Episode #1. After nearly ten years mixing at one of America’s most beloved and well respected live music venues this is what I’ve found to create more gratitude and goodwill from performers than any other method I’ve seen. It’s the easiest way to build rapport by showing you understand the needs and concerns of the performers on your stage. Hundreds of performers have personally told me just how much my simple yet powerful idea means to them and they wished it would become the industry standard. Please help me make that become a reality.
A huge thank you to the awesome Bob Dossa for all of his hard work shooting and editing around all of my mistakes and awkward nervousness while in front of the camera. You can find him and much more of his work at http://www.rainydayrun.com
Please share with engineers, musicians and/or anyone that performs with their voice. Thank you for your support!
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Agree! A gob ridden and lipstick coated mic is just nasty! I bring my own mics to gigs for this reason..and if touring, label each persons mic. And also, over time, the diaphragms get tired and damaged, and it might not be noticeable on a day to day basis till you put up a brand new one. I came across a fair few sub par vocal mics in clubs till started bringing my own.
Gilli, you are a true pro for staying on top of having clean mic’s for your performers. My hope with this video is to start encouraging venues and in-house engineers to start providing clean mic’s for those that can’t yet afford their own or on the occasion when one is lost or damaged on tour and a house mic becomes a necessity. Thank you for commenting and doing great work!
How does the foam in the grilles hold up to going through the dishwasher?
Hi Craig, the foam can eventually become a little bit thinner after many, many washes and drying in the sun. However, I find at Bottom of the Hill where we have shows 5-6 nights per week all year that the grills will become either badly dented or otherwise un-presentable and need to be thrown away long before the inner foam has disintegrated enough to matter. In the rare event that the foam deteriorates faster than the grills are destroyed I simply bought more of the foam inner socks from Shure. I believe they cost about 50 cents each and came in a bag of ten. Shure part number: 36A678A.
Great advice – everyone engineer should do this or at least to the best of their ability. It is fairly inexpensive to buy new foams and grills. Also agree with Gilli about the diaphragms. It is fairly inexpensive to have new capsules put into your microphones – maybe write it into the budget to do at least once a year.
Thank you for commenting, Karrie. You’re absolutely right that things like this should be a part of an engineer’s annual budget for gear and repairs. Sadly, it’s an uphill battle trying to convince a lot of people about the value in preventive maintenance when they’d rather buy the sexy, exciting stuff, like more mic’s, plug-ins, speakers, etc. Nevertheless, routine maintenance is something I will continue to address in future video segments and written posts. And thank you for everything you’re doing with Soundgirls.org!
As a newbie sound engineer in my late twenties and with only a a year and a half experience I find it inspiring and motivating to hear how far you have got from starting at age 35.
I have a question: do you have any advice or tricks when dealing with very loud and sometimes inexperienced drummers in small club settings? I have tried to explain nicely that it will be better for the overall sound if they don’t try to demolish the kit within the first song but so far it has come up with mixed results.
Really enjoying the videos, keep up the good work.
Hi Jack, knowing that my story about starting at 35 gives you encouragement or strengthens your resolve is the best thing I could hear. I’m genuinely really happy about that. It’s NEVER too late to chase your dream. UNLESS your dream is to convince inexperienced rock drummers not to beat the living shit out of their drums on a small stage cuz that just delusional. 😉
But seriously, it’s a problem I still deal with on a nearly daily basis at such a popular rock club known for loud shows. I’ve honestly never found a solution because it really is a talent issue. And when it’s worsened by a very soft singer that still can’t hear their monitor due to the poor signal/noise ratio at the vocal mic all I can do it invite the singer to listen to what I’m hearing when I solo their vocal in the headphones. When they hear ALL THE THINGS bleeding into the mic they start to understand that’s exactly what is being sent back to the wedges (or ears). And sometimes trying a mic with a narrower/tighter pattern isn’t the solution because the singer might be as inexperienced as the drummer and can’t stay on axis so you still have a poor signal to work with. The bashing drummers are something you just have to shrug off at times and accept that you can’t make them better, more dynamic players. Knowing when to surrender can be very valuable.