I was sound engineering at the SCOMOPHOBIA warehouse party last night. It was a fundraiser for the Sail 4 Justice. It went pretty well: good music and a lot of people turned up.
It was a first for me in terms of being responsible for setting up a PA. I spent time walking around the warehouse, clapping, stomping, making noise and listening. We had to direct the sound in certain directions in consideration of the neighbours. We decided on two spaces - one for punk bands and another space for more of a dance party. With the use of some basic acoustics principles and a few well-placed mattresses we successfully isolated the spaces.
The space we chose for the punk band had a very high roof and wasn’t too reverberant, so the noise of the music had room to develop. It was great standing back and being able to hear all of the instruments sounding massive. The kick drum was especially punchy and sounded huge in the space. With the help of another sound engineer, who played in one of the bands, we fine-tuned the setup. We put in a lot of effort to project the vocals clearly, which is hard to achieve with your typical DIY hardcore punk setup of huge amps for the guitar and bass, a crashing drum kit, and much smaller FOH speakers for vox. The whole setup was pretty DIY and the gear we used was mismatched and had seen better days. I had to make do without some gear that I’ve grown used to - monitors, decent mics, DI’s, enough XLR cords. Also I gave consideration to the safety of the musicians, the punters and the gear. Given the limitations of the gig, I’d say it was pretty good. The punters certainly seemed to enjoy themselves. The money we raised for the Sail 4 Justice will get them that much closer to Manus.