Mixing a Band in a Casino

Mix a Band Casino

Setting up a band, completing soundchecks and then mixing in a casino can have it’s own challenges, and can differ greatly from a regular venue gig.

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Several issues often arise, such as venue access and sound levels during set up and sound check. While many casinos have purpose build theaters or music rooms, many also like to have live bands playing in bar areas. Many of these bars operate 24/7.

I’ve mixed several bands in these types of situations, and although they may have great gear, it can be tricky to get the sound right. For example, the casinos I have worked in had in-house IEM systems‘, so we didn’t need to bother customers with loud monitor tuning or mixing, but some instruments just ‘have to’ make noise. We ended up just getting vocals, DI bass and keys mixes for everyone and then guessing levels of guitars and drums before the first song was played. Yes thats right, we were not allowed to make ‘any’ noise before the gig. We did, however, plan an intro song that slowly built their instrumentation. eg The singer talks to the crowd, and introduces the band. We start with drums, and he starts playing a beat and each musician indicated by hand if they were happy, then we add bass and guitar, and repeat.

It actually worked out fine, but for someone like myself who is used to the luxury of 2 hours to set up, soundcheck and run a few songs, it was a pretty scary experience.