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Ian Hamilton
new member


Joined: 15/10/02
Posts: 976
Loc: Scotland
Setting Yourself Above the Competition
      #73293 - 13/01/05 04:11 PM
I'm desperately trying to get some paid engineering work. At the moment I'm helping as many people/bands as possible trying to get my name known, but I don't profess for a second to know alot, infact much at all!

I've been thinking for a while that to make myself more apealing (breast implants have been considered) I could get a PA of my own.
I've aquired bits and peices of gear over the past year or so, Soundcraft M8 desk, couple of 3630's and a lexicon reflex.

I was just wondering what you guys of greater experience would recommend. Whether to go for a couple of amps, maybe a crossover and passive speakers or jump straight in with some actives... or whether it'd better to concentrate on trying to get work, and not own sheds loads of gear?

Because obviously it'd bit of a pain buying loads of gear, and then still not getting any paid work and ending up doing gigs for free just to keep your hand in and getting known (as the fool who has a nice PA and does gigs for free! rather than anoying guy who keeps pestering to do our sound)


Your thoughts would be appreciated...

Apologies if this sounds like the usual gear help post, it wasn't really meant to sound like that....


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Octopussy



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 562
Loc: Melbourneo
Re: Setting Yourself Above the Competition new [Re: Ian Hamilton]
      #73381 - 13/01/05 07:48 PM
Hi E-Meist,

You don't have to give away your services for free. Ask for expenses to start with.

Look for bands that play in venues that have their own systems. Go to some gigs at the venues and look for ways to improve on the mixes going down there. Ask the SE how it all works and suss out what outboard you could plug into the system to improve things.

Read up on www.prosoundweb.com as they have study materials and such. Buy the Yamaha live sound reference book. Or even voluntern to work for some local live sound companies to learn yer trade.

Learn what each band member like in his monitors and even check out bands that you are interested in working with at one of their gigs when they are using an in house SE.

Maybe you could work for a band with it's own rig etc. Just try and gain a reputation for good monitor mixes and a good FOH sound.

Regards,
bassdude

PS. if you get your own rig then you will have to lift all that kit! And transport it! Sounds like being a roadie to me!


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Ian Hamilton
new member


Joined: 15/10/02
Posts: 976
Loc: Scotland
Re: Setting Yourself Above the Competition new [Re: Octopussy]
      #73470 - 13/01/05 10:18 PM
Quote Bassdude:


if you get your own rig then you will have to lift all that kit! And transport it! Sounds like being a roadie to me!




tiss true... I'm trying the majority of the stuff you mentioned above. I've been recording a band in the studio, who are gigging alot. Their a bit reluctant to get me on board at the mo because they don't want to piss off the venues SE's ("its a bit hard to bring along our own SE" hmm....) - but things are picking up slowly with them. I'm recording a live gig for them tomorrow and helping the singer run an open mic night. I'll wear them down eventually....and its not like I'm crap either


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Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
Posts: 4339
Loc: North Pembrokeshire
Re: Setting Yourself Above the Competition new [Re: Ian Hamilton]
      #73478 - 13/01/05 10:26 PM
As well as building up a PA, the best way by far to 'get in there' is . . . Get a Transit. I kid you not. And ALWAYS get expenses on a per mile basis ie: 20p per mile.

G

--------------------
Facebok Page for acoustic music PA-ing in smaller venues


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Dave Gate
active member


Joined: 02/02/04
Posts: 1353
Loc: M6/M61/M60/M62/M65
Re: Setting Yourself Above the Competition new [Re: Ian Hamilton]
      #73673 - 14/01/05 12:04 PM
Your location says "The North"; could you drop me a line (dgate at uclan dot ac dot uk) if you're anywhere near Preston as I may be looking for an SE to do some work on a new night we're launching.

--------------------
Gear List: reverse only.


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Ultimate Fish
posting's fun


Joined: 06/12/02
Posts: 1910
Loc: York, UK
Re: Setting Yourself Above the Competition new [Re: Dave Gate]
      #73684 - 14/01/05 12:27 PM
There's often a way in. Here's an example from York. The City's only half decent music venue is the Fibbers Barfly. They have an HK system in house with a Soundcraft Ghost desk and the engineers come from JSS, the local PA hire outfit. Most of the engineers don't like doing fibbers; partly because it's a hole under the worst building in the city and partly because it used to have a horrid horrid PA and people are used to hating it.

