Soundchecks - how long do you spend ?

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Emp_FabEmp_Fab Frets: 13554
Lately, we always seem to be in a mad rush to setup and often end up with the most basic, rushed soundcheck and the sound suffers as a result.

What's your soundcheck routine and how long do you spend on it ?
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 18865
    edited November 4
    Set up the gear, check there is signal, get off the stage.
    No jizz spraying/soloing.
    I am the juice of four limes.
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  • FreebirdFreebird Frets: 1010
    I let the roadies do it while we pop down the pub.
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  • mudslide73mudslide73 Frets: 1698
    edited November 4
    One song all the way through. Something that has a bit of everything - quick run through then off. Rocks by Primal Scream tonight.

    Edit: pub band with no sound person. 2 guitars, main vocalist and 2 bv mics. The drums and guitars have mics and the bass is di'd. We do a basic line check for everything and use the settings from the last gig as a starting point. We just use a song to adjust to the sound of the room. 
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  • not_the_djnot_the_dj Frets: 5640
    Needs a bit of context as to what venues and how you do your sound. 

    We’re a pub band and don’t have a separate guy doing sound, so once set up we run through a instrumental verse of “you really got me” while the singer wanders out front. We’re a single guitar band so that’s pretty quick. The singer has a radio mic so joins in and I also use a wireless so get to go out front and check how it sounds with the vocals. Then a change of guitar and a quick blast of maybe “sultans of swing” as that’s a very different guitar sound and style. That’s it. 
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 7285
    Setting up in a pub which already has people in it I think we took the approach that no one wanted to hear us tuning drum kits, fine tuning guitar tones, etc, so as much as possible just checking that everything works and doing a song that covers most things. With no sound person it tended to be me out front as I have a wireless ( although that meant my BV levels were guesswork). If everything is set up as per the last gig it should be fine tuning and not too awful. When I’ve played larger venues with sound crew hasn’t been much more than that either
    Dum dum dum, dum dum de dum, dum dum dum, dum dummmm.
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  • Soundcheck is not a rehearsal that is all
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3613
    Sometimes just line check and then straight on. All the bands I'm in now are using digital desks and iPads so the patch is stored in terms of EQ \ dynamics and IEM  \ monitor routing etc. The level of vocals and guitars solos is then mixed live from that basic patch

    Sometimes our soundman likes to treat us to a long and painful drum soundcheck which involves endless whacking of a drum while he tries to gate the ring out of a floor tom or something similar. Drives me mad !

    Lack of discipline is generally the problem with a lot of soundchecks. Basically everyone needs to stay silent until told to play and then play something relevant to what's in the show on an instrument that's already tuned. Nothing worse than everyone doodling in their own little world all in different keys
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 2433
    Well rehearsed band. We do the one same song and if alls well that's it.
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 2106
    Line check, then verify that the drums are balanced against each other and appropriate for the room. The rest of our settings are saved in the digital desk. After that we run through intro and verse of one song. Always the same song, and it’s one which isn’t in our current set list. 

    On those rare occasions when someone’s got a new piece of kit then we will check it’s levels.
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  • vizviz Frets: 5024
    We wait till 3rd song of the set and do it then. 
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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 762
    edited November 5
    When I was doing bigger corporate type functions in a 10 to 12 piece band, with everything going through the PA, we'd arrive early and spend a brief period checking each instrument then run through a number as a band. I'd tilt my amp back so I got a reasonable overall mix without playing that loud.

    Now I'm in a drums/bass/guitar/vocs band (that's not mic'd up) doing pub gigs, it's just a brief burst of a part of a song while the girl singer's partner points at me or the bass player. Generally that seems to involve indicating that I should turn up and the bass player should turn down :). From where I'm standing, my guitar often sounds f'ing loud. But apparently everything sounds good out front.

    It's not a competition.
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  • At the most one song that has loud bits, quiet bits, backing vocals etc. More often than not we just do a verse and a chorus and leave it at that. Sometimes a line check/check to see if everything is working is enough.

