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.