Sound Engineer Accreditation ?
Q: I am just plain sick of working shows and providing sound systems for artists and venues and then have the bands sound engineer ruin the show by mixing the show horribily. I will analyze and tune the PA before they get to the show site and the PA will sound great. Then they come and flatten out the EQ graph and before the end of the sound check my ears hurt because the sound is so harsh and brittle. The problem is that these are professional sound engineers that have been doing this for many years, usually longer than me. It bugs the hell out of me because I know that I could do a better job mixing the show. Is there any way for a sort of accreditation program to be started for Sound Engineers? Something where you take a test of knowledge and then have to mix a show before a board of judges and they will decide if it is an acceptible mix. Then if you pass you become a card carrying member of the society of "professional sound engineers that know how to mix." Basically I am sick of losing jobs to people that have a long resume, but still can't mix to save their lives. Is there any way to weed out these kind of engineers so they don't keep getting gigs they don't deserve? Any ideas?
A: -Yes, let them take the jobs. When whoever is paying them hears their mix they won't want to call that person back again. Eventually you will have more gigs. If the sound man is called back even though his mix sucks then he's probably doing something right, although not his main purpose (to run sound). There's a lot to be said about people skills and how you present yourself, especially with first impressions. -Slightly different viewpoint from here - I run a small (1400) multiroom venue with a 300 capacity 'band' room so get lots of small bands and a fair few up and coming 'label' bands. I do about 10% of the sound in-house with amatuer crew and sound is Ok - I have some good lads. 90% of the time though I hire in a pro-company who reinforce my rig and a bring a full A&H board for FOH and whatever is required monitor wise. Most bands don't carry their own engineer so the pro-guy runs the sound and it is usually spot on even though it is an awkward room to work as lots of glass and holes. Howver we often get 3/4 band tours where the headline will have their own sound guy. The 'good' ones work with my pro-engineer and all is fine but probably 1 in 3 completly ignore him and change every setting and end up with a very messy sound normally made worse by insisting on turning it up too loud. I then have to deal with punters and the band moaning that I have something against the headline band as I gave the support bands great sound and the headliner's awful sound! I appreciate why bands want to carry their own engineer who knows what sound they want but am constantly amazed by the arrogance of many touring engineers who insist they know better and won't listen to local expertise and just end up sounding awful.
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