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Old Soundman: Chuck It All For A Sound Career?

What's wrong with this Steve guy? He has a lifestyle that 80 percent of humanity cannot even dream of achieving, yet he wants to throw it all away?

Dear Old Soundman:

I’ve been asked to be the “sound dude” (or “concert operations manager” as I prefer to call it)…

That’s kind of funny, but also kind of silly. Don’t get me wrong, when I was a young pup like you, titles meant a lot to me too.

…for a local band, since once upon a time I was a “roadie” for the likes of Brooks & Dunn, Randy Travis, Sammy Kershaw and others.

Hey, what’s Randy Travis really like? Why’d he marry that old babe, anyway?

I’m sorry, do you have an audio-related question, or are you just here to drop names?

However, I did not work as a sound tech. (I was a “lighting/video dude.”) I guess the band thinks that l would just automatically know live audio because I’ve been to a lot of concerts.

Aren’t people great? Like maybe I should be a cop, because I’ve gotten so many traffic tickets. Or maybe I should be a cow because I’ve consumed so much milk! Mooooooo!

You’re probably too young to have heard the old saying, “I­f my grandmother had wheels, she’d be a truck!”

I know the basics of mixing live audio…

As do I, Stevo, as do I. See? We’re really buddies, total brethren, hail fellows well met. Workers of the world unite—we don’t need no stinking line arrays!

…but would like to acquire a serious working knowledge of pro sound…

As would I, Steverino, as would I! Did you ever see the old clip of Steve Allen interviewing Lenny Bruce? That rocked! Now, what are you babbling about?

… and perhaps pursue a career in the field. (The telcom company I work for is bankrupt, and my job as a video tech is getting boring.) Oh wisest of the wise, where do I start?


Dude, if you’ve got a salary and benefits, do not, I repeat not, walk away from it! You must not be a parent. See, me with the wife and the young soundman, I don’t have the option of spitting in the face of my salary, and running away to join the rock circus all over again.

I do have to admit that you get some points for addressing me as the “wisest of the wise.” The old soundwoman has a few other terms she uses to describe me, with wise-ass probably the only one that can be used in a family publication.

Here’s the big question, Stevie boy: do you really enjoy coiling XLR cables? Because you’re going to have to ­coil about a million of them over time.

The shows are a bitch, and then you coil cables. You’d have to be clinically insane to choose a lifestyle like that. I know I was!

Here, just bite down on this rubber block, and let me smear a little conductive paste onto your temples, this won’t hurt a bit!

Luv –
The Old Soundman

There’s simply no denying the love. Read more from the Old Soundman here.

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