With every package that we quote our clients, we always, 100% include a sound engineer… but what do they do? And why are they essential for live music? Well, let us explain! A sound engineer’s job is to set up the PA and lighting equipment needed for the band to perform and to also monitor and control the bands sound whilst in use (e.g.- while the band are performing).
When he band are performing, they cannot hear what the ‘front of house’ (the area in front of the speakers) sounds like, so it would be hard to judge wether the levels of each instrument are correct or not. The job of the sound engineer is to monitor these levels as the band perform and to adjust accordingly. As well as this, they also control the volume of the band as well as altering each individual instrument’s EQ and frequency range in order to best suit the acoustics of the venue
Is having a sound engineer essential to our wedding?
From our experience, we’d argue that it is 100% essential to have a sound engineer at your wedding if you are having a live band! Sound engineers are experts in the science of sound and understand exactly what is needed for a band to sound good in any environment!
All wedding venues have unique acoustic properties…
Think of the various different places you can get married… there are loads, right? You could get married in a teepee in a field, a marquee on a farm, in a purpose built barn conversion or a 15th century stone manor house… the options are simply endless! Now consider this: each one of these different venues have completely unique acoustic properties.
A teepee or marquee is made of material and has a soft sound that often absorbs the high end frequencies making live music sound quite dull or ‘close’.
A 15th century manor house would be made of stone, with high interior ceilings and marble walls. This would have the opposite effect and make a live wedding band sound louder than they actually and would accentuate the top end frequencies whilst making the lower ones rumble without much definition.
With a trained sound engineer on hand, you’ll get the best live sound experience possible from each of these venues because a TRAINED PROFESSIONAL will be able to adapt the bands live sound to suit each environment.
How do wedding bands without sound engineers do it?
A wedding band that doesn’t provide a sound engineer will often set the equipment up themselves and GUESS what the levels should be from past experience. Their sound will differ wildly from venue to venue and more often than not will be louder and harsher to the ears than is necessary.
The band will set the levels during soundcheck, but once they start performing they will be unable to adjust them to suit. If the keyboards are to loud? Well they’ll stay like that for the whole gig! Are the singers to quiet and being drowned out by the drums? Don’t expect that to change anytime soon without the aid of a sound engineer!
Quite simply, not having a sound engineer on your wedding day will have a huge detrimental effect and make the whole thing sound amateurish!
Why don’t all wedding band have sound engineers?
Put simply, the reason most wedding bands don’t have sound engineers is simply to save money. The majority of people don’t realise just how essential they are. Having a sound engineer on your gig will increase the price which means people are less likely to book.
Most bands (especially those priced at the lower end of the market) will often do their own sound on gigs which is a great way of lowering costs BUT is always at the detriment of the overall quality of the performance.
Imagine a chef not only cooking the food but also having to serve the guests and take orders too… It’s just not going to be as good as having dedicated people to do each job and the overall quality of the food will suffer.
Like wise this is the same for live music. The musicians should concentrate on playing, whilst the sound engineers and crew can concentrate on the live sound and mixing / monitoring levels to ensure the absolute BEST sound quality and volume for each performance. This is almost impossible for a band to do well on their own whilst they are playing!
Always make sure your wedding band has a sound engineer!
If you contact a wedding band for a quote and they DON’T include a sound engineer, then alarm bells should be ringing! Any band who prides themselves on giving the best performance possible will INSIST on having a live sound engineer. It’s as simple as that!
U2, The Rolling Stones, Coldplay, Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, Oasis, Katy Perry, Prince… they all utilise live sound engineers on EVERY GIG THEY DO and so do Vibetown!
We pride ourselves on providing the best performance and live sound that we can, hence why we have won Best Band @ The Wedding Industry Awards for 2015 & 16… the proof as they say, is in the pudding!
Here is a section of the regular sound and lighting companies that work with Vibetown!