I had anything to do 
with it. I would have been glad to do sound for them or had a friend 
who did sound for the AF band near here do it but we weren't asked. But 
there's always next year. I have played this gig about 4 times with 
this particular leader who happens to play for me quite often. We had 
no idea and walking out of the job was out of the question but as I 
said there's always next year. 
  I actually carry a pretty good PA with me all the time. I use a couple 
of the 15" EON powered monitors. They are very adequate for groups up 
to about three or four hundred. Outside they could use a little more 
punch but we don't need a whole lot. 
  I had my sound system with me as always but I wasn't about to schlep 
it in unless they paid me. The leader on this particular day doesn't do 
sound for anyone. They wanted sound to reach down the halls. (not 
actually halls but long narrow rooms with the band at the end on the 
hub of the wheel more or less) That's why the place was full of wires 
running everywhere. 
  We really didn't realize how bad they were until we started to play. 
They had a monster board sat up right behind us and as I said 7 huge 
cabinets. As I recall they had one poorly placed monitor. 
  You said it better than I - What gives guys the idea that they can buy 
a bunch of stuff and call themselves sound men? I guess they learned it 
from the guys who get a bunch of stuff and call themselves DJ's. 
 St. Louis 
 ----- Original Message ----- From: <tcashwigg at aol.com> 
  To: <larrys.bands at charter.net>; <butte1 at mac.com>; 
<dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com> 
 Sent: Sunday, June 04, 2006 2:12 PM 
 Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Sound guys 
 Best way for almost any OKOM BAnd to avoid this situation is simply to 
 go shop and find your won reliable inexpensive sound system that will 
  adequately handle almost any situation up to about 500 people in a 
 or range. Most of you do not play at high volume levels and do not 
 need all that power in the first place. 
 Major outdoor events, with large audiences can often require a larger 
 system, but unless it is a professional and highly experienced sound 
 company they can often be just as bad as Larry describes. ANYBOY can 
 buy or Steal a bunch of old sound gear and mix and match and piece it 
 together to crank up volume. That does not make them professional 
  sound men so the best thing to do is check them out at other venues 
  events for yourself and then either bring your own which you can 
 extra for and your own operator (schlepper) who can also set up and 
 sell your CDs, hand out your cards etc. well worth the money you pay 
  them if your band is any good, and you want it to sound good to get 
  repeat and future bookings form those who may be in attendance and 
 what they hear. 
  Even if you can't get the extra money for the sound, take it and use 
 anyway for the integrity of your show, for which YOU are responsible 
 for, and have only yourself to blame if you sound bad up there. But 
 if your band is known as "The Pretty Good Boys" then you may be 
 relegated to doing everything on the cheap and not putting your best 
 sound and professionalism forward to increase demand for your act and 
 higher pay checks that come with it. 
  Professional acts won't settle for mediocrity it simply is not worth 
 in the long run. 
 Will there be an occasional exception, yes, but YOU can go a long ways 
 to preventing train wrecks if you take care of business. 
 The event organizers lack of integrity or lack of professional 
 knowledge should not stop you from making YOUR show solid and 
 professional, if it does shame on you, If you are a Good Boy Scout 
 and always GO PREPARED you can avoid many train wrecks, and sound very 
 good using your own gear rather than sounding bad using theirs, If 
 their sound for the other acts is bad simply refuse to use it and tell 
 them you will use your Own if they don't agree go home, better than 
 putting on a bad sounding show and having to complain and make excuses 
 for how bad your band sounded. The audience rarely knows why you sound 
 so bad, only that you did and they will talk about or even worse yet 
 get up and leave without staying to listen. 
  I have more than once asked that the sound be turned Off in venues 
 I have played because it and or the acoustics were simply 
 uncontrollable for either the engineer or the band with electrical 
 reinforcement. Some venues were simply not meant for electronic sound 
 systems no matter who's brother in law is getting a pay check to rent 
 it and run it. 
 I have also been fortunate to play some 3000 year old wonderful 
 outdoor amphitheaters where no Sound system was needed at all and 
 nobody had trouble hearing every note of the show and or the talking. 
 How did they figure all that out that long ago without electricity and 
 5000 watts of power. 
 Tom Wiggins 
 -----Original Message----- 
  From: Larry Walton Entertainment - St. Louis 
<larrys.bands at charter.net> 
 To: Butch Thompson <butte1 at mac.com>; djml 
 <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com> 
 Sent: Sun, 4 Jun 2006 11:55:04 -0500 
 Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Sound guys 
   We played a gig at an up scale nursing home the Sunday before Fat 
  Tuesday. They usually put the band in an atrium kind of area. There 
 three areas that radiate off of the atrium. All have lower ceilings 
 than the stage in the atrium. The band's sitting eye level is just 
 below the ceiling of the rooms which are very long and narrow. The 
 guests are placed in these long low ceiling rooms. 
  As you can imagine the sound is pretty bad especially since we are 
 more or less an acoustic group. 
 This year the recreation director decided to hire a sound crew. 
   I would have welcomed the hard rock cafe guys. These bozos looked 
 they had just been fired from a bluegrass festival. They were complete 
 with bib overalls and beards that went down to their chests. 
  Their equipment looked like it had been through one too many rock 
 concerts and the cabinets were huge. They brought in 7 of the biggest 
 speaker cabinets I had ever seen and strung wires all over the place. 
  The microphones were placed on ordinary weighted mike stands with 
 booms. If you extend these booms very far that kind of stand becomes 
  unstable. They had all the mikes on those booms. Well I tipped one 
 going up the steps to the stage and they had a fit about screwing up 
 their equipment. If the guy hadn't put it on a step that wasn't very 
 stable and narrow with the boom extended it never would have happened. 
  The mikes cut in and out and while some people think of soprano saxes 
 as mass weapons of destruction, with their help it became a reality. 
 While I was basking in my new found power the guy playing banjo and 
 singing couldn't be heard. He wouldn't touch the mike because they had 
 yelled at me. I got up to wiggle the cord and see if the thing was 
 turned on and guess what. My mike went over again. 
  It got pretty exciting around there for a few seconds while the blast 
 from the mike explosion died down. 
  I'm looking forward to next year and the reunion concert with these 
 St. Louis 
 ----- Original Message ----- From: "Butch Thompson" <butte1 at mac.com> 
 To: "djml" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com> 
 Sent: Saturday, June 03, 2006 2:18 PM 
 Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Sound guys 
  >> I remember Hary Epp used to say "When you see a sound tech wearing 
 a T >> shirt 
 >> that says "Hard Rock Cafe", beware." He was right 
 > Does anybody remember who put it this way: 
  > "My confidence in any sound man is inversely proportional to the 
 length > of 
 > his ponytail." 
 > Butch Thompson 
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 > Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com 
 > http://ml.islandnet.com/mailman/listinfo/dixielandjazz 
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