5 Pieces of Gear Every Rock Band Should Own

Music Gear

While there are hundreds if not thousands of different “survival” items for any roadie and his band there are 5 that truly stand out amidst the rest. For each member of a band to fulfil their role in making quality sounding music, they must have the proper equipment.
For every talented band, there must be a great P.A system. Typically these range in sizes from that of a shoe box to 3-4 feet tall. Some P.A systems face outward from the stage and into the crowd so as to project the singer’s voice as far back into the crowd as possible. This allows the band to hear any “off-pitch” sounds or discrepancies in the sound system. The P.A system typically recommended is the small active systems. Especially if the musician is new to the trade, they are relatively easy to set up and require very little maintenance.
The next vital piece of equipment would be the floor monitor. This wonderful piece of equipment sits at the head of the stage, but facing the musicians. This equipment projects the musician’s sounds back to them so they can hear how they sound in real time. This allows the bands to be able to address tonal discrepancies or pitch mistakes. The size of the floor monitors can range from small boxes 12 inches by 12 inches to 2.6 ft. by 3.7 feet. This is dependent on the musician’s preferences.
The third piece of equipment is of course the microphone. There are several models available in both corded and cordless set ups. Some models are equipped with voice altering technology as well as some flashy fun things for show. This depended on the musician. When setting the stage with both types of microphones, or exclusively wireless, the musicians must be mindful of the distance between each one. More common in the wireless microphones, when brought to close together the feedback can be deafening and even result in permanent hearing loss.
The fourth piece of equipment would be the guitarist’s pedal boards. With the capability to be as easily set up as plugging a cord in to advanced computer programing of individual boards, these innovative pieces of equipment allow the guitarist advanced controls for maintaining quality sound or altering his sound to the specifications of the piece playing. Some pedal boards are small in size, only requiring a toe tap to a switch to play around with the sounds. They can get as advanced as an individual pedal per each sound relayed from the board. The later setup is not used as often as the first due to price and the high consumption of power.

The final piece of equipment carries the majority of the band. This would be the bass drum pedals. Odd yes, but the bass drum keeps the base beat for the entire band. Most drummers are in charge of the counts, while the rest of the band uses those beats to base their time counts off as well. A good set of pedals, be those singles or doubles, can make or break a drummer. While most drummers opt to design their own you can purchase double pedals and top of the line single pedals at most instrument retailers. When choosing your pedals ensure that your foot is not overlapping or being engulfed by the pedal itself.
In closing there are so many pieces of equipment that as a whole, make the band sound wonderful and an enjoyment to watch. Being choosy with your selections ensures that your equipment will last and is worth the investment.


Choosing Power Generator for the Rock Gig

musicconcert

If you manage a rock band or are in one yourself, then you are well aware of how important electricity is in your day-to-day life. Having the proper electrical output can sometimes even make the difference between a poor gig and a great one. Let’s just be honest: people at your rock concert are there to party and have a good time. They are not there to watch you having electrical issues. Usually the issue of electrical output is a non-issue. However, when the concert you are putting on is at an outdoor venue, electricity sudden becomes much more important. How do you get energy for an outdoor rock concert? Simply put, you have to invest in a generator for such situations. The question then arises: how do you go about selecting the right generator for your outdoor concerts? Here are some questions that you should ask:

  • What kind of watt output does the generator have?

When you are considering the electrical needs of an outdoor concert, you need to take into account the watt capability of your generator. One of the things that you want to do is to error on the side of caution and go with a generator with a higher watt capability. The reason is simple: its better to have a generator that can handle the electrical output then one that cannot and the engine gets crippled, overloaded and ruined.

  • What kind of fuel does the generator require?

There are generators for all kinds of fuel types, including gasoline, diesel and propane. After you have determined which fuel type the generator takes, the next step is to determine how much fuel is needed for your concert event. Many generators can run easily for 12 hours or more. However, they require an ample amount of fuel in order to perform these tasks in an effective manner.

  • Is the generator quiet or noisy?

The next question to answer would be to determine whether the generator is the quiet type or the noisy type. If the generator does make some noise, one consideration would be to place it in an area where the crowd will be shielded from it and where any distractions will be lessened. The main goal, of course, is to make sure that the concertgoers are able to enjoy the concert. If they are distracted by the noise of a generator they are obviously not going to enjoy the music.

  • What electrical needs will the concert have?

All of the particulars need to be taken into account. First of all, is this rock concert going to be after dark? If so, then the electrical needs of the lights will have to be considered. Second, how popular is the band? If the band is just a regional outfit, a smaller generator may suffice. If the band is nationally known and playing at a larger venue then obviously a much larger generator will be needed.

