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Friday, May 20, 2011

The Banana Suit Sound Guy


My radical idea to become the first truly universally known sound engineer. Call me crazy, but let me propose a scenario. You are at a large-scale outdoor concert with your friends and are excited to see your favorite band. You get to your seats, sit down, and wait for the concert to begin. You occupy the time by texting and talking to your friends. The concert starts, you sit through the whole thing, have a great time, see your favorite musicians live, then leave.

But wait, you missed something. That's me, the sound man. Face it, who ever pays attention to the guy running sound? It is viewed as a menial task and no one really stops to consider how complex the job is to keep every instrument and microphone precisely at the proper volume to ensure a good total mix. The reality is that the job is hard, and sound engineers across the country do not get the recognition they deserve for a job well done. I have run sound at countless concerts, and things do go wrong.

When they go wrong, they tend to go very badly wrong. This results in the entire crowd becoming disgruntled with you, the sound engineer, personally until you fix the problem, and they will probably continue to vent about how the sound was terrible long after the concert. This is unfair to sound engineers because, especially at small benefit concerts and such, sometimes sound systems are pieced together from a lot of various equipment which is not as professional as it should be. Things do overheat/break/cut out/stop working mysteriously and sometimes it is not an easy fix. This is the hardest part about being a sound engineer. Most of the time everything is wrong, but when Murphy's law rears its ugly head, all hell can break loose.

Anyway, back to my scenario. Picture the same concert over again, but what if this time, the sound man is wearing a banana costume? This is an idea I had at some point for a sound engineer to gain recognition. As far as I am aware, most outdoor concerts are relatively informal events and there is no set dress code for the sound engineer. Engineers are chosen based on their job skill, not their appearance (which admittedly at times is rather unkempt). Concerts are supposed to provide a fun atmosphere, and how would a sound man donning a banana costume not add to that? I mean come on, it would be hilarious.

So I would like to hear feedback on this idea. I really do think I could gain universal recognition by going on different tours with the classic banana suit, and I could even switch it up with different fruits and objects if I wanted. I could be the first truly famous sound man and strike it big with major deals all because of a simple cheap banana suit and the comical aspect. So what do you think?

P.S. Please don't steal my idea!

1 comment:

  1. Haha I would personally love to see a sound man in a banana suit at a concert! That would make my night! People would definitely remember that. Plus, even when problems arise with the sound, people can still remember the funny costume the sound man wore. The job is touch as you said. There were some technical difficulties at the school musical, but you still did a nice job. There are so many different cues you must follow and different pieces of equipment to maneuver and operate, so sound engineers should receive more credit for their hard work and dedication. Good luck becoming the banana suit sound guy!