googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners: Greg Piper - Rock N Roll Addict - Sound Check

Greg Piper - Rock N Roll Addict - Sound Check

Hi, I'm Greg and I'm a Rockaholic! Ok, It's gig day.  Before the doors open and the crowds come rushing in to get good seats to see their favorite rock n roll show, the band has already spend hours in advance getting their gear in place and adjusting their sound for the room.  What the fans don't see is the fine tuning of what goes on before the show . . . the sound check!

I've always said, "The band sounds as good as the gear and the sound engineer!"  But it takes both.  You can have great equipment, but a lousy mix or inadequate or "tone deaf" sound engineer can make it sound real bad, believe me.  I can always tell the quality of the sound engineer within the first few minutes.  If he's great, I don't tell him much during sound check.  I let him do his thing.  I may suggest a certain basic mix and what the levels should be of the different musicians for the overall result of the sound.  That works with a real pro engineer.   But, I've dealt with some of the worst sound engineers and sometimes it's like treading water to even suggest the desired results you want.

The best way to get the sound the way you want it is to have your own sound engineer.  Obviously, he or she knows your sound.  But that comes with a cost and luxury you may not afford, which leads to my next favorite saying, "We get paid the same whether we sound good or not, so why pay more?"  So, if you don't have your own sound engineer, you need someone in the band go out and stand by the sound engineer and assist.  

During the sound check you should play the same 4 or 5 songs of different variety and instrumentation to get the levels and sound correct for all those songs.  One song may be a ballad, another may be with heavy guitar, another may have strings, and another may have harmonies.  You want to go over them all, the same songs for ALL SOUND CHECKS to help make things consistent and easy.  And this is really important . . . make sure the musicians are playing the instruments during sound check that they will also be playing during the show.  Otherwise, WHAT'S THE POINT???

What if the guitar is too loud on stage?  Simple - turn the amp sideways and put a clear shield in front of it, if necessary.  For bands that insist on having the amps facing the audience, lean the amps upward so the sound goes more to your ears, making it music louder for you but not the audience.  If you are mic'd, the engineer can always make you louder in the house if need be.  There is nothing worse than a vocalist being drowned out by Mr. Guitar hero.  

Then there's the issue with monitors . . . . what the musicians hear on stage, but not what the audience hears.  Every musician has their preference as to what they want to hear.  I, personally like to hear just my vocal.  I don't need band mix.  I play bass and stand near the drums to hear him, so I don't need to hear more.  Others like to hear everyone evenly as if they're listing to the song as it should sound to the audience.  It is of most importance for every musician to get the mix in their monitor that makes them most comfortable.

Finally, when sound check is over, DO NOT MAKE ANY CHANGES instrumentally or otherwise.  If you want to make changes, do it during sound check.  After all, that is what sound check is all about.  If you're going to make changes after the sound check, what's the point of sound checking in the first place?  DUH!

Happy rocking!

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