Have you ever had the (dis)pleasure of working with an audio engineer who knew more than you…and made sure to make you feel like he knew more than you?

Or how about the arrogant, sarcastic sound guy who seems to be so overly-impressed with himself that you wonder if he knows there are other people in the room?

Well, at the show I played last weekend, I encountered the OPPOSITE.

There were only two sound guys, running a fairly complex (and loud) PA rig.

They were pressed for time to set up and tweak the rig, and they could have EASILY been jerks to us silly musicians.

But they weren’t.

They were polite, accommodating, and just all-around pleasant guys.

(Oh, and they were really good at their job, too.)

Here’s the takeaway point for you.

In your quest to become the Jedi master of home recordings, please don’t let all that knowledge and awesomeness turn you into a nasty ol’ grinch.

Nobody likes that guy.

Nobody wants to work with that guy.

And certainly nobody wants to pay that guy.

But sadly, “that guy” is a really common character in the audio world. He’s everywhere.

Don’t be that guy.

Rather than insisting that you know everything there is to know about something, instead see what you can learn from other people.

Rather than flexing your brain muscles to impress people, try to impress them with how nice you are, and how hard you work to make sure they get exactly what they want and need.

It’s basic Golden Rule stuff, but it’s easy to forget when we get so consumed with mics and preamps and cables and preferences and hard drives.

Don’t forget — without people, we’d have no music to record.

Now that’s not to say you should ONLY focus on being a people person and never work on your audio skills. Not at all. You need to make sure you have a good, working knowledge of the basics…

…like EQ (I highly recommend my best-selling Understanding EQ: www.UnderstandingEQ.com)

…and compression (Check out Understanding Compression: www.UnderstandingCompression.com)

…or you could be the nicest audio guy in the world that no one wants to work with because your recordings sound like poo.

Make yourself better.

Be nice along the way.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

  • Steve

    Interesting no comments on this one. 😉

    I barely count as a sound engineer – I’d have no idea where to start on a modern digital desk or most of the stuff in the fairy dust rack, I do a few gigs here & there, I have a small PA of my own from when i was a gigging musician. Plenty of other people have more experience/knowlegde/ability.

    But – I get asked to do occasional, quite big, gigs, by people who aren’t necessarily friends, but know me, have worked with me before. They know I’ll understand what they want & do my best to give it to them. They know I’ll get their monitors right first (and probably fix FOH later, but hey), and they know they’ll enjoy themselves, have a fun gig with no stress (not from me, anyway), and play well. They ask me back. They prefer the cheerful idiot. 😉