Good and Bad Soundmen

Yacht Rock began yesterday with a rehearsal for two upcoming shows:  Candler Park Fall Fest and Thriller/Purple Rain at the Variety Playhouse.  Good soundman Hans showed up with our gear after driving it back from Connecticut for us.  We loaded in and rehearsed.  I sucked real bad on the Thriller/Purple Rain stuff.  It was painful and embarrassing.  I will hopefully get some time to work on it early next week.

Later that afternoon we loaded into the Hotel Intercontinental for a corporate gig that night.  We were set on stage behind a curtain;  at some point in the evening, magic words would be spoken, the curtain would fall, and we would be playing--instant insane party.

As you can imagine, it never actually works.  The curtain will fall and they'll pull it off to the left, they said.  It fell and they pulled it off to the right, except for the end, which was still hanging up there at the end of the gig.

Because there would be no front monitors, we were all on in ear monitors.  Unfortunately, the sound in them was pretty bad.  I didn't even bother trying to tweak a mix, because I knew I probably wouldn't use them.  Sure enough, I made it through half a song before I tossed them on the floor.  It was easier for me to hear instruments acoustically and the vocals in the house.

This sound guy was bad.  In the first set, I noticed that he would finally bump up the sax solo when I was halfway through.  During the second set, if I didn't walk out front, (maybe I should wave to him?) I'd get no bump at all.  For instance, Maneater had no sax solo.  I was playing, but it was tucked way down in the mix.  Goddamnit.

At the break, the guys who were still on in ears were complaining that all of their supposedly pre-fader mixes were changing constantly as the sound guy adjusted the front of house mix.  Way to go.

Early in the second set, I turned my amp off so I could listen to the PA.  It was vocals and stage left keyboards;  everything else was about a third of their volume.  It made for a pretty shitty mix, if I do say so myself, and pretty much crushed any fun that I might have had.  I bet the beginning of Grease sounded great without the horn part.

As if the idiot soundman wasn't enough to make us homicidal, we had to contend with a contentious crowd who didn't like what we played, and then did like what we played but didn't like that we wouldn't let them play tambourine and shaker.  How about I come to your office tomorrow and use your computer while you're on a business call?  Mind if I surf some porn?  I'll only be a couple of minutes…

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