As there are a lot of portable generators available on the market, making the right choice is not an easy task. Therefore we always advice to seek professional advice before making the purchase or at least read well researched portable generator reviews. For those who would rather prefer to have a quick glance at some of the best generators being on sale in the US, here is a brief list of generators that could be considered:

Duro Max XP 4400E

duromaxxp4000e

The Duro Max XP 4400E is a high quality gas powered option.

Pros:

  1. Easy to start electrical system.
  2. Can run for eight hours.
  3. A steel roll cage prevents damage to the engine during transportation times.

Cons:

  1. Not good for a California venue because it is not carb compliant.

Generac 6001 LP5500

generac

This option is a high-powered model powered by propane.

Pros:

  1. Has a high surge rating of 6875 watts and runs on 5500 watts.
  2. Carb compliant and allowed in California.

Cons:

  1. Manual pull start may require some extra patience.

Top Rated Portable Home Generator under $1000

Generac Air Cooled Liquid Propane Powered Standby Generator

generacliquid

This option is one of the top examples on the market today and is an excellent choice for bands that perform in large outdoor venues.

Pros:

  1. Can operate at 20,000 watts.
  2. Runs hands-free with a remote control.
  3. Extremely powerful.

Cons:

  1. This generator retails for around $4500 and is about 5 times more expensive than the other options listed.

How to Prepare and Set up a Rock Gig

Setting up a rock gig

The first thing you need to know about setting up and executing a show are the basics. Who do you want to play? What type of crowd are you expecting? Where are you going to hold the event? And finally Where do you want this to take place? In my twenty plus years performing and setting up small scale intimate shows here is what i generally do when setting up an event.

 
Secure the venue and a date for the show. I have found that if you visit the place you would like to have the event frequently and get friendly with the local business owner and staff you will have a much easier time getting the place for next to nothing or even for free. Most local bars and nightclubs are looking to fill the place with people eager to spend their money on drinks and such.

 
The next thing I would do is contact the bands that you wish to have perform at your event.When you do that you have to make sure that you negotiate , and have in writing from each band , what they would need as far as food and drinks are concerned.Usually the bands are good with something simple like pizza or sub sandwiches.You also need in writing what the artists get as far as money goes for their performance .When all of this is said and done , it’s time to start promoting.

 
Promotion for the show is far easier today than it was twenty years ago.In the 80’s you had to cut and paste your flyers and handbills together and take them to the local copy shop and come deep out of pocket to pay for the four or five thousand flyers you would eventually pass out at other shows. In today’s world of the internet it is incredibly easy to design and promote shows with a click of the mouse. Social media such as Facebook is a big help for bands and promoters to get the word out. I still take time to do the leg work and make paper flyers and go to shows.I highly recommend that you have the bands help with promotion as well.

 
Make sure that you have the club or bar ready for the show way beforehand. You should inspect the sound system at the club and make sure it provides enough power for the bands you are hosting for your event. It helps to have a great sound engineer for the show to get the maximum sound potential for the bands . Occasionally the bands will bring their own sound person. You have to also provide security for the show and a door person to collect tickets , check ID , and stamp hands. In my twenty years of putting on shows for bands there has never , knock on wood , been a fight or altercation of any kind that is why I stress the security part .

 

Day of the show!

You have finally come to the day of the event or show that you are putting on. There is still work that has to be done. If you are a one man army like myself and take on most of the tasks then there is still much to be done. I usually arrange for the bands to be there at least 3-4 hours early so that we can arrange set times and have the headlining band set up their back line of amplifiers and drums.Sometimes the back line will already be provided. Then the sound engineer will set up the microphones and run the band through a sound check. After their sound check is done the opening band will set up their gear in front of the back line and they in turn will get a sound check.

 
The time has come for the doors to open and let the flood of eagerly anticipating fans in and for everyone to rock out for the evening!

 
After the show is over and the crowd lets out , it’s time to clean up . when the dust settles and the bands are loaded back up it is time to pay them for their services. It has been my good fortune to always have a good rapport with the bands that you book ; which means , pay them exactly what you had negotiated with them and provide food and drink for them and treat them with the respect that they give to you and they will always want to come back and play for you again and again. Hang out with the bands , most of them are really easy going.

 
When all is said and done you will have enjoyed a great evening and you will look forward to the next one.

 
Keep on rocking!


The 5 Best Rock Albums of All Time

best rock albums

The very title “5 Best Rock Albums of All Time” is nothing more nor less than the equivalent of rhetorical gunpowder intended to set off an explosion between a limitless supply of opposing viewpoints. Let’s face it: you cannot possibly hope to win more friends than enemies by taking on such an appallingly subjective concept. So why waste any more time? Let’s set this bomb off.

 

Gang of Four - Entertainment

Entertainment!: Gang of Four

Most assuredly not for every taste; if you consider the current batch of pop stars to have perfected the rock lyric, then the intricate Marxist political message of every song on Gang of Four’s first album, “Entertainment!” will leave you a slack-jawed yokel. If you prefer your rock lyrics subtle enough to glean some new facet or meaning the 40th time you hear them, then the real question is why you don’t already own “Entertainment!”

