Originally Posted by museAV
But as FOH mixer, aren't you an active part of the performance? Shouldn't it ideally be neither party dictating to the other but rather both working together to achieve the best possible result?
As the sound engineer my job is to offer technical assistance and advise to the artist/band so in that sense the answer to your questions is yes. But...because the performer's name is on the poster and because the fans pay to see and hear him/her, that performer has the final say on how they want to look and sound. It's not about dictating it's about the artist (and maybe his management) making decisions to steer his career in a certain direction and I strongly believe that this his his/her prerogative. This doesn't stop me from offering advise, and in the rare case that advise is not taken I don't take it personal.
In an ideal world the venue tech or sound provider and the DJ would communicate with one another and coordinate what is expected and to be provided. You would also not have intermediate parties then doing anything to potentially change or limit that. There may be a level of artists, performance and/or venue where that is practical but perhaps part of the issue is how realistic that is in many other situations. At a regional and especially local level you can encounter DJs who run the mixers hot because they think that is what they are supposed to do, just like I've seen many times from hard rock and heavy metal BEs. And how many local or upcoming DJs can or do effectively communicate their expectations and requirements?
This is where the venue, sound company and/or the promoter need to show some level of professionalism and experience...Professionalism and common sense should be practical and realistic at every level. We are talking about doing business here, once you get to the stage where money changes hands for goods and services it should be professional...the size of the venue and/or market shouldn't dictate when to be professional.
After doing these gigs a few times the parties involved should have some idea of what to expect and start making moves to prevent unpleasant repeats. An inexperienced DJ might need to be educated about gain staging and other technical issues but it must be done with respect and kindness, not with the superior and condescending language and attitudes being displayed by some people here who seem to forget that they work for the DJs.