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Heritage Owners Club
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The first gig


mark555

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blog-0967174001398710760.jpgAfter only being together for about four weeks, we were playing our first gig. We all looked forward to it, having rehearsed as much as we could. We had arranged to meet at the venue at 5pm because that would be the only time we could set up and get a sound check (more of the sound check later).

 

On the way to the venue, I decided to stop into a guitar dealer in Leeds and pick up a couple of guitar stands for the gig as I don't have any, and I bought a new mic clip to take my mic as the one on the stand I use is too narrow. While I was there I had a look at some PRS guitars as I may have to sell my 555 because the neck is too narrow and thin for my left fore finger to cope with when the tendonitis (well, I think that is what it is) flares up and it becomes painful to play). So, I am looking at a double cut PRS with a trem as a possible replacement. I really like PRS.

 

So, on to the gig where we all met up and proceeded to set up. The stage wasn't particularly big, but not too small, we all managed to get enough space to play. However, we could not get a sound check because of the way the event was organised and that caused problems from the word go.

 

The venue was very nice and we were made very welcome. The event was not as supported as well as the organisers would have liked and instead of about 150 minimum attending they got about 45, and about half of those people were 60 plus, some in their late seventies. Our target audience is people anywhere between 35 and sixty, and there were not many of that age group there. But, we were approached by the organisers who knew exactly what music we play.

 

We played two sets, a mix of Rock and Roll, R&B (Proper R&B, not this awful stuff the kids call r&b toay) and some good plain classic rock. I am pleased to be able to say that the feedback we got was that we went down really well and that on the whole, the audience really enjoyed our playing. And, we can honestly say that there were people on the dance floor all the time when we played.

 

However, there was another side to the gig that made it one of the hardest gigs I have ever played. From the word go we had sound problems, none of us know why, but we were getting signals that our vocals were not getting through. We were not playing any louder than we do at rehearsals where we have no trouble hearing ourselves, the drummers powered monitor was feeding back, it was as if every gremlin there is was coming out of the box. However, undaunted we carried on using a secondary sound system in the building. It worked fine for the audience, but we could not hear our vocals at all which made it very difficult. We know we have enough sound equipment even if it is not the latest technology.

 

So we used the gig as a learning curve, and when we practice next we are going to spend our time set up as if we were in a gigging situation and get the sound right, taking note of all the amp and PA settings. The next time we gig we want everything correct right from the word go, even if we can't get a decent sound check. It was hard work all night, but on the whole well worth it.

 

Thanks for reading,

Mark.

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Great blog! Good luck with future gigs. Mixing live sound is a BIG pain sometimes. Hopefully, once you get a system down and can mark levels, you can use that info in the future and adjust during the first song. Have fun!

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Thanks for the kind words Tim, and for taking the trouble to read my blog. As two of us are attending family events next weekend we are taking a weekend off rehearsals, but I will let you all know how we get on sorting out the sound.

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It is ALWAYS harder to concentrate on playing well when you have tone/mix/monitor issues. But I am glad to hear you trudged through it and know what to concentrate on moving forward. Good luck and keep on striving for better tone and a better dynamic mix!!!

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great blog....too bad you don't have a soundguy to adjust things for you out front

 

did you consider that most of your aging audience were probably losing their hearing? :D

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You've got the band rolling, you know what needs work, in the words of the Beatles, "it's getting better all the time". Keep at it Mark!

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