Awkward Moments on the Row: How we Learned Live Sound on the Fly (and left the rest to fate)

Y’all, this is so hilarious:

A week or so ago, one of my best friends and I were kicking off  the very first installment of our monthly artist showcase series.

This event has been our baby. We were so excited to debut it. It is our little side project that gives our friends and favorite artist/writers a chance to be spotlighted. And we get to open and close the show with our own music, as well.

We invited all our industry friends and “contacts” (yuck, hate that word!) to come to the show.

So the venue had given us complete reign of the evening. We were able to set up the room and lead the night however we wanted to.

The venue had no dedicated sound guy, so it was up to us to bring our own.

Cool, we thought. We got this, we have like five people that we know who do sound. Will just ask one of our friends to help us out. No big!

Well, the day came, and our thought process evolved from “Let’s ask so-and-so to do sound for us!” to “we’ve played like, a million writers rounds, we can figure out how to do this.”

I mean, how hard could it be?

As it would turn out, really freaking hard.

When we approach the stage, we saw that all the cords have been neatly wrapped up in organized little piles. The DI boxes were all stacked up neatly beside all the microphones. The monitors were pushed up against the wall, unplugged.

We were momentarily intimidated, but steadfast in the belief in our abilities to figure this shit out.

We set up the mic stands. We put the microphones in the mic stands. Ok, good, good. We gingerly put the DI boxes, in front of each mic stand. Unplugged. That’s where they usually went, right?

Aaaand now what?

There was a good solid 30 minutes of plugging and unplugging and what does this do and I need to call my friend, and holy shit: it slowly started to dawn on us that tonight may not  happen after all.

Throughout all of this, for some unexplainable reason, I was uncharacteristically calm. Normally, anything even remotely challenging sends me stressing into another dimension. I’m probably one of the most tightly wound people you’ve ever met.

But through all this, I was convinced that it was going to work out. It was gonna be ok. The show would start a little late, but someone was going to help us, and no one would be pissed at us, and we would come out shining.

After a few more moments of maybe-this-goes-here frantic activity, sure enough, my fiance calls. He’s an at-home studio engineer in his free time and knows a thing or two about live sound. He was off work and just down the street, and would be there in a few minutes.

Right before he arrives, one of our artists, Heidi, walks in. Turns out she has some knowledge on how to set up a stage, too.

So Heidi gets started. Then my fiance walks in and starts working out all the other pieces. Then another one of our artists, Matt, walks in. Matt goes to the back of the house and adjusts the board.

And, done. We start the show.

Thirty minutes behind, but everything is set up and ready to go. And we have a total of 3 people to look to help us with the sound.

It kind of felt like a tiny miracle.

Best of all?

The show was AWESOME. The night was SO MUCH FUN. Our artists had a great time, and we had an awesome turnout of folks we had invited.

  A video posted by Sarah Spencer (@sarahspencermusic) on

It goes to show you how God will take care of your right when you need it most.

It also goes to show you that in this industry, you can’t wait till you’re ready to start setting up your stage.

Wait, what does that even mean?

[tweetthis]”You can’t wait till you’re ready to start setting up your stage”. Wth does that even mean?[/tweetthis] 

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