Concert Sound for the Opening Act

I decided to jot down this series of articles, in reaction to years of paying attention to my musician friend’s regale me with tails of woe, approximately “Bad Sound Experiences.” BSE if you will. Most regularly, those BSE’s had a not unusual identifiable trait (New or green sound tech) and nearly all have been associated with on stage reveal mixes. These unfortunate reports made playing their song un-fun and un-inspiring. Since these are the two reasons most of my friends play track… I idea I’d try to help!

For this text, I added a caveat, to make a larger point… Communique… So the first articles are set inside the scariest place within the music commercial enterprise… When YOU is the Opening Act!

This series is an attempt to empower musicians on ranges: first with a simple information of “Concert Sound” technology and 2d with a willingness to engage the concert sound engineers they encounter daily, as collaborators and co-conspirators and now not as road blocks to achievement.

“In the this text, we will talk about a factor Bad Blake makes in the film “Crazy Heart.”

Blake to the sound mixer: “We’re gonna stay right here all day ’til we get this mix right!

Mixer: It is right….

Blake to his band: They usually say that… However they may be gonna make sure the opening act would not sound as proper as the Headliner! “

You can see some of that trade on the link on the bottom of the object.

It takes a minute to buffer, so be patient, at approximately forty sec into the trailer you see a part of this trade between musician and sound engineer.

I’ve been in this specific state of affairs oftentimes myself at sound test, so it looks as if a terrific location to begin a discussion about several critical points. One might be the obvious… Verbal exchange between musician and sound engineer, some other, the opening act and the headliners sound engineer… Perhaps one greater… The opening act’s sound engineer and the headliner’s sound engineer. Let’s sort through this capacity mine subject.


In our preceding instance, the musician Bad Blake and the sound engineer Bear have some obvious agree with troubles. As the scene progresses we discover that Bear is the sound engineer for the headliner but is mixing the “Front of House” (FOH) for Blake’s band (the feared Opening Act) at this live performance. Everyone appears a bit cranky, and time is maximum probably running out on sound test.

Let’s pass returned to the “You don’t know me” article for some help. Here are passages that relate to this point.

“The next most critical people you will want to discover are the sound technicians. I can not emphasize sufficient how critical – this part of the technique – is to the real outcome of your bands performance. We’ll discus this aspect (Sound) in top notch element with a future article.”


“One of my preferred IATSE sayings is “Chaos creates CASH.” This is the exact nature of the relationship among the “Production” and the neighborhood IA group. If the production is properly deliberate and organized, the day will cross fantastically properly. If the production has organizational issues, these troubles will placed pressure on the time limits all day. Stuff occurs… Trucks show up late, chain cars destroy and thunder storms blast in! None of that stuff is the IA’s fault however due to the fact their work regulations, together with, Meal penalties, could be enforced… The strain mounts.

This strain (even on an excellent day there can be strain) impacts the amount of – production degree time – available to “Opening Act.” The Opening Acts production consultant needs to be aware of how the Headliners manufacturing is coming together. Show up early and pay attention to the workflow. Monitoring the development of the production is important! “

If nothing else, we’ve hooked up that there are forces past the manage of us mere mortals…

Let’s observe a few basic “Opening Act” situations from one of the formerly stated views: Headliners sound tech and Opening Act Musicians.

Let’s take a brief tangential left and define what makes a “Top Notch” sound corporation? First, the gear needs to be incredible and in precise operating order. They need to additionally be very informed about the technical aspects of sound reinforcement. Those two sentences describe approximately eighty% of the sound agencies I’ve encountered over my 35 years in this business. So if the gear’s top and the sound techs realize what they’re doing what’s the problem?

Attitude… Not Aptitude

The distinction is in the humans no longer the gadget. You can expect, if a valid organisation is out on a excursion with a headliner or they may be the Sound Company of choice at a primary venue, that they apprehend the technical elements of sound reinforcement. Ahhh…. Will they be advocates to your music? That’s the question.

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