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The Old Soundman: Songs For Testing A System

You thought you were going to get me to cap on Steely Dan, right?

By Old Soundman June 15, 2018

The Old Soundman

There’s so much hating going on nowadays! We even see it among over-the-hill yuppie sound guys who have heard songs by a certain band played too many times to check sound systems nationwide.

But I’m not going to pile on the crowd of haters! Not even when I receive notes like this one from Tim. No! The OSM is on the love trip!

Dear OSM:

When you’re preparing for a rock gig at your club, what tunes do you like to listen to when tweaking your system? That’s after all’s said and done with the ol’ FFT rig, of course (grin)…

Tell me when your next headlining gig is, at a major comedy club, and I will make it a point to be there! Because you obviously consider yourself to be quite humorous!

You gotta have RAMMSTEIN!

You don’t have Rammstein? Figures. You’re still into Toto and stuff like that, right? Oh, aren’t we wealthy and well-dressed, and aren’t our musical structures so complex, and recorded so velvety-like. That doesn’t test a system!

Anything by Dr. Dre is good. That will give your rig a hardcore workout. You don’t like that blunt snare with no reverb? Of course you don’t! But it’ll tell you how healthy your speakers are!  Oh, you say you forgot about Dre! Well, he’s still Dre!

You want textures? Probably Eric Johnson is your man. I would not personally own one of his records, but at least it is better than freakin’ Toto! Eric’s buddy Joe Satriani has made some excellent discs as well.

And “Dark Side of the Moon” will never die!

…and how ‘bout this: what tunes are you loath to hear when a BE takes the wheel? I’d love to hear you get all +15 dB @ 2.5 kHz on that topic.

I forgot that I exist to suit your ideas of how I should be, pal! If I give you 9 dB at 1.6k, you will be down for the count! I float like a water buffalo, and sting like a secret agent’s knife made of ice! Yeah!

Every morning when I wake up, I ask myself, how can I best entertain my main man Tim? Not, what is the right thing for me to do today, for the whole universe, or my club, or my family or anything, nope, it’s all about you, Tim! Tou want to see a grown man turn a cartwheel?

Stand back!

Best Regards,

You thought you were going to get me to cap on Steely Dan, right? Forget it! That’s too easy!

You always want to divide the world into “us” and “them”—don’t you, Tim? I’ll tell you what, maybe I can partially satiate your fiendish bloodlust. The next DJ who thinks he’s being soooo progressive to sneak an AC/DC tune into the middle of a set full of Madonna and the other usual suspects, I’m gonna turn a cartwheel right into his “coffin” full of stinking “skratchable” CD turntables!

The Old Soundman

There’s simply no denying the love from The Old Soundman. Check out more from OSM here.

About Old Soundman

Old Soundman
Old Soundman

Veteran Pro Audio Engineer
Old Sound Man is a recurring column that is hilarious and informative at the same time. He answers your questions which provides him with both the chance to pontificate and provide useful information.


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Michael Kiley says

I Berry sound systems with Manilow. Most of all, he enunciates the lyrics beautifally.

Karmik Mike Stein says

Alan Parsons Project is always good ......... Sting, Klaatu, Clapton, Traffic, The Stones, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor .......take your pick. Plenty of choices ........

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