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Technical Riders – What & Why

So your band is becoming popular, you’re getting some good gigs and performing at venues where a PA with dedicated sound engineer becomes the norm. Do you turn up at the venue and hope the engineer can do a great job without knowing anything about you beforehand? This approach could be missing a trick, giving you and your audience a less than perfect result.

By sending a tech rider to the gig organiser or direct to the sound company it allows the sound engineer to prepare in advance to ensure the best possible performance.

What is a tech rider then?

Quite simply, it’s a document that tells the engineer the makeup and layout of your band with all the detail he/she might need to understand how to best setup and mix to get your sound.

What should it include?

Very basic rider content is shown below, as bands gain popularity and audiences grow the rider is likely to grow and some get to the point they might include some seemingly outrageous demands (see this article for some of the craziest http://www.telegraph.co.uk/music/news/craziest-music-rider-demands/) – that’s for you to decide…

  • Name of band (on every page)
  • Date rider was created (it’s amazing how often we need to check if a rider is still accurate)
  • Contact details to discuss any changes/issues
  • Band Members – e.g. Drums, 2 x electric guitars, 3 x vocalists, Bass, etc.
  • Stage Plot, including power locations (Click to see an example)
  • Input List
  • Monitoring Requirements
  • Any useful mix info to guide the engineer – e.g. special FX used for certain tracks, preferred delay/reverb settings, click track, etc.
  • Links to any of your recorded tracks for the engineer to get a feel for the sound you want.

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