It’s Carnival season in T&T and that means artists and musicians will be performing all over the country to support their 2k18 releases. To make a good impression, it’s important to sound as good as you can. And since it’s common knowledge that the sound engineer can make or break your performance, here are some tips on how to interact with them and get on their good side:
- Never be on time; sound guys are always late anyways. If you’re on time they will feel pressured and think you’re rushing them
- Don’t carry your own cables to a gig. When you reach on stage tell the engineer “well i left mine at home – aren’t you supposed to have those things?”
- Don’t ever say ‘please’ or ‘thanks’ . Sound engineers are rough
tough guys n gals who will either take offense to politeness or think you’re an inexperienced pushover if you act courteous
- Don’t bother to get the engineer’s name or introduce yourself. They’re all a**holes and won’t respond to you anyway. Instead, when you’re ready to sound check, shout over the PA system “yeah soundman, ah ready eh”. For extra points, call him ‘aye soundbwoy’ in a fake Jamaican accent.
- Say “can I get some autotune?’ when performing
- Cup the mic like your favorite rapper until you get feedback. Then complain about it
- Drop the mic after your set
- If you can, jump in a pool with the microphone. Continue singing like a true professional
- Bring your backing tracks on your phone then give said phone to the engineer. Let him trigger it directly from WhatsApp. Tell him reply to ur messages & screen your calls while he’s at it.
- If using a flash drive, ensure your tracks are randomly scattered all over or buried in a folder called ‘Untitled Folder2’. Engineers appreciate being kept on their toes like this.
- Don’t bother to label your tracks. ‘Audio File 1 mix_16’ looks more technically impressive
- Don’t use TV tracks or instrumentals. A YouTube rip of your song is actually better. That way you can be both hypeman and singer. If the crowd is not into it, you can at least have a duet with yourself
- Turn your 100 watt tube amp all the way up at that small bar ur playing. Then ask the audience over the p.a. if they can hear you. Finally look as puzzled as you can while mouthing to the engineer “raise the the vocals”
- During soundcheck, do your most annoying lip-roll warm ups over the pa. Ask the engineer to go up on the volume while you walk around the venue lip-trilling
- Generally, try your best to act like a diva. A 2001 survey conducted by AES shows that sound engineers tend to respect artists exhibiting such demeanor. PROTIP: to really impress, say “do you know what that button does?”
- Don’t look unprofessional by printing a set list. Call the next track as the vibes come to you. If playing to tracks, shout your next song to the dj. That will earn you extra street cred
- When you play your last song ask the crowd if they wanna hear more. Go over your allotted time even if the only person nodding is your girlfriend at the front of the stage. If the stage assistant comes to take you off, complain to the audience & try to start a riot. It’s the rockstar thing to do!
- Use as many technical terms as possible with the engineer. It will signal to him that you take your craft seriously. If he asks how the stage mix sounds to you, say something like: ‘the decibels have too much frequency response curve compression. Just back off a little on the hi hat distortion & it’ll be juust right’