The last part of this first Back to the Basics Series covers what happens when it’s all said and done. I always dread this part. I love putting things together, wiring it all up, coming up with clever ways to solve problems or help accomplish new ideas but by far my least favorite is cleaning up. However, this can be where you can get your new ideas for the future if you pay close attention.
Usually after a show or session I’ll just take a moment and relish what just happened. Than if I can I’ll take a quick listen to a recording and start up a conversation with someone in the band and get a feel of how they felt in the studio or on stage. Most of time things go swimmingly but other times things happen that I don’t even notice from FOH. Because at CCC we have a great team of monitor techs that are actively helping solve issues without necessarily notifying me I don’t hear or see every issue. Even in a recording session, one of the musicians may have made a mistake but kept going and may want to just re-record that one part so that he/she can feel good about what was put down during that session. The key here, like in the other posts, communicate. Be a part of the band not separate doing your own thing.
If someone I trust was listening in the studio or in the audience I’ll usually ask what they think. A lot of times you have to take opinions like grains of salt because so much of mixing is subjective to the technicians taste. However, it is important to hear the feedback as that might spark an idea or point out something you may not have noticed or heard. Don’t just ask anyone though, make sure you can trust who you ask and that if you ask for their opinion that you’ll actually hear it and not just glance it off.
Lastly, it’s time to plan for next time. What went well this time that didn’t go well last time? Did you try anything new that made things better or worse? What about the issues that you had…any ideas on how to fix them? Personally, because the time from the end of the show to when I’ll be back in the room is usually a few days, I keep a list of things I’d like to fix or change. This drives innovation and improvement for me. I try to think about solving one problem per weekend at Christ Community, than at the end of the year I’ll have solved 52 problems. Sometimes the problems are bigger and more impactful, but other times they aren’t even visible. Like replacing a bundle of cables with a sub snake to clean up the stage and free up cables for use elsewhere or following up with issues in Ableton or Mainstage and making sure we have the kinks worked out for next time so there aren’t patterns of issues within gear and equipment that tend to make people not want to play or hinder the creative space.
Well that wraps up this first round of Back to the Basics, be sure to leave a comment and let us know if there is something you liked about what was written or if there is something we may have left out or should change. I look forward to hearing from you!