    Bands faffing about for ages at soundcheck drives me nuts. We played with a band the other week that did 3 whole songs, plus lots of tuning up and lots of changing leads to diagnose noise problems that were obviously coming from his cheapo Behringer compressor. In all the bits between songs the drummer kept bashing away at his kit, showing off various 'tricks'.  Gah! 
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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 8852
    In pubs, a quick line check then play. In my main band all the gear is used exclusively for them, so we're always somewhere near. 
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  • drwiddlydrwiddly Frets: 340
    We do a quick line check then the band does a basic chug to check levels and balance between instruments. Myself and the other guitarist will do a quick solo each to check levels. Myself and the bass player use wireless so we walk out front. 
    Once we're happy, we'll do a full song right through (but not one that's in the set) to make sure everything's good. Ten minutes tops from start to finish.
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  • TheMarlinTheMarlin Frets: 1428
    1,2..minutes
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  • CirrusCirrus Frets: 3558
    Multi-band club gigs, mostly, for us...

    Anywhere from no soundcheck at all (5 minutes to get set up, and the first muted string rake to check it all works is as the sound-man turns the house music down and gives you thumbs up), through to a complete line check, run through of a song, a minute of back-and-forth about monitor levels, then another verse and chorus to see if the sound guy has actually done anything you asked for.
    Captain Horizon (my old band);
    Very (!) Occasional Blog
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  • Never long enough, it seems.  :s

    Quick run through half a song once I've made sure everything is making a noise (that should make a noise).

    No matter how happy everyone is with that there's always requests for changes a couple of songs in. 

    Roll on in-ears and individual monitor mixes. We're getting there, slowly. 
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  • deloreandelorean Frets: 67
    2 full songs - the first with no keyboards so our keys guy can go out front and check FOH levels.  The second song is with the keys as well, so that we can ensure they're balanced with the rest of the band.

    It's also a nice way to warm the fingers up before the main show.

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  • More often than not it's a simple line check. If I get time I will prioritise balancing the drums with the bass and the click track. I very rarely ever get to soundcheck my guitar, I just put it in the ballpark level wise and fine tune it during the first song in the set.

    Me and the bass player both run direct, I use a Helix he uses a Sansamp. I set my IEM mix as post fader, so I get the same mix as the FOH mix. That way I can mix the band from the stage and also I can hear if anything goes wrong.
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  • LuttiSLuttiS Frets: 1045
    Mainly pub gigs, we just used to run through intro verse to a song.

    When we didn't have a chance for a proper sound check we had a special intro that we used to do where each of the instruments would come in separately in some preconceived buildup to the first song.. soundman could usually adjust quite well on the fly for when the first song properly started.
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  • JAYJOJAYJO Frets: 874
    2 1  2   2 1 2     12    1    2      "can you hear me at the Baaack?"  Day tripper intro and a bit of stairway then good to go.
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  • digitalscreamdigitalscream Frets: 12193
    If we're the headline band we'll be soundchecking first and thus getting the stage set up at the same time, so it usually takes a while to get the drum mics set up and balanced, sometimes half an hour. For the rest of us, it's mostly a case of explaining how we want the monitors to the sound guy and (on the odd occasion) negotiating stage volumes. Then half a song with all the elements (all the backing vocals and two solos), and we're done.

    If we're not headlining, then it's usually a quick line check and a verse...sometimes a chorus too.
    "Mains is ouchy if you get it up you" - Sporky
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  • Mark1960Mark1960 Frets: 16
    Set instruments / Amps / PA  to usual settings, then 1 verse, 1 chorus and lead break for 2 x guitars and sax. Fine tweek. Takes about 10 minutes max.
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  • Depends where we're playing on the bill. If its headliner gig we'll have a full proper soundcheck with kick/snare and other parts of the drum kit first, bass, and both guitar levels equal, vocal mic checks (3 of them). Then backing track run off a Macbook checking the levels and stuff. Takes a bit of time after setting up everything. Support shows or others its normally a quick line check before we play.
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