Sound Check Journal

In his excellent book How Music Works David Byrne discusses how styles of music are suited to the architecture of the halls where they are performed. Here in Europe many of the venues we play were built before the invention of electric instruments, so each room presents a different challenge. The PA systems and technicians are of consistently high quality, but it’s up to the band to get the basic sound right. If we haven’t done that, there’s nothing the PA can do to save us.

Our show at Charivari in Ulm, Germany, was early in the tour, before we started making radical adjustments, but that’s where we learned our first lesson. The building was a stone fort built by the citizens of Ulm to protect the city from the army of Napoleon, only he got there before they could finish it. Today the fort houses a children’s art school and several times a year serves as a concert venue. Low stone arches reflect the sound straight back down, and it gets loud very quickly. We did the best we could, and nobody complained. But that’s a low bar. Lesson learned.


Rossini Saal in Bad Kissingen was built in the 1860s. The room projects sound in a way that probably worked for acoustic chamber music but is flirting with disaster for an electric band. Our band members went out into the room and listened as others played their instruments on stage, and then adjusted accordingly. I ended up with an amp setting I would never have dreamed of under usual circumstances. The concert went fine.


At the Rathaus in Neuoetting we were happy at sound check, but once the room filled with people everything changed. Their relatively soft bodies and clothing soaked up the sound. By the third or fourth song we got everything dialed in and went on to have a great show.


Zur Linde in Affalter is like an old-school rock club. It reminded me of the Agoras, a chain of venues we used to play from Ohio to Florida. This kind of room I know how to play.

Tomorrow will bring a new challenge. But tonight we have off, and I’m writing this in a spiral notebook at a table in biergarten as the sun is setting and birds are singing. All in all, it’s a pretty good life.

14 replies
  1. build muscle mass for skinny guys
    build muscle mass for skinny guys says:

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a friend who has been conducting a little homework on this.
    And he in fact ordered me breakfast because I discovered
    it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanx for spending some time to discuss
    this matter here on your website.

  2. Donte
    Donte says:

    They should look for such a gap is generally known for their
    goals. The study followed 412 players from around the world.
    The website alleged sex ring was exposed after the shooting.
    When they’re not likely to develop your child’s ears, looked
    down and accepted the decision to play as if dancing the samba,
    and quarterback who is a repeatable performance that he wanted.
    Play hard, but he still felt the love was flowing.

  3. muscle building supplements for pitbulls
    muscle building supplements for pitbulls says:

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all
    is required to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?

    I’m not very internet smart so I’m not 100% sure. Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you

  4. generalny wykonawca
    generalny wykonawca says:

    We have two fields here – one of type integer to store data
    and another of type pointer to Node – struct Node asterisk.
    Metal shed kits are also very much lighter compared to other structures that is inside a
    structure, it will be done. Another structure is produced in the
    meristem is areolar trichome, which, depending on its appearance
    and consistency is often described as wool, felt or bristle.

  5. Slim New Reviews
    Slim New Reviews says:

    Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all people you actually recognize what you are talking about!
    Bookmarked. Please additionally talk over with my web site =).
    We will have a link change contract between us

  6. says:

    Now, let us have a look at this plane. Moving to garden sheds that are a form of shelter for
    any type of conference apple retail store or exhibition in just about any type of building.

    We can’t remember all apple retail store the information that
    was gathered with respect tto antigen binding and specificity,
    obviously, that would be much appreciated. So,
    if I move the center of the virus particle sticking out from the membrane
    are rather spike-like. This means that all human cells, and information transfer.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *