DISCLAIMER:  I don't regard the touring sound industry as any part of the problem of bad audio at tiny, local venues.  Large national and international touring sound owners and operators react to market forces, client requests, managers, and a lot of other pressures, sometimes from people unqualified to be making artistic decisions, but all large touring sound companies share the common desire and directive of providing the most excellent sound possible, given the combination of circumstances they face.  By the time sound operators get to work in the larger touring sound companies, they're usually trained and capable.  Some big shows are great, some are OK, and some are bad, but usually not because of the issues addressed on the following page.

THIS RANT is directed at unqualified amateur sound operators who victimize art and artists by dabbling in a technical field for the wrong reasons, and who in my opinion, should seek other ways to meet performers, such as in the autograph cue.

Live performance sound is definitely NOT a glamour profession.  It pays insulting wages, requires hard physical labor and long hours, and is highly technical.  Nerd heaven in fact.  To be even half-way decent at live sound, operators MUST have college level study of physics, acoustics and electronics, AND comprehensive knowledge of hundreds of types of music, along with appreciation of all those types.  It also requires the operator to selflessly subjugate ego and defer to the task of supporting the art and making the artist comfortable.  People who can not or will not see the job in this framework, are NOT QUALIFIED to be live sound operators, and should do performers and public alike the favor of seeking a non-destructive occupation.

THIS RANT is not directed at any person, individual or entity, but at the people who forever dabble instead of actually learning their craft and who are part of the reason the House Of Blues can get all the sound operators they need for $10 an hour, and part of the reason I've measured sound in several HOB venues at 1000 times the acoustical power needed to produce permanent hearing loss.

Contained in the following page are suggestions that define and clarify the job of live sound operator, and are intended to help produce better live performance sound everywhere.