Saturday, April 07, 2012

Pop Quiz - What are the sound check issues for this gig ?

OK - here's the problem ... what are your thoughts on it.

electric fiddle, semi acoustic guitar and non amplified full drum kit.
high vaulted ceiling, hard walls and floor.

Not too many people on the Scottish dance scene seem to know how to mix a fiddle.
In some ceilidh bands with accordions for example - the fiddle player probably should have stayed at home or is eye candy .. [that wouldn't've been me though :)]

The most common error in scottish dance music when mixing fiddles is that people just boost the top end of the fiddle to make it cut. When they do that they take the tonal quality of the fiddle out of the equation. In some lineups with e.g. accordions that is often the only way that a fiddle would get heard at all as the fiddle shares all of its folk music range with the accordion.
Although I have personally been very lucky to have played with some fine musicians and sound engineers, I have often come across distorted high end fiddle mixes in many of the bands I have heard over the years.

In my band the Wild Geese, Fiddle dynamics are changeable as is the guitarists ...
obviously the overall dynamic changes when the hall fills ...
but whats the best way to approach the sound check for the first ceilidh dance at this venue ?

Can anyone see the issues with drums electric fiddle and semiacoustic guitar ?
what would you be looking for in that sound check ?

Your comments are welcome.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Public Entertainment License - the cull on Scottish arts

The new Public Entertainmenmt License introduced april fools day 1st april 2012 seems very much like the end of the world for grass root arts and entertainment.
Anything vaguely arty sounding in an un-licensed pub could be construed as an illegal act by the bar management - with the consequences of ejection and perhaps even barring of artistes.
Its like a bunch of people got together and decided to destroy artistic expression at even the most amateur level.

Anything vaguely sing-song or prosaic, or any unwanted joke could be construed as illicit stand-up. The Scottish National party did this - the 'guardians' of all things Scottish like its music and ceilidh traditions, its rich heritage and folklore, its stories and arts - all gone and wiped. People starting out will have no place to rehearse and refine their professional talents - its like a BIG lethal Dose of Roundup insecticide has been dumped on all the Scottish Artistes and Performers at a grass roots level.