5 Things All Live Sound Techs Should Know

1. The best time to take a bathroom or smoke break is right before the band is about to start their set. You want the band to spend time searching the premises for you for at least 15 minutes. This sends the message that their set is not important and gives them a taste of the harsh realities of being in the music business.

2. Always have one fader on your mixing board that is not hooked up to anything. Every few minutes, move that fader up a little… then down… then up. The entire time be sure to be squinting in concentration. This will make the band think that you really care about their sound quality and are actually engaged. In reality you don’t care, go back to playing Angry Birds.

3. When you talk to the band before the show, they will want to give you advice on how to mix their band because they are “different” than anything you have ever seen. It is best to write all these ideas in a note pad in front of the musician while they are talking to you. Immediately after they are done talking, take that piece of paper out of your notebook and then proceed to rip it into 37 tiny pieces. Be sure to keep eye contact with the guitarist and not break that eye contact for the duration. Toss the paper onto the ground, shout “Robert Plant is God”, turn and walk away.

4. During sound check, you need to spend most of the time checking the snare. Have the drummer hit it in hard quarter notes while you move that fader from point #2 up and down. It is also important that you berate the drummer for having a shitty drum set… and an old head… and a loose snare. After wasting the entire sound check time, tell the band there is no time to check anything else and we will just “wing it” when the show starts… when the show actually starts, don’t wing it, just smoke and drink.

5. Make sure to talk about the amazing band you did sound for last decade. If you didn’t do sound for an amazing band, just make it up. Fit that fact into as many conversations with the band as possible, especially if it is a non-sequitur jump into left field. “Your guitar is out of tune. That is like the time I was doing sound for Fugazi and we all went for pizza during their set break.” Or “Your face reminds me of the time I punched David Bowie when I was the guitar tech for Stevie Ray.”

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