Author: jakekelly

How Soundmen Can Keep Me Happy

(continued from here)   4. Make Me Louder   Okay, this is easy…and it is the single most important element of your job: make me louder!   And, of course, I want that without feedback.   And, of course, that’s just during soundcheck…when we’re doing a show I’m going to want even more.   I’ve noticed that some artists use one monitor and others use two.  I think an artist of my stature and sound requirements should have three…I mean if you can’t do it with two, three is more.  And stop blabbing to me about mic patterns…dude, they all look alike.   I’m a fairly cool guy, so during soundcheck when I’m asking you to bring me up (I’ve learned that I like it at about 115db) I’m going to be wearing sunglasses and a ballcap…that’s shouldn’t be a problem, should it?   Next Up: #3 Stop Ringing Out the P.A. with Steely Dan.  ...

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How Soundmen Can Keep Me Happy

(continued from here)   3. Stop Ringing Out the P.A. with Steely Dan.   Surely, there has been another great record that has been made in the past 40 years that you can use to do whatever the hell it is you do when listening to Steely Dan.   Wait…   You know who makes great records?   I make great records.   Why don’t you use my CD to ring out the PA?  I love how I sound coming out of the big speakers when they are turned up real loud.   Why not save the Steely Dan for playing to yourself endlessly when you’re home?   Next up: #2 Man Up and Take the Blame.  ...

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How Soundmen Can Keep Me Happy

(continued from here)   2. Man Up and Take the Blame…   Because it’s your fault anyway.   A man wiser than myself (ha! what a funny saying), said that an artist never has a bad show, it’s always someone else’s fault.   That is so true!   I know my worse nights performing were never my fault.  Sometimes it was the band’s fault, but usually it’s the soundman.   The audience talks over my performance: obviously, the sound system wasn’t loud enough.   I can’t hit the notes or sing in pitch: the monitors weren’t loud enough.   I couldn’t sing because I lost my voice: the monitors weren’t loud enough last night.   This doesn’t even touch on the fact that I didn’t have something to drink to lube the chords or a severe shortage of girls to party with on the bus.   Hey, why fight.  Suck it up, admit it’s your fault, and go pack up.   Next Up: #1 Get Your Priorities In...

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How Soundmen Can Keep Me Happy

(continued from here)   1. Get Your Priorities In Order.   I don’t know why, but this seems to be the most difficult for the dozens and dozens (if not hundreds) of soundmen I have worked with.   Okay, here is how you make a list of priorities:   The artist comes first. Everything else comes after that.   By following this simple roadmap, you know that if you’re doing something (anything!) and I have a request, you stop doing whatever it is and take care of me.  Once, I am taken care of you can resume whatever less important thing you were dealing with first.   I am certain that if all soundmen followed this criterion the artists that they work for would certainly be happier, therefore assuring a more positive and productive artist/soundman relationship.   You’re welcome.   – Jake Kelly  ...

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The Fender Stratocaster Turns 60

2014 makes the 60th anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster, perhaps the instrument most associated with rock n’ roll.    And certainly the Stratocaster (often the name is shortened to just “Strat’), looks the part.  To use automotive hyperbole of the era in which the instrument was created, the Strat looked like it was going a hundred miles per hour standing still.     In part this was due to the body’s double cutaway.  The two upper “horns” on the body surely set this guitar apart from its older sister, the Fender Telecaster, as well as most other guitars ever...

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