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Cast Of Characters: Ever Worked With Any Of These Folks?

Only the names have been changed to protect the guilty...

By Craig Leerman October 26, 2018

Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of working with many great folks in our business… and then there were these people.

Twisty Knob Guy: Wouldn’t stop turning knobs, even when everything sounded great. Either he was just never happy with his own mix, or didn’t want to sit still for a minute and have the promoter think he wasn’t earning his pay.

The Pickup Artist: Spent more time at catering trying to get a date with the servers than he did setting up the show. I kept waiting for him to grab a wireless and do the line from the Mr. Microphone commercial: “Hey good lookin’, I’ll be back to pick you up later!”

The Literary Snob: Why mix or even pay attention to the performers when you can sit at front of house and read a magazine? On the plus side it was an audio magazine, but on the minus side it was devoted to hearing aid technology.

Tweety Bird: Spent more time updating the band’s fans about the gig on Twitter then he did making the band sound good for the fans that actually showed up to hear them. (#BadMix)

Marathon Man: Constantly walked the room, checking the PA. Unfortunately he spent so little time at the console that he missed important things like setting delay tempo or turning off the reverb when the vocalist was just talking to the crowd. It was funny, however, watching him morph into “Sprinting Man” when a guitar lead started.

Texting Dude: A person of the lighting persuasion (not that there’s anything wrong with that) who was more interested in his text screen than following show cues. Wait—the show’s over here, but the lights are over there…what’s going on? Oh, texting again. (Perhaps consulting with an optometrist?)

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Vocals Guy (a.k.a., Instrumentals Guy): Buried the vocals so far down in the mix that the singers looked like they were doing an elaborate pantomime of singers. All of that frenetic motion, none of that hot, velvety vocal action. (At the time it was amusing in a “we’ll all laugh about this years from now” way. And we do.)

Baker’s Dozen: Always offered more than a dozen reasons why he didn’t get things done like the rest of the crew. In return, I had just one reason why he never worked with us again. (I prefer a minimalist approach.)

Monitor Monarch: Didn’t like to give performers what they wanted in their own monitors. Never having performed onstage or even played an instrument, nonetheless he still knew best and doled out to the peasantry only what he thought they really needed.

Can You Hear Me Now Nerd: Took a call at front of house during the show, talked for a minute, put his finger in his ear and angrily looked up at the stage, and then wandered out of the venue into the hallway to finish the call. Returned 20 minutes later. (Perhaps it was a conference call with the Monitor Monarch and Baker’s Dozen Guy, strategizing new ways of how not to serve a client.)

BDS (Bruce Dickinson Syndrome) Sufferer: Could attain a pretty good mix with one exception: one instrument not normally at the forefront of the mix was obnoxiously loud. And it was obvious to everyone except him. In the words of The Bruce Dickinson himself, “I got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell!” Or in this case, more congas.

About Craig

Craig Leerman
Craig Leerman

Senior Contributing Editor, ProSoundWeb & Live Sound International
Craig has worked in a wide range of roles in professional audio for more than 30 years in a dynamic career that encompasses touring, theater, live televised broadcast events and even concerts at the White House. Currently he owns and operates Tech Works, a regional production company that focuses on corporate events based in Reno.


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John Daven says

ı have 3 guys as my friend. You have totally described them in your post.

Kyl says

Yep. I have met or have hired many of these same people. Amazing how they think there’s nothing wrong with that.

MichiJim says

Truer words were never spoken. If you’ve spent much time in love sound you’ve met some of these folks.

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