Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Being the sound guy... just like being a tank in groups. Allow me to explain.

Last week I was, relatively last minute, asked to do the sound for the second and third year vocalists' exams. Now, I'm used to do being the sound guy for the conservatorium's weekly lunch concert on Mondays. I'm expecting to do it next year as well when I start my masters - which by the way will prevent me from diving in to Warlords of Draenor until the summer holidays many months after it launches.  But I digress.

While, as always, a few things went wrong, as time went on I started to feel this infuriating friction build up within me. I was doing this task entirely by myself, which is unlike the lunch concerts. I basically couldn't really take a break until all the second years were done. Folks were happy as long as everything went ok. I was basically a non existant entity enabling them to project their voice into the room.
Of course when something went wrong or there was any discontent, it would be made clear to me.

I was tanking. And because I'm a pretty big noob at doing sound, it was exactly like my story from earlier posts trying to tank with my DK/Pally in WOTLK. Due to time constraints, I never have a chance to try/practice things for the lunch concerts and improve my soundguy chops. Nope. Denied. So that was wonderful.

Another typical thing was that, even though I hadn't changed the settings, when the third years came along all of a sudden the backing vocals couldn't hear themselves or this or that. It was totally different. And that's weird 'cause it wasn't the same 3 people doing backings for the second years either. But whatever, classic tanking scenario where what you did that was fine for one group was great, and the next group the same shit doesn't cut it at all.

Now to be fair, no one actually got angry at me. The power of the internet gives us anonymity and people's rage plays in to that; enabling it. But I'm pretty sure that in the halls folks will be talking behind my back saying I'm the worst. But hey, at least I got to do my job without shit flinging fresh from their arse like it happens in MMO's. Where tanking is like eating a raw lemon, the sound guy gets to eat a lemon but go through the sour punch in the face after the job.

And as icing on the cake, three second year students, while I was working on the thirds, came up to my den of high temperatures thanked me with a lovely gift. I genuinely didn't expect it, it's the first I think I'd gotten something other than a gift card and was very thankful. A peek inside and I saw drinks. I was still genuinely thankful and humbled by their token of appreciation. No sarcasm here.

.....but I don't drink alcohol....


  1. One thing that I've noticed is that my youngest, who is also taking percussion, is the only kid of mine who likes tanking. I suspect that being able to control the pace and having good internal rhythm helps out with tanking as much as it takes in drumming.

  2. Could be! That's an interesting perspective to think about. I imagine the old Madden feral kitty would be parallel to seemingly random free jazz xD

  3. Sounds like a tough job :) It's really the way of life though, you never get to hear from most people unless you screw up (in their opinion). I'm learning to get a thick skin at work.