[Dixielandjazz] Sound

Gluetje1 at aol.com Gluetje1 at aol.com
Mon Jun 5 09:34:09 PDT 2006

When I attend concerts I am always trying to watch the forces at play that  
seem to make for success or not.  About a year ago attended an outdoor  concert 
in a relatively confined area to hear two bands in particular.   Watched the 
first band take the stage and proceed to play as if all would be as  they 
needed it via some kind of automatic process.  I wasn't bright enough  to pinpoint 
the problem but just sat there wondering how a group I admired could  sound 
so "off".  About ten minutes before this group was to finish I  watched the 
next band leader arrive, go over to sound guy, shake his hand,  introduce 
himself, learn the sound guy's name and proceed to converse with him  for a few 
minutes.  Watched the sound guy get busy making stage adjustments  as this group 
sat up.  Heard the leader acknowledge the sound guy by name  and thank him when 
they finished their opening number.  Guess what?   The second group sounded 
great and I learned something that day.
In a message dated 6/5/2006 9:54:02 A.M. Central Daylight Time,  
barbonestreet at earthlink.net writes:

Ultimately, it is the band leaders fault if a hired sound company  amplifies
the band. The leader should.

1) Consult with the sound  guys before the concert about what the band should
sound like,  discuss monitors, discuss horns relative to rhythm section
etc. Tell them you are a "jazz" band and what should be featured.

2) Do  a sound check prior to the concert if possible.

3) And in ALL cases,  after the concert has begun, get the hell out into the
audience and listen to the sound (minus your instrument) or send  someone
you trust out there to listen and make  adjustments.

4) No sound is perfect for all areas of a large venue.  Like don't ever sit
in the first row at Yankee Stadium for a  concert. Sit in Left field 400
feet away. By the same token,  don't sit next to the drummer in a small

There  are lots of great sound guys out there like list mate  Lowell  a/k/a
Mad Dog, who do a wonderful job. Let's not forget that.

I had  one yesterday at a street fair. Act before us was LOUD country. As he
set  up for us he said "Hi Steve. I'll disconnect the monitors and  reposition
for jazz." He then set us up running and did a fine job. Made 2  adjustments
after walking out to crowd. Volume raised so they could hear us  a block away
and later the trombonist (sub) asked for a monitor because he  wasn't used to
playing without one. (young guy, but excellent)

You  get bad sound? Perhaps mostly your fault.

Steve  Barbone

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