4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Psychology of Sound

When the Black Veil Brides from West Hollywood decided to film their San Diego performance on November 15, they chose SOMA near the Sports Arena, a decision that came down from the Black Veil Brides’ sound guy, local sound engineer Andy Stokes.

“I recommended SOMA,” says Stokes by phone from Texas. “It’s an all-ages venue.” There aren’t many of them, he says, counting off a list of two: the Epicentre on Mira Mesa Boulevard and SOMA. “I don’t necessarily agree with the politics at either place, but imagewise, I think SOMA looks a little better.”

When asked to explain what he means by politics, Stokes won’t say, but he agrees that the working climate at both venues is better now than it has been in the past.

When not touring with a band, Stokes, 25, lives in Little Italy. He is never home for very long. He leaves to join the Warped Tour right after the Black Veil Brides finish their tour.

“I make sure that each venue is up to par, little things like soundboards, monitors, and the [speakers] at the front of the house. It becomes an issue when you tour with bigger bands. You have to make sure that the promoter hasn’t shortchanged you.”

The promoter is generally responsible for providing sound reinforcement equipment, he says. But sometimes in order to save money they cut corners and rent on the cheap or get the wrong kind of equipment. Stokes recalls times when he has had to mix a rock band with sound gear more suited to a country-western outfit. “Or a church. On smaller band tours,” he says, “it happens at every show.”

Stokes learned the sound game six years ago at a trade school and by working postgrad residencies at San Diego clubs, including Anthology and the House of Blues. For rock-and-roll shows, he says he likes the sound at the Casbah best. The secret to being a good sound guy? It’s all in being able to read body language.

“You have to know how to read a performer’s body language onstage and know what it takes [in terms of things like volume and tone] to make them happy.” Otherwise, Stokes’s job is not just to mix the band’s sound but to act as a sort of quality-control policeman at each show. It turns out that the sound guy has the authority to decide whether or not a show actually goes on, he says.

“But in the punk-rock spirit, I’ve never canceled a show over sound issues.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Rose Canyon Fault’s annual slip is about 2-3mm per year.

California Geological Survey releases new earthquake maps

When the Black Veil Brides from West Hollywood decided to film their San Diego performance on November 15, they chose SOMA near the Sports Arena, a decision that came down from the Black Veil Brides’ sound guy, local sound engineer Andy Stokes.

“I recommended SOMA,” says Stokes by phone from Texas. “It’s an all-ages venue.” There aren’t many of them, he says, counting off a list of two: the Epicentre on Mira Mesa Boulevard and SOMA. “I don’t necessarily agree with the politics at either place, but imagewise, I think SOMA looks a little better.”

When asked to explain what he means by politics, Stokes won’t say, but he agrees that the working climate at both venues is better now than it has been in the past.

When not touring with a band, Stokes, 25, lives in Little Italy. He is never home for very long. He leaves to join the Warped Tour right after the Black Veil Brides finish their tour.

“I make sure that each venue is up to par, little things like soundboards, monitors, and the [speakers] at the front of the house. It becomes an issue when you tour with bigger bands. You have to make sure that the promoter hasn’t shortchanged you.”

The promoter is generally responsible for providing sound reinforcement equipment, he says. But sometimes in order to save money they cut corners and rent on the cheap or get the wrong kind of equipment. Stokes recalls times when he has had to mix a rock band with sound gear more suited to a country-western outfit. “Or a church. On smaller band tours,” he says, “it happens at every show.”

Stokes learned the sound game six years ago at a trade school and by working postgrad residencies at San Diego clubs, including Anthology and the House of Blues. For rock-and-roll shows, he says he likes the sound at the Casbah best. The secret to being a good sound guy? It’s all in being able to read body language.

“You have to know how to read a performer’s body language onstage and know what it takes [in terms of things like volume and tone] to make them happy.” Otherwise, Stokes’s job is not just to mix the band’s sound but to act as a sort of quality-control policeman at each show. It turns out that the sound guy has the authority to decide whether or not a show actually goes on, he says.

“But in the punk-rock spirit, I’ve never canceled a show over sound issues.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Rose Canyon Fault’s annual slip is about 2-3mm per year.

California Geological Survey releases new earthquake maps
Next Article

The conspicuous Floss Silk Tree has flowers like hibiscuses

The black oak is the only deciduous oak native to San Diego
Comments
1

Lol. The feedback king.

Nov. 17, 2010

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close