I have the PA. I have the Truck. I know sound gear. I do all the work.
Does this sound like you? Are you finding that you’re the first to arrive and last to leave, and the bulk of the responsibility of the sound systems falls on your shoulders?
Recently as my band has picked up more causal gigs, we’re providing the sound system. And lights. And since I have the truck, I’m generally the one transporting it between storage, our rehearsal facility and our gigs.
And, it’s not that the rest of the band isn’t willing to help. They usually do help load in and load out whenever logistically possible, and they offer to help setting up the gear.
Now, I’m not a control freak (and, yes, I know control freaks always say that), but I typically find that it is best if one person is responsible for one aspect of band business.
But often in bands, particularly in those striving to make it, the members have other responsibilities that fall out of the scope of the band as well: family commitments, jobs, resemblance of a life, etc.
This often makes that “one aspect” of the band, such as bookings, promoting and setting up (and breaking down) the sound system a daunting task. It should also be noted that these are the less pleasurable aspects of being in a band.
At a recent gig, one of the singers was watching me sort through cables and beginning to wire up our system, and said she wanted to help. My head wasn’t at a place to accept this…I was still trying to wrap my head around what should be where.
Upon my declining her assistance, she jokingly asked if I was a control freak (which, if you remembered I already declared that I not). I’m more than willing to give up the ENTIRE responsibly of sound.
But that really isn’t practical.
However, I will propose that sound (and lights) are not a single component but several.
And, each band member could be assign one of these tasks.
1) There’s running power to each piece that needs it, which now is more important as ever since the advent of powered speakers and powered monitors.
2) Running cables from the mixer to the powered speakers, or cables from the power amp to the passive speakers.
3) Running cables from the mixer to the powered monitors, or cables from the monitor power amp to the passive monitors.
4) Setting up the mics, and running the mic cables to the mixer.
5) Setting up the lights.
Needless to say, if you can set it up, you can break it down after the show.
None of these things take too much time to do singularly, and if done simultaneously set up time and break down time can be reduced significantly. And, none of this is really that hard.
Another positive aspect to dividing up the chores is that there is a greater increase in knowledge of the ins and outs of sound…literally. And by rotating each of these duties among band members, empowers each person with ability pick up the slack if someone is late, not feeling well, or trying to pick up a girl in the audience.
I’ll let you know how this goes over with my crew. Stay Tuned.
– Jake Kelly