Lately I have been busy planning and studying for a festival in my home town. They estimated 1500 visitors and although it was a bit rainy over 1000 people showed up. My husband took care of the “big” stage and I was in charge of everything on the smaller stage. I knew the stage was going to be small, just not how tiny it would be! During the evening I had two bands on my stage, a girlband and a band consisting of three men with two electric guitars and a bass. The girls were in their early twenties and played drums, keyboard, bass and had a solo singer.
Me and my husband had gone through everyting about the PA the weeks before and I had been practising how to rig it and in which order you’re supposed to do what and what to do if something stops working. I made the channel list and the stageplots for the PA and both bands and made cues on the mixer so I wouldn’t have to do all the settings from scratch at the gig. It saved me alot of time..
When I arrived at the venue (which was outside in the small city center) we started rigging the stage and turned on the mixer. It rained, and altough the mixer was covered by a tent (without walls) I discovered that it was leaking, and a few drops were on the mixer. We solved the problem as quickly as we could and I looked at the mixer. I pushed some buttons and there was a horrific moment when I tought it had broken, because it was suddenly possible to select multiple channels at once. We then realised that we had discovered a function we didn’t know that the mixer had…. but now I know and I will use it to my advantage.
An hour later or so I did the first sound check completely on my own. It was the girlband and I had been worried about the drums and everything about them. My husband had showed me what I could do with mic placement, eq, gates and so on. Still I was worried because I haven’t got much experience with drums and I think it seems very challenging to get a good sound. But somehow I got through that and for mixing drums the first time ever I thought it sounded ok. I didn’t have much trouble with the soundcheck until I came to the second band and the guitars. They used two amp simulators I had never seen before and suddenly I got a bit confused when I tried to figure out which one needed a DI-box and what to do when the amps had only mono out. I had planned for left and right out and already linked the channels and panned them to left and to right. As if that wasn’t enought to confuse me, when I had figured that out there was no sound from the guitars. I scratched my head and tried my best to remain calm when I discovered that I didn’t have the channesl turned on on the mixer. I felt a bit stupid and laughed at myself. Such a simple mistake… 🙂
The reason for that mistake was that I somehow had managed to save over band cue nr 1 with band cue nr 2! With this Soundcraft mixer it really is easier to save over a cue than you would think! Luckilly most of the settings for the two bands were the same and it was easy to fix, but I couldn’t help being nervous on this first gig on my own.
To sum it up, I really learned alot. I was so nervous I had a stomachache the night before and headache two days after, but I got through the gig and it went ok. The audience seemed to like the music and were dancing and clapping their hands. The artists were satisfied and as were the arrangers of the festival. I talked to the girlband before the gig and we called our stage the girlpower stage 🙂
Next time I won’t be so nervous. I got through this gig and really challanged myself! It felt good afterwards, although it took a while before it all sank in. So much happened during such a short time. It really inspired me to learn more and I look forward to the next gig! I decided to reward myself by ordering a SoundGirls shirt! I look forward to wearing it as well!