While your sound engineer may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you are getting ready for a show, they have an immense amount of power that can affect the quality of your performance. Smooth soundchecks will ensure that the show sounds great on stage and allow you to feel confident in your performance. For artists who are new to performing live, sound-checking can be difficult. These three tips will ensure you have the best soundcheck possible on stage.
Although your job as a performer can be challenging, have you ever tried to imagine what it would be like for your sound guy/girl? They are often very important and sometimes exhausting, but they only get a fraction of the attention and adoration as performers. It doesn’t matter if you are a rising star or just starting. It is important to treat your sound engineer with respect, patience, kindness and professionalism. It means being polite and attentive when you ask for adjustments to the level and remembering that you are only one of many musicians performing on that particular night. You’ll find that the way their venue treats a band can directly correlate with how they are treated at home. So be considerate of your sound engineer.
Your sound engineer will be in a bad mood if you have fun with your bandmates, scroll through your phone, or laugh with them. You and your bandmates will make soundcheck go much faster and easier. Soundcheck is when different levels, amps, and monitors are checked and adjusted. If you don’t pay attention, the entire process can take longer. While it can be nerve-wracking to wait for something, especially if the sound engineer is checking right before you play, it will make things much simpler.
Get your gear packed and ready to go
Soundcheck is not the right time to try new gear, restring your instrument, or reconfigure your drum set. If your equipment and instruments are not ready and available promptly, soundcheck can be frustrating for all involved. Although this sounds simple, it is not uncommon for inexperienced musicians to see soundchecking as something they need to do. Soundcheck is only to make your band sound good. All other things can wait until another time.
One of the key things to having a smoother soundcheck and show is to know all the band members by name. If I’m working with a new group or musician, I go on stage and introduce myself. I’ll write down names on a cheat sheet if it’s a large group. Having a personal connection and letting the band know you’re on their side goes a long way in establishing trust. I try to let the band know that I’m not just the tech guy, but we’re all on the same team.
Soundcheck is an essential part of any band’s performance. Make sure it’s quick, efficient and to the point. This will make the experience more enjoyable for you, the venue and your fans.