Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians
4 Times You Shouldn't Take the Gig
The Number One Mistake Bands Make Right After Booking a Gig
The Ultimate EQ Cheat Sheet for Every Common Instrument
15 Reality Checks Young Artists Need to Hear

4 Ways to Get the Best Live Sound Out of Uncommon Instruments

Lionel Hampton (via Christian Steiner Photography)

In the current marketplace, there are plenty of bands that have found success using just a guitar, a bass and drums. However, bands often try to create some differentiation for themselves using additional instruments that are less common, such as vibraphones, a viola, bagpipes or a saw. When you add those instruments to the mix, you need to be very specific about your needs when you work with the sound engineer at your next gig.

Here are four ways to get the best live sound out of uncommon instruments:

5 Smart Ways to Deal With a Sound Guy Who's Just Plain Bad

Image source: Flickr

Being a sound guy (or girl) is all about providing the technical expertise of sound engineering and venue acoustics to help bands sound their best. However, there undoubtedly will be times when you come across a sound engineer who is either inexperienced or, God forbid, incompetent. As a band, it’s crucial for you to learn how to deal with the situation as best you can.

Here are five smart ways to handle a bad sound guy:

6 Tips to Get the Best Live Recording of Your Festival Set

Get right up on those mics.

In 1956, the Duke Ellington Orchestra headlined the Newport Jazz Festival. The show was going moderately well until Ellington decided to pair “Diminuendo in Blue” with “Crescendo in Blue,” separated only by Paul Gonsalves’ saxophone solo. The tune, with its amazing 27-chorus solo, turned the crowd from simply enjoying the show to chanting and screaming for more. It was the performance that revitalized Duke Ellington’s career.

Understanding Acoustics: How to Sound Your Best at Your Next Gig

As the sound guy, it’s my job to understand the acoustic properties of the venue and make sure you sound your best. But as you know, not every gig you play is going to have a dedicated sound person – and even if there is one, it’s still very important to know what you should do on your end to ensure a great-sounding performance.

Before you play your next gig, check out how each of these venues will affect the way you sound -- and what you can do about it:

Owning and Understanding Your Own Mixer

Having your own mixer for your band can be a great way to control your sound if you’re playing a lot of events and want to have control in a place that may not have a dedicated sound person. The extra control means that you need to be able to set up and control it correctly.