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Live Sound Engineer Survey

 
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37.ENT
pluggin' in mics


Joined: 27 Apr 2004
Posts: 39
Location: Kalamazoo, MI

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:14 am    Post subject: Live Sound Engineer Survey Reply with quote

Hi All -

I am taking classes towards a masters degree in communication, looking at different aspects of communication in sound engineering contexts. For a class in quantitative research methods, I have been asked to create a survey:

https://wmichcas.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_bCw3Stv13S8MXgp

If you are a live sound engineer in any capacity, I would very much appreciate your time to follow the link and click through your answers. I would guess you can run this course in 5-10min, and maybe have some fun with a couple concepts you'll find in it.

It's just a small aspect of a larger concept that can't be fully measured with this survey alone, but it's a start on this particular path of inquiry. Your responses to the survey via the link above, and any constructive criticism you'd like to share on this thread would be appreciated!

I can't offer any compensation at this time, but I will direct you to my website and WDON Radio ep.1 for a free download that you might find humorous Smile

Thanks!
Bryan Heany

www.37ENT.com/media/
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Scodiddly
ghost haunting audio students


Joined: 10 Dec 2003
Posts: 3374
Location: Mundelein, IL, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:47 am    Post subject: Re: Live Sound Engineer Survey Reply with quote

That first question is already pretty vague. What exactly does "talk with" mean? Exchange brief words about a professional transaction, or discuss something unrelated?
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37.ENT
pluggin' in mics


Joined: 27 Apr 2004
Posts: 39
Location: Kalamazoo, MI

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 11:02 am    Post subject: Re: Live Sound Engineer Survey Reply with quote

Hello -- Thanks for checking it out! I updated that portion with a little more context (you aren't the only one to have had that response already). Those first items are about initiating conversation, not merely responding to a question, etc. I truly appreciate your time with this!

Bryan
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vvv
zen recordist


Joined: 13 May 2003
Posts: 7977
Location: Chi

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Live Sound Engineer Survey Reply with quote

Not really a live sound engineer, I only do it for friends or my band, but I clicked on yer page.

I hope yer not offended when I say it's hard to read, a PITA to have to type rather than click, and when I hit "enter" on the first fill-in box (because the down arrow didn't work) it thanked me for completing the survey.
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37.ENT
pluggin' in mics


Joined: 27 Apr 2004
Posts: 39
Location: Kalamazoo, MI

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Live Sound Engineer Survey Reply with quote

VVV -- I'm sorry you had this trouble. I am confused, however, because there is only one fill-in-the-blank on this survey. I'd like to confirm that the link took you to the "Live Sound Engineer Willingness to Communicate" survey. I'll check it out as an end-user as well. Thanks for your interest!
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RoyMatthews
re-cappin' neve


Joined: 30 Dec 2005
Posts: 778
Location: Sunnyside Queens, NY

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Live Sound Engineer Survey Reply with quote

I looked at the link out of curiosity but not as a live engineer. I have to say it seemed like most questions were an all or nothing choice. Especially when it came to the live sound situation. Do we talk to people we know? Yes. Strangers? No. Except, people we're working with? Yes. I talk with friends in line. I don't talk with strangers in line. I do talk with clients at gigs about doing the job at their gig.

I just don't get what's to be mined from this.

People are good at their job or they aren't. Live sound or not. If you can't communicate you won't be good at it. Did I earn a degree?
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vvv
zen recordist


Joined: 13 May 2003
Posts: 7977
Location: Chi

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Live Sound Engineer Survey Reply with quote

37.ENT wrote:
VVV -- I'm sorry you had this trouble. I am confused, however, because there is only one fill-in-the-blank on this survey. I'd like to confirm that the link took you to the "Live Sound Engineer Willingness to Communicate" survey. I'll check it out as an end-user as well. Thanks for your interest!


Talkin' 'bout:

Below are 20 situations in which a person might choose to communicate or not to communicate. Presume you have completely free choice. Indicate the percentage of times you would choose to communicate in each type of situation. Indicate in the space at the left of the item what percent of the time you would choose to communicate. (0 = Never to 100 = Always)

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100



You hafta fill in the number, at least as it comes up on the Chrome browser. Also, the space is on the right, not the left. Twisted Evil

EDIT: OK, it's much different on the current Microsoft Edge browser, what I hate and so don't use; it's messed up on Chrome, tho', so mebbe you need a warning there?

I did amswer it, BTW.
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37.ENT
pluggin' in mics


Joined: 27 Apr 2004
Posts: 39
Location: Kalamazoo, MI

PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:59 am    Post subject: Re: Live Sound Engineer Survey Reply with quote

I am using Firefox on Windows 10 and it's exactly as I intended. I can add a note, though.

Regarding the other responses, I think I will have to wait until next week to discuss the purpose, etc. in more detail.

Thanks, all!

