Sounds like… trouble

Mother Maple Dear Mother Maple:

I run sound at a local club, and last week I had a hard time. The act I was running sound for didn’t like what I was doing. I couldn’t find a sound to please him, the sound check didn’t go well, and between sets he chewed me out. But he couldn’t say what he wanted beyond “More guitar.”

What should I have done? Apologized (I didn’t)? Told him to …? I don’t want to tick off musicians, but there’s only so much I can do.

Julius Fader

Dear Julius:

Say hello to your sister Julie, dear. She is lovely. But that’s another story. You fellas (and girls) behind the board are desperately important to us all. It’s hard for me to know what really happened that night. Perhaps the performer was in a bad mood. Or his hearing’s going. Or perhaps you weren’t at your best. Or the monitor mix just wasn’t right.

My advice to you is this, Julius. Do your best. If you feel you didn’t do your best, then you owe him an apology. If you did your best, and this is still bothering you (as it apparently is), then perhaps you drop him a note and say that you did your best, you know he wasn’t happy, and that next time you work together you’ll try to meet his needs. It costs nothing to be nice, dear.

Do you have a question for Mother Maple? She’d be tickled to help. Just ask, dears! Mother Maple’s home-made advice is also available on The Twitters.


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  1. avatar
    John Morrow 23 July, 2011 at 16:44

    I’m not a musician, but I’m going to go out on a limb and bet that nobody running a sound board goes out of their way to make you sound better after you chew them out…

  2. avatar
    Barry McKillican 27 July, 2011 at 14:26

    Hello all,

    I smile, apologize and keep working to get it right. Sometimes that doesn’t happen but I would never make someone sound worse or not do my job to it’s fullest. I take huge pride in my job changing over 24/36 bands every 45- 60min over a 3/4 day weekend. I’m tired, sore but always smiling and offering full monitor support all day long.

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