audio tips

7 Soundcheck tips from the FOH for Musicians

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Howdy SEA Fans, Welcome to another tiptuesday blog post and today we are discussing Soundcheck tips from the FOH for Musicians.

A successful soundcheck is essential for a successful concert.
Already doing some things differently, you as a band can get a lot more out of your next soundcheck.
In a soundcheck, very different personalities of musicians and technicians who previously did not know each other work well together in a limited time frame with high expectations – ideally. Technicians are often artists in their field, as well as musicians.
But technicians are also structured, well-planned, technically-oriented people.
In this respect, the band and technicians work with very different approaches to the same thing, a successful performance.
At best, everyone can bring in their potential.
This basic understanding of each other’s perspective provides a great foundation for successful performance.

At the concert, you’ll be working in a possibly unfamiliar venue with FOH mixers that have one or more different bands every night but know the sound in their club well.
The hours of concentration in the evening with often loud volume with ever new musicians is exhausting.
FOH people usually have a lot of experience with “their” club and their own routine, with which they come through the night nightly.
If one respects their way of working, a better cooperation with technicians is often possible. Your good preparation starts long before the performance.

1. The Backline
Who puts the backline?
If you play several bands on your performance, you should discuss whether you use the same backline.
From the musicians’ point of view, everyone would certainly prefer to play their own instrument.
From the point of view of the FOH engineer, however, this may mean a space, time, technical and personal problem. For example, if each band has its own bass amp, it may get crowded on stage. Moving the amp to the stage on a tape will prolong the changeover between the bands, possibly counteracting the organizer’s schedule.
Every major change increases the likelihood that the cabling on the stage is no longer correct, microphones are moved, connectors are accidentally pulled.
So a new line check would be required.
If the club does not have the technique required for the removal of the bass several times, then the FOH Engineer on the stage has to change a lot.
On a big stage with enough staff, there is certainly more possible, otherwise, it is recommended to get in touch with the organizer, find an amicable solution acceptable to all.

2. The Technical
If you are a sound person during the day with the preparation of concerts, especially with the checking of riders, you are pleased with clear, easy-to-understand information.
So, after the backline is cleared, you could kindly accommodate the FOH mixer by sending the club a clear Tec-rider that’s 100 percent correct a few weeks before the gig.
On the day of the performance no additional instrument, no exchanged positions on the stage, no surprise musicians, no spontaneous inspiration.
In order to be completely and, of course, punctual at the place of performance, directions, load-in as well as later parking possibilities should be clarified in advance.

3. The packing list
What is a favorite with musicians?
When ranking singers would occupy the first place for you. If they want their own micro, they usually have it with them. Also, pianists are usually complete. Panic glares behind the drum set: Playing without sticks will be a quiet number.
After some sticks could be found, the next nasty surprise lurks already. The drums sound, but like, the tuning key is missing. In addition to sticks, a drummer’s packing list also includes spare sticks and tuning keys and, if necessary, the drum mat.

The elegant and otherwise quite calm strings behind the music stand seem quite satisfied, but only as long as the cleaning light is still switched on. Forget the desk light! If necessary, do not forget music stand lighting and stage outfits. Beads of sweat are dripping on the keyboard player. No jack cable, as he assumed that the club would have everything. The club, on the other hand, assumed that musicians would bring their own jack cables. It is recommended that you bring along all the jack cables, including electric guitars and basses.
Often there is a great lack of it in clubs.
All cables marked with your band’s name.

And in the last place the classic: hectic with the guitarist, a string torn! On the packing list of musicians with string instruments are replacement strings and tuners with spare batteries, also for effect devices.
Overall, therefore, recommend a packing list. Once created, this can only be processed in all other appearances.

4. The arrival at the club
Ten minutes before the start of your own soundcheck time, one of you will contact the Stagemanager at major events or the FOH Engineer.
This band member will be your contact person for the FOH man throughout the sound check and will tell you if he has any questions about the rider where Stage Power is for cabling your backline.

5. The construction
He should be swift and coordinated. Of course, you only enter stages on request.
Have you in the rehearsal room wishes for light developed – light is often underestimated in my opinion when creating shows – so now is the right time to tell the light technician. Then he has enough time to light up during the sound check. Please understand that if several bands play on the same evening, not everything can be implemented according to your ideas, because you have to “share” the light.
As a rule, everyone takes care of his instrument.
It’s best to set up the backline right at the right position. You do not have time to check the sound later. Lengthy conversations about past performances are out of place.
Drinks have nothing to look for on the stage at this time so that nothing can be spilled or leak.

The instruments are now tuned short. When there are sensitive technician pipes on the stage, you basically do not play any instrument so that the sound engineer can work for you in peace.
Maybe he wants to discuss with his sound assistant.
This is certainly easier in peace than if he has to drown you.
If he kneels in front of the drums, that does not mean that he wants to listen to the bass drum at length, but that he is currently mic them. The time required for miking should not be underestimated, which also speaks for a speedy development by you.

6. The actual soundcheck
It is suggested that if the FOH mixer has the desired order, then you agree, otherwise, you have considered an instrument order in the rehearsal room.
One of you who introduced you to the FOH mixer at the beginning keeps up contact with the mixer and now has the schedule in mind as well, making sure that the sound check runs smoothly.
Basically, the game is played only when requested by the FOH mixer.
Plays every instrument from the minimum to the maximum volume used by you in the concert, and all the effects used in the concert, such as playing.
Singers should be prepared for the fact that they have to sing longer in original volume during the soundcheck so that the engineer can get your voice out as well as possible.

7. Technical problems
Are there any passages in your performance that have been causing technical problems in the past?
Feedback on very quiet instruments or aisles into the audience? Then this is the right moment to try just that. Likewise, requests for effects coming from the FOH shall be clarified. If the FOH mixer suggests something during the sound check, it may do so because of his vast experience.
Often, musicians were able to benefit considerably from this. At some point, the FOH mixer will attach the “monitor”.
Rarely does the monitor sound make the sound in the room better for your viewers.
Therefore, consider in the rehearsal room what you absolutely must hear.
Less is usually here for the audience more.
Low-frequency signals in the monitor often make the surround sound muffled.
If you raise the monitor on the drum set to a case, you can save on the volume. But of course, it is important that you have a good feeling on stage, even if you are thinking of loud audiences and your tension during the performance.
The monitor sound is ideally no longer an issue during the concert. Notes on the part of you during the concert not only disturb your performance but are also rather unpleasant for the FOH technician because he may see his work criticized in front of an audience.

We hope that the tips which are mentioned above have been useful for you.
As a Sound Engineer, do you have any tips to share with us other than those mentioned above?
You are Welcome, Do Write us in the comments!

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