Monday, October 19, 2009

Lights, camera, mixer mania!

Lights, camera, mixer mania!

While performing at a church as their musical guest Sunday morning,
our gospel group learned at the last minute that our sound engineer wasn't going to be there.
The music minister kindly offered the services of their light and video person to fill in on our 24 channel soundboard.
What seemed like a good idea at the time suddenly turned horribly wrong.

Here are the gruesome details...

Light and video people are used to constantly
changing the settings on the light board to keep the visual interest of the listeners.
They know that keeping a certain light setting on the stage too long can get boring quickly.
A good light technician will gradually change stage light settings about every three seconds.
(When I was playing larger venues, We also included a fog machine and flash pots.)

A sound technician does just the opposite. If the group is well balanced, the best thing to do is to
leave the board well enough alone. Adjusting the sound quality too often will distract from the song
and finally become annoying.

As you might have guessed, the performance was wrought with ear-splitting hums and squeals of feedback
constantly throughout the show.

Solos weren't heard, and lyrics were buried under backing instruments.


1. Check with everyone the night before and make sure they can be there.

2. Sit out the first number and balance the sound myself as close as possible.
Then try and balance my instrument as best I can.

if you want something done right?
Larry Marra