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Sound Advice

One Console; Four + Techs by Steve Parton

Whether you are told in advance or not, during multiple-act “festival” style gigs, some bands are going to show up with their own sound techs. This usually happens with the bigger bands who will have arrived after an afternoon of sound engineering mayhem.

As I’m sure you have already labelled all the microphones, the next thing you can do for your newly-arrived sound tech is to have all the auxiliary sends labelled or to put the FXs in the order they appear on the rack. Insert cables labelled to the corresponding gate or compressor would be good, too. And make sure you update the masking tape on the board, because things change easily in this type of show, and making a mental note of a switched channel doesn’t do much good for the other sound techs.

If the show is not the on-the-fly type and there are several soundchecks before the show, the single coolest tool on the face of the planet is a dictaphone or recording Walkman. This way I can check my band(s) and then say to the next sound tech, “It’s all yours, Sherri. Change what you like; I’ve recorded all my settings on this here dictaphone.”

How’s that for camaraderie between sound techs?

Steve Parton, Montreal, PQ-based freelance sound tech.

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