Weekly Trumpet Tips 1/10/17

Trumpet Shadow

The Shadow

Welcome to Weekly Trumpet Tips:

(1)  BAD Sound – BIG Stage

(2) Ron’s Tip – 

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GroovesKool Jazz

GroovesKool Jazz

Tip #1 – BAD Sound – BIG Stage

By now, I’m sure most all of you have either watched the “aftermath” replay videos of Mariah Carey or watched it happen live New Years Eve.  In the days that followed that train wreck there was bantering about how she was sabotaged, etc.  Whether you are a Mariah Carey fan or not, there are some objective things to take away from this embarrassing situation that we as musicians can all learn from.

While I’m not a “fan” of Mariah (I don’t buy her music) I do have respect for her talent and abilities that she’s displayed through the decades that she’s been in the lime light.  I’ve worked with other musicians that have directly worked with her and they all say that she is extremely talented… there are enough “singers” out there today that rely on computers, studio engineers and software to make them sound decent, so when an artist comes along and doesn’t really need the “cyber-assistance” I appreciate them more.

I have also experienced enough incompetent sound engineers in my “on stage” time as well and know the havoc they can wreak on a performance!  Squealing microphones, monitors with everything but YOU in them, smelly drunk butt-heads who are barely competent enough to carry the gear, let alone run it… it really runs the gamut.  And then… there are the super smart (or so they portray) knob-twirlers!  The guys who JUST can’t leave well enough alone from sound check to gig.

There are 2 ways to look at this whole “Mariah Mess!”

  1. DO NOT perform something that you can’t pull off live!  The record companies have been over producing songs, albums and artists for so long that the demanding public will accept nothing less.  In my humble opinion, this opens said artists up to a face-plant on a live stage because they would almost HAVE to lip synch to the studio tracks to make it sound half way recognizable.  My hope is that music and musicians will return to honesty in their performances… to me, faking a performance, I.E. lip synching, having backing tracks that are pre-recorded in any way and otherwise not truly “performing” is the exact same thing as lying to your audience!  “I did NOT have sexual relations with that woman!”  Bill Clinton January 26, 1998
  2. The folks hired to run the system obviously screwed up her ears to the point that she had no point of reference where anything was and therefore was lost from the first downbeat.  An artist that cannot hear what they need to hear is set up to fail!  Whether it was intentional or not, it happened and she’s obviously messing with her in-ear monitors from the moment she took the stage… been there – done that, and it’s a horrid feeling!

The take away for us all is quite simple… if you perform live, you will encounter sound engineers and the issues they can create.  I’ve grown SO accustomed to BAD sound that I have learned to not rely on it or expect anything decent.  Being a jerk to any sound person will certainly not make things better… they have a pretty big control over the way YOU and your group will sound, so always be nice!  Lastly – relying heavily on backing tracks is a sure way to get screwed in the end.  It’s best to not rely too heavily on the electronics or the engineers – something can and usually will go wrong.  So perform pieces that the band itself can perform without too much electronic padding and truly enjoy those engineers that make things awesome!  They are getting to be a rare breed…

Tip #2 – Ron’s Tip

 

“If you look at high performers they are always the most passionate – in any industry.”

Brendon Burchard
Author and Marketing Expert

Have a GREAT week!

Sincerely,

Keith