Hiring A Sound Guy For Your BandAuthor: Matthew Kepnes
A lot of bands debate on whether or not to hire a sound guy or do the setup themselves. There are a few things to think about when making your decision. About the Author:
First, you should consider the size of the venue. If you are at a small 100 seat bar or venue and the PA you need is not very big, you can handle the sounds yourself. It is best to have the mixer on the right side of the stage. If a guitarist or bassist is right handed it is easier to do it on the right side as the neck of the instrument will point away from the mixer and it easier to remove your right hand than your left in mid song if something goes wrong.
If, however, you are jamming at some large venue (500 people up) or outdoors it is probably better to hire a professional who can supply all the gear and operate the sound and lighting for you as you will need more.
Another thing to consider is the mixing skills of your band mates. This includes knowledge associated with amplifier wattage, speaker impedance, graphic and parametric equalization, compression, effects, and locating troublesome frequencies that will create feedback (squeal or hum). Donít forget to consider basic knowledge of dynamic levels, microphone polar patterns, and overall mixing of the sound levels. If you canít do any of this or know any of this, consider hiring a pro.
Moreover, what is the size your band. If your band has more than the average five piece all playing a variety of instruments then itís better to hire a sound guy who knows what he is doing. Also the requirement for microphones, cabling, DI boxes, stands would be huge and possibly too much to do yourself.
Finally, what is your budget? You need to decide whether to invest in a sound system of your own or continue to hire and pay out Ďdead moneyí in hire fees. You can virtually buy a good basic PA system for the costs of hiring for year or so if you are playing a few nights per week every week and earning some money. Remember you have to buy many accessories in PA systems but if you are mostly doing small venues and you have someone who can setup and mix your band, you will save a bundle by doing it yourself.
Try to listen to the guy before you hire him. Quite a few PA/sound guys are atrocious at mixing and have no clue what they doing even though they may tell you they do. That is why it is important to her them before you hire them. Donít get fooled by techno babble.
Hiring a proper sound guy is a lot of work. Make sure your bands weighs all the factors before deciding. Discuss all the factors involved and see if hiring someone is better than doing it yourself. If you play a large number of big venues and have a lot of equipment, hiring someone will probably be beneficial for your band.
Matt knows a lot about sound and stereo and has been mixing music for over a decade. For more information about stereo and sound, visit his site about Axebay used guitars and check out the online guitar lessons.
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