July 01, 2001

#3: Sound checks at gigs

Keith Frankel from Denver, CO writes:

My bands first gig went great! Real good experience. We played to a pretty full house at Trilogy, and the crowd really responded nicely. It was interesting, we had everything nailed during the sound check. I could actually here things through the monitor. Then once the actual show started it seemed to slip or something, because I couldn't hear the guitar to well. Of course I tried to get the sound guy to figure it all out, but he never really got it right again. The sound seemed really different after the room was full of people. Maybe all those bodies effect the sound waves in the place?

This is pretty typical. The bodies plus the noises they make (especially once they've had some beer) can dramatically change what you're able to hear, and what the crowd hears. Depends on a lot of factors, especially the room itself. Read all about it in the Sound Checks section of How To Make A Band Work. Standard practice is to over-correct by making sure you don't get feedback even when you're much too loud, at the sound check. What sounds "much too loud" in an otherwise quiet room is sometimes about right for a noisy room.

See you again soon here at drbanjo.com!