Sam Spoons wrote:
Which is all great until you realise that completely misses the point I was making. If a singer brings a vocal box to a gig and it sounds shite he sound engineers hands are tied. GIGO, and there's nowt you can do.......
If a singer feels is best with a vocal box, by definition it cannot sound shite.. unless sounding shite is
his best, and then the problem it's not the vocal box. The job of the engineer is to hear himself the way he wants to hear himself. Performance is _everything_.
Again, obviously with someone who can't perform you cannot win, but not because of the pedal.
And, no I disagree, the sound engineers job is to provide the best sound to both the audience and the performer but if there is a conflict the audience come first (they are paying to see the gig). A professional performer should have the experience to cope with a slightly sub-par foldback and still deliver the goods.
That position is, imho, one of the reasons for which so many subpar small gigs take place (and yes, fair enough: another reason is so the many subpar singers around :-D) .
It's nothing to do with "professional". If it were, then the feel and mood of the singer would matter for nothing both on stage and in the studio.. and have you noticed the enormous lengths studios go to make the performers at ease and feel good - and especially (much more so than anybody else) - the singers? Sure a good singer will be able to produce an okay performance in most conditions. But why accepting "okay" when one can have "phenomenal"?
Or: take a great singer with no PA and amplification at all... it will make people get goosebumps (even if, of course, only the people quite near). While a well amplified person with poor technique and no feel will not, at all.
"Professional" doesn't equate not being directed by feelings.. it's not by case than when people get too "professional" and lose emotional connection with what they're doing, is when their performances and careers tank.
Even if there's money involved, it is still art - actually, there is money involved because
What people pay for is not to hear a good PA sound. It is to connect with the singer's persona and voice - because the voice is the part they are most familiar with and can instinctively best analyze. Whereas a mediocre performer with a great audience sound will leave people "meh".
Of course, most often there is no conflict between the two.
Exactly as in the studio, if a singer comes in with a vocal pedal, the right response is to engage with him/her and figure out what he or she are looking from the pedal, what are they trying to achieve, why they think they need it - and often, to put them in a mental state when they can let go of the crutch and still feel great when performing. Exactly like in a studio, the engineer's job is to get the best out of the performer, so that he can give the best to the audience.
It's tough work? Yes? Harder than treating it as another job? Yes. But again, that's what distinguish the best from the others.
In the case of my mate, he thinks he can hear the FOH from behind the speakers without foldback and judge what the audience are hearing, this I think is The Elf's point.
And the job there is to connect with him, put a monitor in front of him and in 10 seconds he'll be convinced, because he'll hear himself sounding way better.
Obviously if someone is completely incapable of the minimal openness to try out a monitor, once again the problem's not the pedal, but the person, but in my experience very few people are like that.