Get Ready…

RadioroomAs many of you already know, I’m an adjunct professor at Shenandoah Conservatory, where I teach live and recorded sound production. Classes begin next week, and I’m busy working on syllabi and schedules, as well as doing sound system installations for my own business. While I’ll mostly have seniors this semester, I’ll have at least a few sophomores for the first time, and they’ll need an attitude adjustment when it comes to how early then need to show up for a gig.

My basic rules are as follows:


If you’re on time, you’re late…

If you’re early, you’re on time…

If you’re late, you’re fired…

Seems simple enough, doesn’t it? I was taught very early not to waste other people’s time. And time was a precious thing. So being late for a gig was about the worst thing you could do. Even being on time wasn’t good enough since it often meant you were slowly ramping up and slowing down the process. And I especially hate setting up a sound system and troubleshooting a problem in front of a client. Nope, I like to be early, many times by an hour or more. That way I can take my time to get everything set up, do a leisurely system test, and be 100% ready to go when the band hits the door. If I’m done an hour early without any issues, then my computer is ready for me to catch up on some paperwork. But if something goes wrong I got an extra hour to sort it out before everything goes sideways.

Nope, I like to be early for a very simple reason… It makes me look good. While I’ve certainly navigated my share of sound system failures with seconds to go, I don’t trust my technical chops THAT much. I see this same sort of “last minute” attitude in many of the churches where I teach audio production. The praise team rolls in 5 minutes before they need to start. There’s last minute copying of lyrics and chord charts. And nobody even knows what a sound check is… they just start playing. Getting ready for a gig is serious business, and being on time (early) shows that you respect both the crew and other musicians. So please, try to be the first one there next time, and set a good example by being completely ready to play. Maybe some of your early timing will rub off on the others, and that’s certainly a good thing.
 
Mike Sokol

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