Navigating the Soundcheck: Best Practices for the Gigging Musician
Every gigging musician knows the importance of a good soundcheck. It's the final rehearsal, the calm before the storm, and most importantly, the chance to make sure that everything sounds just right. Here's a guide to mastering the art of soundcheck, with some insights into how innovative PA systems, like the Kombo, can streamline your setup.
Before the Soundcheck
Arriving Prepared: Whether you're lugging cables or carrying a wireless system, the key to a stress-free setup is preparation. Know your equipment, prepare your settings, and have a clear idea of your sound. It can be a great idea to do pre-set adjustments to effects and mix volumes for each instrument to reduce the workload of setting up at the gig.
Scouting the Venue: Every venue is different, and acoustics can vary widely. If you’re using a system like Kombo, take advantage of its portability to find the sweet spot for your speakers without being restricted by cable length.
Acoustics: Depending on the setting and audience size it can be beneficial to place the PA in a higher position in the room by use of a pole mount. This can help dispersion over the crowd, ensuring that everyone in the room has a more acoustically even experience.
During the Soundcheck
Checking Levels: Begin with a flat EQ and adjust from there. A system with individual volume controls for each channel, like Kombo, can be particularly helpful in getting the mix right.
Dialing in Effects: If your system has built-in effects, like Kombo’s Drive, reverb, compression and EQ settings, use them sparingly during the soundcheck. Remember, it's easier to add effects than to take them away once you've started.
Wireless Freedom: Systems with wireless capabilities allow you to move around the venue and listen for any dead spots or feedback issues. Use this to ensure consistent sound quality, from the front row to the back before the audience packs the venue.
During the Performance
Making Adjustments: As the crowd filters in, the sound can change. A flexible system that allows for on-the-fly adjustments can be a lifesaver. It is therefore important to have a simple interface that you know how to operate, such as the Kombo`s single control knob.
The Power of Portability: In smaller venues, the placement of your PA can be critical. With a system like Kombo, you can reposition your setup as needed without the worry of unplugging and rerouting cables. Additionally - you can also move your way through the venue and crowd, breaking the stage barrier even further!
After the Performance
Reflect on the Sound: Take a moment post-gig to consider what worked and what didn't, and ask for honest feedback from the audience! It is especially beneficial to have a PA that can be quickly packed away, as it allows you to spend more time interacting with the audience after the show and less on packing the equipment down.
Mastering your soundcheck is an art that requires both practice and good equipment. Systems like Kombo bring versatility and quality to the table, which can certainly ease the technical aspects of live performance. It's about finding the right balance between your skill as a musician and the technology at your disposal to deliver the best possible live music experience.
Remember, the goal isn't just to have a good soundcheck, but to ensure that when the lights go down, your music shines through.