Soundcheck = Stress? No? It’s the musicians their first experience on stage and for the sound crew to moment of truth if everything works flawlessly .
What can you do to be prepared for this moment?
1. Check One…Two…
Please check every little audio feed you need. Even your talkback microphone must be checked #yesthisoneIforgetthemost.
Get the patchlist and check every line – Check intercom – Check talkback – Check monitorlines, Wireless, Inears, Backing tracks.
Don’t forget backline power… Most forgetting and frustrating thing in the industry – it eats a lot of time of your soundcheck.
2. Virtual Soundcheck
This is lovely! Everybody Loves it!
It decreases soundcheck for musicians, it improves confidence of your band. But the most important part is that you can co-op with someone else opinion (Yes your monitor guy also have ears, and Yes even the lightguy (we call him Lampy) can have a valid opinion and of course the band with whom you are working for. It gives the artist confidence that when he goes on stage during show time everything is ok 😉
I also record the soundcheck, to do some more work afterwards when nobody is on stage ;).
Don’t forget: It is their product they are selling… Not your ‘#mixingtalent’.
Check out my tools
3. Kick……………….(10 minutes later) Snare……………….(10 minutes later)……….Tom (1 hour later)….
Drums-Drums-Drums…This is the most frustrating part of a soundcheck for musicians (don’t forget they probably all have the same call time) When it is the singers turn to soundcheck he is already bored out…
Let the drummer play a kick-snare-HH groove. The drummer is not bored and you can have a much realistic sound, instead of adjusting your gain, treshhold, attack and release time of a kickdrum he plays always to hard separately. I ask always to do the toms one by one, and move on the the fullkit soundcheck.
Turn the singers microphone already on before he comes on stage. It gives you an idea of the bleed on stage but also more confidence to your vocalist.
5. Turn on Solo in Place
Yes it is that button that everyone says… Ow that is the most dangerous knob you have on a console #yesssitisssMisterBurns.
That is why on most consoles you have to hold it longer than a second or flip over the plastic cover on midas console – like you are shooting Nuclear Weapons… #bucketlist
This helps you to quick check things isolated on a system if you feel something is not blending or right during soundcheck.
PS: Don’t forget to turn it off during show.
6. Don’t waste to much time with the Sound-system
Some guys do it over and over again… Wasting time on a sound system and then the band plays and you don’t have a proper mix.