Monday, March 8, 2010

Day 241 of Practice: Beethoven Never Needed a Sound Guy

Beethoven first proved it; this morning I've confirmed it. It is, in fact, possible to compose while deaf. I heard about half of this morning's practice session—the left half—but still I just wrote a joyful little jig. How fun! (Watch this space; I'll share it with you when it's ready for prime time.)

Good old Beethoven. He, as it turns out, was rather lucky. Not only did he not have to hear his music, he didn't have to run a sound system. And therein lies the thought for the day.

Sound reinforcement. Ugh.

It's hard enough trying to play an instrument, but man, trying to run a sound system is a whole 'nother enchilada. Yet, just like chili peppers, beans, cilantro, and cheese (lots of cheese, please), sound reinforcement is one of life's necessities. Good sound makes you sound even better than you are. Bad sound can ruin a great performance. Sound is everything.

Imagine playing a one-hour gig and feeling not so bad about it, only to find that no one in the audience could hear your instrument, and that the sheer volume of two of the other instruments made their heads hurt? Ouch.

The worse part is, no one in the audience wants to speak up and tell you, lest they get branded as one of those people who stands up and tells you. One can soundcheck til the cows come home, but as soon as the cows do come home, they fill the room and completely change the acoustics, and at that point, you're on stage playing and can't get to the sound board. Besides, it's impossible to tell what you sound like from on stage anyway.

It's not easy. And that's why the world needs superheroes like Chris Blood. Chris, Cape Cod thanks you. Your mission is critical. (Find out more about his expertise at Sonic Trout Records and his compadre, the blogger extraordinaire, at Trout Towers.)

2 comments:

Susan said...

I think he's a superhero, too! Making cape now....

Greg said...

[Extraordinaire, AND iconic!]