Emma Ballantine

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Sounds good

Location, audience, decor... all these matter when it comes to a music venue, but as my recent gig showed, getting the sound right matters most of all.

Having effused at some length about the fantastic turnout and general level of support which accompanied my gig at The Troubadour last month, I thought I'd dedicate a few blog inches to the venue itself, which more than lived up to its great fantastic reputation.

Over the past two years I have played at some 'challenging' places, to say the least: bars where the getting the balance right means shouting to be heard over a rugby team or two, and many an open mic where I've had to soundcheck in a matter of seconds. Contrast this with the Troubadour, where the technician spent a good 45 minutes checking the levels for every song, each of which had a different combination of keyboard voices/vocals/percussion. This meant EQ-ing each of the instruments being used on the laptop, which we were running the keyboard through, and also having different settings for different types of strumming and finger picking on the guitar. It was a masterclass in how to make sure a sound fit a venue, and it made all the difference when it came to playing. It's inspired me to learn more about sound for future gigs, and for my own recording, although I'll always be happy to leave it to the professionals when I can!

The set was recorded and filmed that evening, so hopefully I'll be able to share some of the results with you soon.

12.14pm 12th Feb 2012