Five Things I’d Say to Young Sound Engineers Pt. 3

For the last two days, we've been talking about advice to young sound engineers. For review, the first two points were:

  1. You Don't Know as Much as You Think You Do  and
  2. #2: Attitude is More Important than the Mix

Today we'll continue with...

#3: Don't Be Afraid To Say, "I've Made A Mistake"

 I was talking with our Jon, our worship pastor, the other day about various types of sound guys we've worked with. He commented about one who during a sound check accidentally grabbed the wrong gain pot (one he had previously set) and tweaked it all out of whack. Instead of trying to cover it up, he said, "Hey, guys, my bad. I grabbed the wrong gain, we need to go back and re-do the bass." That really impressed Jon and said to me, "Who cares he made a mistake. It made the whole band feel better that he stopped, fixed it and went forward, rather than try to cover it up and blame something else."

Here's a potentially surprising fact: We all make mistakes. I have, on more than one occasion, turned up the gain on the wrong channel. Sometimes I've done the right thing and owned up to it. Other times, I've tried to tweak it back to where I though it was and hoped no one noticed. When I've done the right thing, it's always been the right thing. No one cares if you make a mistake and own up to it. But if you make a mistake (and everyone knows you did), and don't own up to it, that breaks down trust. Without trust, we can't work well together.