Welcome to Killer's Korner!! It is thus here I get to ramble about sound-techie things and experiences from the road. Alas! I think Le Tigre gave me this space cause they were tiring of all my sharing in the van. Thanks le Tigre!

Here's how it should go: I will have information to share about sound, equipment, life on the road with my favorite bands. If anyone ever has a question they want answered, I will be happy to answer to the best of my knowledge and abilities, and if I don't know something, which I am not afraid to admit, I will research it for you and get back. I learn this way also! I will also have mini-informative interviews with artists or techies, and present topics.I wish to start this introductory segment with a brief snapshot and ongoing series of observations from my life on the road as a female (herm) sound engineer. I get asked often how it is for me, and to tell you the truth, there are few of us out there! So get to it if you have an inkling of an interest! I would have to say, after a tour of a month or so in the US, I may run into 1-3 lady sound techs.

Here are the basics. For myself or any visiting touring engineer, you have to rely somewhat on the house sound engineer to assist you in having a successful night in prepping you for a board you have never seen, and most likely a room you have never been in. Often you just jump out of the van for a hasty sound check. As a sound engineer, I have to say, half the job is social skills. Having a good, trusting relationship with the artist you represent, and if you are on the road, dealing with the house sound guy. Let's face it, in the ideal situation there will be professional respect from both sides — the traveling engineer towards the house guy, and the house guy towards the traveling engineer.

I need information from the house guy to have my evening go smoothly and best represent the artist I am touring with. The object is to have a fantastic show! My obstacles are often these guys. I cannot become frustrated early on, because I need information from them. Any band, especially with ladies in it, has probably encountered these guys.

Without generalizing too much (ha!), to help me get through these situations, I have developed a profile sheet so I can quickly identify the types, and proceed without wasting too much emotional and mental energy. And it gives me a laugh to face the challenges ahead.
Each week I'll give a different profile.

Aging rocker sound dude
Probably was in many rock bands, probably a drummer.
Maybe was famous for a second in his scene.
Probably has years of experience as a sound guy and may be good at it.
Slightly bitter, and tells bad misogynist jokes.
Thinks of women as chicks and doesn't trust that I can do my job.


Ignore most words out of his mouth. Filter what information is needed. Try to not get in a confrontation at start (save for after show). If I alienate this jerk, I will be angry all night. Immediately throw out technical words from my bag so he identifies I may know what I am doing (I know I can do this, I know I am better than him). Hell, if he gave me any kind of respect, and if I realize he knows something I can learn from or he has insights in a non patronizing manner, I will listen. This guys knows the room, works here every night. If not, I will ignore and proceed. I want the information, then for him to go away, not to give me little comments on how to mix my band. I refuse to take anything personally!

NEXT TIME, Profile B! And so on. . .