It's not hard to get a gig running that system if you want it.

--------------------
need to get rid of this stupid sig...


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John G
member


Joined: 13/11/01
Posts: 290
Loc: UK
Re: Setting Yourself Above the Competition new [Re: Ultimate Fish]
      #74141 - 15/01/05 12:31 PM
I can only tell you my experience.

I started in the business doing work experience with a promoter as a runner on a smallish (20k people) festival, and through that got some work experience with a very large PA co on the major festival circuit. From there, work experience became paid work, and once I had the gigs on the CV work with other companies became easier to find, and the more freelance you do (and networking) the more gigs come in.

I blagged a job engineer a studio which keeps me busy when the live freelance is quiet (although apart from two weeks in December I have been solid for last two years) and found my way into a few venues starting on in/out crew and then once they get to know you engineering oppurtunities arise.

As said above, try not to work for free. Expenses are only fair, but if a company thinks you'll work for free it is hard to get them to pay you. Some companies are harder than others to get 'real' rates out of even for established engineers.

Working for bands is one way in, but relies heavily on the band getting picked up by a label or blagging a decent tour before it becomes fruitful for engineers and backline techs.

Freelancing with PA companies requires relentless bugging of the crew logistics person, but once you do a couple of gigs with them things tend to keep coming unless you fall out with one of the regulars. CV's need to show experience rather than 'qualifications' generally (as in a music tech degree does not mean too much).

Approach some local crewing companies also getting work doing in/outs (eg. Crew Co, Gallow Glass, etc). It's donkey work such as building stages and shifting PA cabs, but through that you'll find yourself working alongside various sound co's and with the right approach you may develop some contacts this way.

Most of this advice is for live sound work.

Cheers.

John


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Ian Hamilton
new member


Joined: 15/10/02
Posts: 976
Loc: Scotland
Re: Setting Yourself Above the Competition new [Re: Dave Gate]
      #74348 - 15/01/05 11:14 PM
Quote Dave Gate:

Your location says "The North"; could you drop me a line (dgate at uclan dot ac dot uk) if you're anywhere near Preston as I may be looking for an SE to do some work on a new night we're launching.




That would have been great mate and I'd be there will bells on, only prob is I'm not that far North. I mainly Leeds based, so the commute would be a bitch...

Many, many thanks for the offer hate to throw stuff away....

The gig the other night went well - the recording didn't! borrowed a mates 8 track harddisk recorder, it crashed after the 1st minute and never came back! Luckily, I had an MD with me, and managed to talk the SE into me using a spair aux, so managed to mix the set on the aux, while keeping out the SE's way! Came out alright, though the minute of the 8 track sounded fab, just to add insult to injury!

I got talking to a band's manager thats putting on some sessions, he's keen to record them...so I'm hoping to do that, and if I keep my nose clean and my face seen I should hopefully wangle some SE work at the venue...
Until then I need to find a more reliable protable recording medium and get my mates balls on a plate...

Cheers for the replies guys, always a pleasure....


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James PerrettModerator



Joined: 10/09/01
Posts: 10698
Loc: The wilds of Hampshire
Re: Setting Yourself Above the Competition new [Re: John G]
      #74851 - 17/01/05 12:31 PM
Quote John G:

CV's need to show experience rather than 'qualifications' generally (as in a music tech degree does not mean too much).






In fact, I would quaestion the abilities of anyone that has been on a degree course with no experience to show for it. Most, if not all, universities have a student sound crew and I would expect any prospective sound engineer to be heavily involved in the University sound crew.

Cheers.

James.

--------------------
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
http://www.jrpmusic.net


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John G
member


Joined: 13/11/01
Posts: 290
Loc: UK
Re: Setting Yourself Above the Competition new [Re: Ian Hamilton]
      #75688 - 19/01/05 12:26 AM
I agree entirely with James...


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