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Whose Show Is It Anyways?


While it's easy to sympathize with singers who have to deal with audio-challenged ain't my fault, and I shouldn't have to suffer for it. Every KJ is different, and should be given the benefit of the doubt beforehand.

Believe it or not, I've seen people who try to give the KJ sh*t when the song hasn't even started yet. They haven't even heard how they sound, and already they're talking smack. I think some people are just trying to run a control trip on the KJ so they can feel like "big shots".

As for why some KJs get irritated over the comments.....well.....I think the annoyance comes from the same place as anybody else's. I mean, how do YOU feel when someone walks into your workplace and tries to tell you how to do your job in front of your customers? A little embarrassing? Yeah. Add the fact that most of them are inconsiderate enough do it on the mic, and it can turn from embarrassing to downright insulting.

Sorry....but, what makes a singer think they're qualified to adjust sound, anyway? Most of them have never even set foot on a sound board. BTW - Being an "experienced performer" does not qualify you to mix. I know plenty of excellent, experienced, lifetime club musicians and vocalists who still can't adjust sound to save their lives. I recently heard one female vocalist for a local band arguing with a sound man (who had her voice adjusted nicely in the beginning)....and she forced him to adjust her voice until it sounded like a thin, shrill, shriek....and she thought that "sounded good". Yeesh. The moral of the story is: Just because it's what you're accustomed to, doesn't necessarily mean that it sounds better.

It's pretty much the same with karaoke. Truth is....karaoke singers are usually just trying to get the KJ to make it sound the way they're used to. The problem is that more singers are accustomed to lousy sound than good sound. So, when they walk into a place with better sound, it sometimes freaks them out. They try to get a KJ to "normalize" the way they sound, not considering the possibility that what they are "used to" might not be very good.

On the issue of reverb news for ya, folks....LESS IS MORE....unless you're singing Pink Floyd, Prince, etc. Ideally, the reverb should be adjusted to match the type and amount used in the original recording as closely as possible....regardless of who is doing the singing. The misuse and overuse of reverb is one of the things that has kept karaoke in the gutter in the minds of legitimate musicians. You don't usually see live club bands using a crapload of reverb. There's a reason.

To wrap it up....all sound at a show (including reverb) is adjusted according to the individual KJ's personal taste, and is used to create a particular feel that's unique to his or her show. Frankly, I don't feel that singing at a show gives a singer the right to dictate that taste. It's like going over to someone's house, and feeling entitled to tell them how to rearrange their furniture the way YOU like it just 'cause you'll be sitting in it for a few minutes.

For the record, I would NEVER go to sing at another KJ's show and presume to tell them how to run their sound (even if it's bad). After doing this for 10 years, I'm qualified to comment, but don't do so out of respect. If I don't like the sound, I just go somewhere else.


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