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Recording of our last gig

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Pretty low quality recording, but here it is: http://goo.gl/EqNi8

Hoping to get time to split the distorted full show up into mp3s too, because they are the only full versions of the songs I have.

Some of these we tried to have background vocals on. It was the first time we tried playing some of these at a gig, so forgot some stuff and added some on the fly, even though I knew all of them- I just didn't practice playing bass and vocals enough together to be able to do both at once, and the bass parts have been dumbed down too. :)

So the things I learned at this gig were:

1. Spend more time with the sound engineer. We didn't do the pre-setup thing and decided to have dinner. I didn't realize we were supposed to do anything other than load-in and work it out just before the show, because we didn't at previous gigs.

2. Don't be afraid to tell the sound engineer what you need. I told him a little but I didn't call him out on it through the mic, partially because I was being blinded by the two spots and couldn't see whether he was on the board or not. Also when he asked what I wanted through my monitors I had no idea what to tell him, but I got bass and vocals.

3. Singing with monitors and bounceback (?), etc. is not the same as practicing in a studio or a garage gig. I'm sure a lot was nerves, first time playing some songs, and my voice being untrained, but I was having a harder time than usual getting the pitch on.

4. If you are unprepared for what to say, do some banter, but stop yourself before you say something stupid. I ended the gig with a sentence about being old after thanking the families. Not good!

Let me know what you think, and thanks for the comments from the last recording I posted!

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I didn't listen to much of the recordings but from what I listened to you it seems you have a bit of lack of pitch control and pitch sense. Do you do not sound professional. You also do not sound like you are singing with a lot of power and confidence. The band as a whole sounds decent and I would say you are the weakest link. There seems to be a bunch of times where you just completely miss the notes. All that said, I think with practice you'll get a good voice. When you do sing well it works but your just making way to many missed notes. Chances are you lack confidence more than anything.... confidence comes with practice and experience. When you now the songs in and out and not afraid you'll sing much better.

The recording sounds like it is in a box. Not sure if the sound is that way or not or if it's just the setup for the recording.

1. Always do a sound check. If you care about what the audience hears. The sound man is what makes or breaks a good band. It is very hard to get a good sound on a low budget and in most small clubs. Monitors tend to really make it difficult. In-Ears are the best way and can take a dull muddy mix to near pro quality with a decent sound guy.

2. Yes. But remember it can be difficult to get a good setup. If you have a good sound man you have to trust that he is doing his job. If you have a wireless setup you can walk out into the crowed and listen for yourself. The biggest issue with the club mix tends to be too muddy. This is partly due to the room and partly due to the monitors and partly due to the geometry and quality of the gear.

3. In-Ears are the way to go. It solves all the problems with monitors. Not only does it fix the monitor mix but also the club mix.

4. No, BE PREPARED. Every gig you do is setting the stage for who you present yourself as. If you come unprepared expect to lose *customers*. If you want to develop an audience you should give it everything you have. I've seen far to many good bands blow it because they don't give 110% thinking that it's ok to do it half ass. If you have the "half ass" mind set then you'll never get very good and never have much of a following.

My suggestion, I'm not an expert so take it for what it's worth, is to practice your vocals. IMO, this is the most obvious issue. Make sure the club mix is good. It's hard work and it usually takes years for a good band to get all the problems ironed out. If you can, hire a sound guy to work with you. Getting random sound guys is a hit and miss... again, you want full control and strive for perfection in every aspect if you want to be more than just some crappy local band.

I've known a lot of bands that thought "Hey, it sounded good tonight!" when it sounded like crap. It may have sounded good in the monitor mix but the club mix was terrible. You'll shine when you don't have to worry about these things. The only way that happens is for you to be at your best and to have everyone around you at there best. When someone isn't doing their job everyone has to support them and it becomes a drag and mentally frustrating.

If you can't do a song really well don't do it at all! You will put off your audience... even if some "enjoy" it they will enjoy it much more when you do it right. e.g., if 10 out of 100 love it and 30 out of 100 like it and 60 out of 100 hate it when you do it "half ass" then when you do it really well you'll have like 30 love it, 50 like it and 20 hate it. Basically it's the difference between 40 enjoying it and 80 enjoying it... pretty big difference.

Remember, people are their to be entertained. Even if your voice is not perfect but you can entertain them it can make up for the problems. You have to draw people in. Once you have then drawn in it's harder to lose them.

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