 

The Clash - London Calling

London Calling: The Clash

This spectacular two-disc album covers everything from the Spanish Civil War to the tragic end of actor Montgomery Clift. In between, the British punk icons experiment with everything from hardcore guitar-based garage rock to the soaring horns of ska to comment on subjects as disparate as drug addiction and consumerism.

 

Pink Floyd - The Wall

The Wall: Pink Floyd

Interestingly, one of factors that stimulated the punk rock movement that reached its apex with the two bands previous mentioned were “concept albums” like Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.” You can look at this two-disc release that tells a unified story by linking the endings and beginnings of certain songs and coming back to present a different version of previous songs on the album as the ultimate in rock star indulgence. Or you can just stay cool and admit it’s pretty much a one of kind experience.

 

Joy Divison - Closer

Closer: Joy Division

Whereas “Entertainment!” can make your head hurt from the sheer subtlety of the message that requires multiple listenings to piece together, “Closer” makes your heart hurt the very time you listen to it. Just before it’s official release, Joy Division’s lead singer Ian Curtis committed suicide. Listening to the songs on what would be both the band’s second and last album before regrouping as New Order, it seems impossible that nobody saw the hanging coming. “Closer” is an example of why rock can be breathtaking.

 

Elvis Presley - Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley: Elvis Presley

There is a very good reason why the album cover of “London Calling” strongly recalls the album cover of Elvis Presley’s first album. The self-titled debut album of the King of Rock & Roll set the stage for quite literally every rock album that you will ever find on a list of the Top 5 Rock Albums of All Time. The songs on “Elvis Presley” are almost an afterthought; it is the spirit of the rock and roll that Elvis ignites in those songs that really matter.

 

From the moment that Elvis belts out that it’s one for the money to the deadened ritualistic repetition of “where have they been” that closes out the brief but brilliant career of Ian Curtis and Joy Division, the one aspect tying all five of these candidates for best rock album ever together is passion. The passion can range from the fiery political stances of Gang of Four and The Clash to Pink Floyd’s career-defining experiment to see how far rock and roll can go before it transforms into an altogether different animal.


Five Pieces of Gear Every Rock Band Should Own

music gear

While there are hundreds if not thousands of different “survival” items for any roadie and his band there are 5 that truly stand out amidst the rest. For each member of a band to fulfill their role in making quality sounding music, they must have the proper equipment.
For every talented band, there must be a great P.A system. Typically these range in sizes from that of a shoe box to 3-4 feet tall. Some P.A systems face outward from the stage and into the crowd so as to project the singer’s voice as far back into the crowd as possible. This allows the band to hear any “off-pitch” sounds or discrepancies in the sound system. The P.A system typically recommended is the small active systems. Especially if the musician is new to the trade, they are relatively easy to set up and require very little maintenance.
The next vital piece of equipment would be the floor monitor. This wonderful piece of equipment sits at the head of the stage, but facing the musicians. This equipment projects the musician’s sounds back to them so they can hear how they sound in real time. This allows the bands to be able to address tonal discrepancies or pitch mistakes. The size of the floor monitors can range from small boxes 12 inches by 12 inches to 2.6 ft. by 3.7 feet. This is dependent on the musician’s preferences.
The third piece of equipment is of course the microphone. There are several models available in both corded and cordless set ups. Some models are equipped with voice altering technology as well as some flashy fun things for show. This depended on the musician. When setting the stage with both types of microphones, or exclusively wireless, the musicians must be mindful of the distance between each one. More common in the wireless microphones, when brought to close together the feedback can be deafening and even result in permanent hearing loss.
The fourth piece of equipment would be the guitarist’s pedal boards. With the capability to be as easily set up as plugging a cord in to advanced computer programming of individual boards, these innovative pieces of equipment allow the guitarist advanced controls for maintaining quality sound or altering his sound to the specifications of the piece playing. Some pedal boards are small in size, only requiring a toe tap to a switch to play around with the sounds. They can get as advanced as an individual pedal per each sound relayed from the board. The later setup is not used as often as the first due to price and the high consumption of power.
The final piece of equipment carries the majority of the band. This would be the bass drum pedals. Odd yes, but the bass drum keeps the base beat for the entire band. Most drummers are in charge of the counts, while the rest of the band uses those beats to base their time counts off as well. A good set of pedals, be those singles or doubles, can make or break a drummer. While most drummers opt to design their own you can purchase double pedals and top of the line single pedals at most instrument retailers. When choosing your pedals ensure that your foot is not overlapping or being engulfed by the pedal itself.
In closing there are so many pieces of equipment that as a whole, make the band sound wonderful and an enjoyment to watch. Being choosy with your selections ensures that your equipment will last and is worth the investment.