Bryan
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Rigsby
mixes from purgatory


Joined: 23 Mar 2004
Posts: 2908
Location: London, England

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 2:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Live Sound Engineer Survey Reply with quote

I had a moment so partook.
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Gregg Juke
ghost haunting audio students


Joined: 12 Jun 2010
Posts: 3341
Location: Buffalo, NY, USA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 2:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Live Sound Engineer Survey Reply with quote

I took it as well, but apparently before you made the changes. And, I think I understand what you're getting at with the "communication" questions, in that many "live" guys tend to be a lot less, shall we say, communicative? Gregarious? Friendly? Nice? And that does impact effectiveness. I know more than a few non-technical musicians that have been able to peep the dichotomy (a generality, yes, but also a truism) between "live" engineers and "studio" guys... "Live" engineers are often perceived as "not caring."

BUT (and I've met quite a few salty live engineers, and have resembled them myself at times), folks don't often know what goes into creating that persona. Live guys often have incredible expectations put on them with no budget, no time, no respect, and bands or performers that show-up with sub-standard gear. So, yeah, many are jaded...

GJ
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Rigsby
mixes from purgatory


Joined: 23 Mar 2004
Posts: 2908
Location: London, England

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 5:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Live Sound Engineer Survey Reply with quote

A bit of empathy and friendliness goes a long way. If you're welcoming and helpful to bands they'll be more relaxed and things'll run smoother. Musicians can be super nervous and at their most uptight before they play, you get through that and afterwards they're relieved and grateful. Makes it all worthwhile.

Of course, some people just behave like dicks, but ime they're few and far between, and some even redeem themselves later on, at subsequent gigs.

It's crappy when you get to a gig and the soundguy doesn't care or doesn't try to accommodate. It ruins your night and I've never wanted to ruin another band's when I'm engineering. I've heard other engineers say they'll fuck up a band's sound if they're rude, that's hardly taking the higher ground, and it's adding fuel to the fire. I'd much rather say 'dickpenis' under my breath and do my job. I'm not going to make the band, the venue, myself sound bad or ruin it for the crowd. I'll do my job and do it well.

But if you're as nice as I am and your band's good then we're all in it together and I'm head-down concentrating on every aspect of the gig. Even after 22 years, that's still a massive joy.
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vvv
zen recordist


Joined: 13 May 2003
Posts: 7977
Location: Chi

PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:50 am    Post subject: Re: Live Sound Engineer Survey Reply with quote

FWIW, in my club daze we always tried to buy a the soundguy (always a guy) a drink before our set, and after, sometimes "duking" him a fin if he was extra nice.

Worked well, as you might guess, especially for a return gig.
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Rigsby
mixes from purgatory


Joined: 23 Mar 2004
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Location: London, England

PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 11:33 am    Post subject: Re: Live Sound Engineer Survey Reply with quote

vvv wrote:
FWIW, in my club daze we always tried to buy a the soundguy (always a guy) a drink before our set, and after, sometimes "duking" him a fin if he was extra nice.

Worked well, as you might guess, especially for a return gig.


That's the way to do it.
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37.ENT
pluggin' in mics


Joined: 27 Apr 2004
Posts: 39
Location: Kalamazoo, MI

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:38 pm    Post subject: "Quick" synopsis Reply with quote

Hi All -- Well, the assignment is done, so here's the shortest synopsis I could come up with accounting for some of the comments received:

I created the survey based on my experience (15 yrs). It was limited to one context. The questions were reviewed by four of my sound engineer pals who are advanced students and young professionals, and one of my superior colleagues. They agreed the survey items were good but the context was limited. I could have simply added at least a negative/non-ideal context and used the same questions, but the question list is what's most important here. There are several contexts to consider the same questions in. A good list of common contexts would be a worthwhile development to this study. I have experience in a club setting/one-person operation, not touring live sound for instance. Please feel free to suggest any common contexts you all think would be valuable/relevant.

Anyway, when time was up for the assignment I had 30 results. I did the requested analysis, which showed that at least the scale was reliable (Cronbach's alpha = .80). There was also some very weak relationship between aspects of the other, more general McCroskey survey: interpersonal communication (Pearson's) r = .25) and public speaking (r = .20). Thirty responses was great, and appreciated, but it is a small sample size and the level of relationships to be found are yet to be determined.. could go either way.

20% of respondents expressed some misgivings (or what have you) about the wording of a 20-year-old survey which again showed high reliability within itself in this population. Given 80% of respondents didn't express any frustration and the numbers were within the norms, I don't think there's anything wrong with the wording, but rather that sound engineers are more likely than the general public to pick these things apart, which is good info. I can certainly agree with that outlook on a personal level.

I will be leaving it up in order to continue reviewing the relationships, but I will work on a revision. Thanks for your interest and comments. I'm happy to continue this thread if there is interest. I haven't really addressed everyone's concerns who expressed them, so please reiterate or something if you want me to talk about it further. I bet we can all agree that communication is key, so i'm having a better time in my classes looking at something that could positively affect the work I enjoy.

Thanks to all the participants and anyone who commented!

Bryan
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