Saturday, December 1, 2007

What a pain in the ass.

Why is it that people are SOOOO concerned with aesthetics? Is how something looks really that important 100% of the time? I'm a guy, and guys are rarely concerned with how something looks with maybe one notable exception. That said, man or woman, no one is ever willing to compromise on aesthetics.

Let's compare it with some other moderately important things like, safety. In my admittedly limited experience providing sound for live music over the last five years or so, I've seen more people cut corners on safety than I have on how something looks. Ridiculous. I've seen it all from shoddy electrical wiring, wobbly staging, and stage roofs that looked like something out of the Red Green duct tape and 2x4 school of carpentry. But have it look bad? Heaven forbid!

I bring this up because I did a show with my favorite local band a while back. For those of you that don't understand how this whole "live band" thing works... there is ALWAYS a guy that runs the sound equipment. Yeah, he controls the volume of the music, but that is like the least important thing he does. Basically, when you mix loud electronic instruments (namely electric guitar) and a rock drummer with acoustic instruments like horns and human voices, you need equipment to amplify them. This would all turn into a big wall of sound if someone who knows what their doing isn't running the sound system. It's all about balance. But I digress.

Anyways, this gig I did... Spent untold hours setting up the sound system and all that jazz, and courteously (so I thought) placed the sound mixing board at the end of the dance floor about 1/3 of the way from the directly in line with the left speaker. Remember that balance thing I mentioned... well, it helps when the "sound man" is in front of the speakers so he can hear what he's doing. It's usually a bonus if we are actually in front of them, and believe me I count my blessings every time I'm fortunate enough to be able to hear what I'm doing.

So after all this setting up was done, two old men (I'll call them old man #1 and old man #2) start to moan and complain about where I put the sound mixing board. Apparently the 4 acres of dance floor they already had just wasn't enough. Oh, and they didn't like how it looked.

So we moved it.

What a pain in the ass.