AUS220 - Blog 8 - Live Sound

This AUS220 series belong to an assessment from college.

  • How did your show go? What are your feelings about this show? 

Since we had some trouble finding the band until the third week, I was feeling quite skeptical about the result of the show. Despite such uncertainties, I faced the challenge with a positive attitude and, honestly, it went much better than I expected. 

 Setting up the lighting

Setting up the lighting

As we had the instruments and microphones set up, Dru had the brilliant idea of putting filters on the overhead directional lights. We chose to go with red and blue because every epic movie poster that has been coming out has red and blue, and we wanted to follow the fashion.

Jokes aside, we chose red and blue because it gives a nice contrast, especially as we had yellow lights already. Those colours coupled with the plants provided the stage with a very pleasant style. In addition, Peter brought a strip of Christmas lights to place across the stage. It was an excellent addition! One thing I'd change if possible, however, was to place a diffusor behind the screen to the right of the stage in order to remove that line on the wall. I think it'd look a bit better.

 The final decoration of the stage.

The final decoration of the stage.

Since the band left their instruments set up and only came back at night, we seized that interval to EQ the instruments and look for feedback issues before they came back for the sound check. Doing so saved us plenty of time, not to mention it put our minds at ease to prepare the show accordingly. As for food, I didn't take any pictures of them, but we brought a lot of snacks such as strawberries, biscuits, M&Ms, chips water and beer. Now the pre-production is over, let's dive into the production.

Phil had the mix good to go by the time the band came back to the stage, I had Pro Tools ready and praying for it not to crash during the show; we put plenty of flyers around campus directing people to the show. Before the main band, Zoe and the Milkmen, would enter the stage, we had a first act play for 20 minutes or so. Kalana is his name and he's a very talented musician. While he played, people would arrive and fill the room--there were more people than we were expecting to be. 

Overall, I strongly believe that we managed to produce a great show; the audience enjoyed and danced to some of the songs, and after the show ended, one of the guests came to us and said he couldn't believe that it was a student project as it sounded and looked professional. That was one of the best compliments I've received as student and I'm very grateful for it. 

One of the things I reckon we should've done better was the live mix. Mixing live is not the same as mixing in the box; one has to pay attention to the dynamics of the song, to which instrument should go up or down in level relative to its role in the song. Sometimes it felt like the guitar was quieter than it should be, and the bass sounded a bit too loud when it would probably be better to lower it down. Despite these minor issues, my overall critique is that we did a great job and I definitely learned plenty out of it.