Sound Check: Do’s & Dont’s

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Sound check: an on-the-spot rehearsal by a band before a gig to enable the sound engineer to set up the mixer. 

I am not going to focus too much on the technicality of sound checks but rather the proper etiquette and behavior you should maintain throughout the process.

First and foremost….

Let the sound guy do his job.

The ‘sound guy’ could be an expert sound professional or he could just be someone’s friend who calls himself a DJ. Regardless of his official title and expertise, you must always respect him for what he is doing. More than likely, he’s going to be at the venue hours before the doors open and hours after the last concertgoer leaves. This isn’t his first rodeo and he can probably provide you with some simple tips or tricks that can improve your performance, especially since he understands the equipment being used. You don’t need to understand every little detail that goes into the sound quality of your performance,  just make sure your music/vocals match your expectations and go from there. A sound guy might be so impressed by your performance and/or your behavior that they recommend you for future events they get contracted for. Imagine that, a production crew booking you/your band for a gig.

Respect the equipment & take care of the stage.

This is kind of a no-brainer but there will always be some bad eggs that ruin it for the rest of us. I don’t care how big you are, unless you OWN the equipment, do not smash anything on stage (I’m still talking about equipment). There is the legendary guitar smash, the throwing of a drum set,  but a new thing I am seeing with hip-hop artists is the spiking of a microphone like they just caught an Audio-Technica in the end zone or something. Don’t be that guy! No matter how cool you think it makes you look, your manager is going to wake up in the morning with an invoice for whatever equipment you destroyed. Can you guess who’s pocket that comes out of???

Approve your performance antics before beginning your set.

Sound check is the perfect time to ask questions and make sure everything you have planned for your set fits accordingly to what the production crew will allow.

“Hey, can I stage dive into the crowd?”

or

“It’d be super lit if we sprayed the crowd with water, is that cool?”

There is always at least one performance antic you want to get approved before you start your set. Even asking the sound guy “What is the maximum amount of people we can have on stage?” will help you prep and not get your set cut short (this specific question can determine whether or not the stage survives your performance). I have seen it happen, so approve everything you think needs approval and get the sound guy and his crew on your side.

Did I miss anything? What does your general sound check consist of? Let me know below!

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