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The Big Takeover Issue #94
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New Rules For Sound Guys

11 March 2013

I’m sure you know that feeling of being totally excited for a show, and then being swiftly disappointed because of just how terribly the sound is handled. Perhaps, it’s because the venue just isn’t that great, but more often than not it’s simply because of the sound guy. Don’t defend them, because even if you have a friend that is one, or you are one yourself, chances are you’ve witnessed the unbelievable sabotage brought forth, seemingly impossibly, by a sound guy. So, with this in mind, I have written down some simple new rules for “sound professionals.” With any help, and strict adherence to these rules, venues across the globe may finally have decent sound.

1. Stop Pestering Me About The House’s Dinner Special

The bar skeeves me out enough, and the only reason I’m here is to catch my friend’s show. So, please, stop telling me over the mic about how awesome the bar’s chicken fingers are.

2. Don’t Bring Copies Of Your Own Band’s Terrible Album

Maybe if you stopped trying to push your nu-metal-jazz-funk-hardcore-christian-hip-hop on the touring band, there’s a chance you’d actually get the mix right.

3. If You Must Bring It, At Least Don’t Play Your Music

Seriously, the only thing worse than you giving your E.P. to the artist, is you actually playing it in between sets.

4. Just Give The Drummer More Monitor

Really, save us the trouble of seeing the drummer in between songs pointing to her/his ear with the drumstick, and silently mouthing to you, “I can’t hear anything.” While you’re at it, give the singer more vocals too. They like to hear themselves, like a lot.

5. Don’t Hit On The Female Musicians

“Yeah, it’s pretty cool. I can turn the sound up, AND I can turn it down. No big deal. (snorts nose) You know, you’re an alright guitarist, for a chick.”

6. Turn Down The Music In Between Sets

Maybe this one is just me being grumpy, but I’m tired of looking deaf in front of people in between sets when they’re trying to talk to me, and all I can do is shape my responses based upon their facial expressions just because you have a taste for Swedish Death Metal. I’ve often wondered if you playing your playlist you crafted to attract the attention of the bartender you have a crush is necessary at all, and maybe it would be awkward if there were no music at all, but, you know, quieter music does exist. Burt Bacharach is pretty cool, and I’ve heard Anita O’Day has some pretty sick recordings.

7. Where The Hell Did You Go?!

This is, perhaps, the most annoying. The band just started playing, you’re nowhere in sight, leaving their friends to figure out the board, and when you return you get mad at said friends for touching your board, ipso facto doing your job for you.

8. Please, Please, Please, Don’t Order Fish Tacos

Finally, if you’re working at a show, I don’t know, say somewhere in between Kent Ave, and S. 2nd St., and you’ve already broken rule number seven, why in the world would you have stanky fish tacos delivered to a small warehouse show when they are bound to fumigate the place? It’s bad enough when someone smokes pot in there. But it smells like burning leaves! No, it doesn’t. It smells like hospital bedpan.