The Gospel according to Soundman

The Lord said, “let there be an inverse-square law, so that the denizens of the earth will not drown in the relentless cacophony” And it was so. And the Lord saw that it was good.

The lord said, “let there be band/chorus directors across the earth, that conduct choruses of youthful, deliciously liturgical voices.” The Lord looked upon his creation, and saw that it was good.

Then, the Lord said, “let there be places of assembly for the choruses to perform within; and let the performers span the width of one side, such that their joyous noise shall wash over the masses, who shall span the width of the other side, across a distance of many cubits.” and he saw that it was good.

Then, the Lord said, “let all the denizens of the earth enjoy the joyous sound!” And he looked down and saw that it was really not so good. Some of the denizens were too far away from the joyous noise, and some were stone deaf regardless. Some denizens couldn’t sit still or turn off their cellphones, or keep their child-denizens quiet. The other denizens had to strain to hear the Joyous Noise.

Then the Lord said, “Let there be Bogen, and Shure, and Altec Public Address Systems, to spread the Joyous Noise across the length and breadth of the assembly.” And it was so. The Lord listened, as the first-ever blast of ear-splitting feedback reverberated throughout the firmament. The Lord was sore vexed.

Then the Lord said, “Let there be The Soundman, to figure out how the Bogen, Shure,and Altec works, and to realize the Holy Spectacle of the Joyful Noise!” And it was so. The Lord looked down upon his creation, and the Soundman looked up at the Lord, and the Soundman said

“What the fuck are YOU looking at?”

The Lord was tentatively pleased.

The Lord spake thusly: “Soundman, thy great and Holy and Noble task is to take command of the sound reinforcement devices of the earth, and cause them to reinforce the Joyous Noise emanating from the choir, such that all the denizens of the earth may rejoice!”

The Soundman did cast his gaze upon the situation, and in a timely fashion, did answer the Lord:

“Lord, What effin’ drugs you taking? I do sound, and miracles aren’t in MY job description.”

And the Lord said: “Drugs…not a bad idea. It’s on the to-do list.  Just do the best you can”.

“Fuck you.” the Soundman uttered to himself, as he bent his back to the herculean task. “Um, Lord, dude…can we get the law of inverse-square repealed in the Place of Assembly? It’d certainly be a help.”

And the Lord, singularly proud of that particular mathematical accomplishment and feeling indefinably petulant, replied “No can do.”
“Fuck you, too.” grumbled the Soundman. “thanks for nothin’.”

And the Soundman asked the Lord a second question, “Lord, can we get these singers to come around here in a semi-circle, that they may all be equi-distant from the Holy Shure Microphone, thus making my job a hell of a lot easier, and really, Lord, this is all about making my job easier, right?”

And the Lord Spoke, “The Concert Director has informed me that this is entirely out of the question.”

And the Soundman replied, “Go tell that unsufferable ass to go fuck himself”.

The Lord looked upon the Soundman, “Verily, I will do what I can to help, but I haven’t created autoeroticism yet.  It’s on the to-do.” The Lord, starting to mull the possibility of repealing the Law of Unintended Consequences, mumbled to himself as he walked away.

“What was that?” the Soundman called to the Lord.

“oh…Nothing.” replied the Lord.

Forthwith, the Lord returned, bearing tidings of the Concert Director’s reply. “The Concert Director has asked me to tell you that you’ll only have 3 minutes for soundcheck, after the House of Assembly is open, and that you cannot place the Mighty Voice Of The Theatre cabinet where you have placed it, nay, nowhere within line-of-sight.” said the Lord to the Soundman.

“Fuckin’ horse’s ass in a penguin suit!” spit the Soundman, feeling truly vexed.

“What was that?” asked the Lord.

“oh…Nothing.” spake the soundman.

“Please, oh Lord, can I have two more channels of Bogen, Shure, and Altec, such that I may cause the Joyous Noise to spill forth across the firmament in its full, multi-mic’ed glory?”.

And the Lord spake thusly: “Would that I could, my dear FOH soundman, would that I could.  But that isn’t in the budget.”

“What the fuck do you mean, not in the budget????” the incredulous Soundman said to the Lord. “…not in the BUDGET?”

And the Lord replied “What do I look like, some kind of miracle worker?”

“Um, Lord?” spake the Soundman.

“Yes, my son?” replied the Lord.

“Since you’re all jazzed up on your math chops and all, could you create the logarithmic scale, please? You’ve painted me into a corner here, and I need to do some quick math before curtain time”.

“What’s curtain time?” asked the Lord, not sure if he’d created that yet.

“I’m kinda short on time here, Lord…”

“Ok, ok. Done.” And the Lord looked down on the logarithmic scale, and saw that it was good. It resembled a mighty sword, sharp on both sides, capable of smiting an enemy, or killing a friend. And the Lord trembled with fear.

The Soundman did take up the logarithmic scale with great confidence and swift, terrible ability, and scribbled a bunch of ciphers on a great tablet of stone, mumbling to himself as he worked. Finally, he dropped the tablet to the sand, and rushed over to the stage. The Lord was curious, and asked the Soundman “So, what was that all about?”.

“Listen, Lord. I know you’re the Promoter and all…but I’m getting paid to do sound here. If you want me to teach you how to do sound, then its gonna cost a lot extra.”

And the Soundman jumped up over the proscenium to the stage, ignoring the stairs, and placed a multitude of Holy Shure Microphones, each one cubit from the choir, with a span of three cubits between each mic.

“Will that cause the Joyous Noise to reverberate through the Place of Assembly?” asked the Lord.

“Fuck no, it’ll sound like ASS!” spake the Soundman. “But its the best I can do to salvage this clusterfuck. The Microphones are placed at a distance ratio of pi cubits from the Voices of Joy, which means that the far mic is about 9db down from the primary, so the comb filtering will be about 1 db or so.”

“Um, is that greek?” spake the Lord. “I don’t think I’ve created greek yet…”

“Lord, I INVENTED IT, and DON’T you go taking credit for it either!” growled the Soundman.

The Lord was considering the Soundman’s words, when He exclaimed “Goodness! look at the time! its 8:00…”

And the Soundman did don the Holy Clearcom, and spake thusly…”ok, house lights to half on a 10 count, GO house lights. Stand by curtain…GO curtain. Supertroupers one through 5, stand by to pick up GOD downstage left, on my cue. Supertrouper6, you hold for a minute. And, GO one-through-five. Supertrouper 6, load your green gel frame…iris down tight, full power, I want you to hit the Concert Director’s bald spot and stay there all night, fade in on a 25 count. His head is going to glow like a traffic light. GO SUPERTROUPER6. Cue announcer’s mic. Dear Sweet Beelzebub, how many times am I going to have to show GOD how to talk into a friggin’ announcer’s mic? Is it really that hard?”

And the Joyous Noise was heard throughout the firmament.

After the concert, the Lord took up the tablets of stone that the Soundman had inscribed, and declared that the tablets should be preserved for the rest of eternity, so that the begats of the begats of the begats of the Soundman could continue to ensure that the Joyous Noise was heard through all of the firmament, forevermore.


About dwozmak

David Wozmak is a renaissance man. In the renaissance, it was important to be expansive and inclusive in the kinds of skills and abilities you were able to cover. As far as can be told, they had guys in the renaissance that could muck out animal stalls, pile rubble into something vaguely resembling shelter, cook an edible pizza, and of course say the wrong thing around women.
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