Sometimes, when you’re throwing a band together, you have to improvise.
But it’s fair to say I’ve had my fair share of shockers. This is an amusing look back at “bad sound” situations that I’ve found myself in over the years!! (in the days before Black Market I hasten to add!)
The gig I did without a PA system.
Asked to sling a band together for a party, a group of friends got together and thought we could pull it all off. We learnt some songs – and we played together pretty well! Unfortunately, when it came to the gig, we were let down on the PA system – the system which arrived, was both awful, and didn’t work.
So with a re-jig, we, for some reason, concluded that the only way we were going to get a vocal out, was with a Marshall Valvemaster amp. Well as you can imagine, cranking the gain up on a Lo-Z mic, meant that the vocal was hugely distorted – no compression, no nothing – we would almost have been better off if I’d tried to sing without any re-inforcement.
Coupled with having swine flu on the day, and managing to find the only drummer in the world who froze and couldn’t play on the day – the whole thing was an unmitigating disaster – apart from the crowd, who for some reason, thought it was great!?!
The one where the PA system sat on the floor, outside.
Strangely enough, with the same group of guys, we slung something together for a little pub gig – it was a summer fete, and predictably it was raining.
The singer (I took to the drums for this one) had provided a 200W Yamaha PA system – vastly underpowered for what we needed, and coupled with a distinct lack of stands – the PA system sat on the floor.
Driven to within an inch of its life, and unable to actually produce anything like a full range system – we even tried to add a kick drum into the mix!
The gig was fine – nobody turned up anyway – but it was at that point that I took a genuine interest in using proper, decent quality PA kit.
The one where we blew up the subs:
Again, an underspecced system, run to within an inch of its life – the cone on the subwoofer, outdoors, never really stood a chance. This was after some half decent kit had been invested in – but using it outdoors, was always going to end in disaster. £100 to replace the driver in the end, and a sound which was, at the least, disappointing.
Can you blag it?? Of course there are some things which you can get through without – but there’s really no substitute for a full PA system, properly set up!
- Things to be kept in mind while choosing PA Systems (equategroupltd.wordpress.com)
- Three Major Sound Equipments (joshsound.wordpress.com)
- Getting a good sound, before your sound system (livesoundblog.com)