429 episodes

Wanna talk shop with your musical buddies? Look no further than GigGab! Each week Dave Hamilton and friends come to you sharing their gigging experiences, tips and tricks learned, and interviews with other weekend warriors and pros.

Gig Gab - The Working Musicians' Podcast Dave Hamilton & Friends

    • Music
    • 4.9 • 42 Ratings

Wanna talk shop with your musical buddies? Look no further than GigGab! Each week Dave Hamilton and friends come to you sharing their gigging experiences, tips and tricks learned, and interviews with other weekend warriors and pros.

    Nerding Out About Live Sound with Robert Scovill

    Nerding Out About Live Sound with Robert Scovill

    In this week’s episode of Gig Gab, Robert Scovill brings his wealth of live audio expertise to the show. As a front-of-house engineer for legendary acts like Tom Petty, Prince, Kenny Chesney, and Rush, Scovill shares the art of balancing sound in massive stadiums while ensuring the audience gets a crystal-clear experience, especially in the crucial front-fill zone. He emphasizes the importance of integrity, stating that “facts are not truth” in the quest to blend technical perfection with the creative essence of the artists. He advises managing the trade-offs inherent to audio mixing, as live music remains a visual art form where “Always Be Performing” is key. Scovill discusses managing sound for Kenny Chesney’s stadium tour and recounts working with Matchbox 20 on a silent stage, sharing how cell phone videos can be instrumental in helping to reveal potential audio issues.

    Scovill dives deep into drum audio techniques, recommending starting with stereo overheads and advising against isolating the drums in an “aquarium.” He also explores his favorite microphones and explains why in-ear monitors (IEMs) have positively impacted performers.

    Scovill wraps up with stories from touring with Rush and insights into beamforming technology at U2’s innovative Sphere shows. Throughout the episode, he remains open to ideas and resources, underscoring the importance maintaining audio integrity and continually refining one’s craft in pursuit of perfect live sound.

    Press play and enjoy, folks…and always be performing!

    00:00:00 Gig Gab 429 – Monday, May 13th, 2024

    May 13th: National Apple Pie Day

    Robert Scovill — FOH sound … for the rest of us! (That is, when we’ve gone to see Prince, Tom Petty, Rush, Jackson Browne, and nowadays Kenny Chesney!)

    00:02:00 An Educator at his core

    00:03:05 Importance of Integrity

    Facts are Not Truth

    00:06:33 This is Adult Audio – Doing Stadiums for the Kenny chesney Tour

    00:08:18 Open to All Resources and ideas

    Diction as a priority

    Live Music is a Visual Art – Attendees Need TO See The Artist

    45ft off the ground (vs. 25ft in arenas)

    00:11:19 Making it sound good in front of the stage as it does everywhere else

    The Front Fill Zone – Separate PA with different mix, panning, positioning

    EAW Adaptive PA

    00:16:16 The Technique of Mixing Right In Front of The Stage

    Balance the stage first

    “Audio is About Managing Trade-offs”

    Making Petty Sound Good

    00:24:33 Live stages… ampless vs. just drums

    Silent Stages with Matchbox 20

    00:26:58 Beware Room Reflections

    Cell Phone Videos Will Highlight This

    00:30:37 In-Ear Monitors… Because why not?

    IEMs Affect Performers…Positively!

    …so long as you can hear in an ensemble

    …and don’t sing too quietly

    00:35:34 Managing Drummers (and Singing Drummers)

    Start with Stereo Overheads

    00:39:34 Don’t Put the Drums in An Aquarium

    It’s a Last Resort!

    Drum Shields in The Sphere

    00:41:56 U2 at The Sphere

    00:44:20 Beamforming Sound at The Sphere

    The Sphere Aronofsky Movie

    00:46:54 Gear Gab: Microphones for Drums and Singing Drummers

    a href="https://heilsound.

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Avoiding Rats Nests

    Avoiding Rats Nests

    This week on Gig Gab, Mike Schulte returns for a lively discussion on the finesse of live performances band dynamics. He and Dave Hamilton kick off with a chat about “Playing ‘Less’ for More Money,” exploring how reducing the number of gigs you play can lead to greater impact and potentially higher pay. As they delve into the struggles musicians face, “The Waiting Is The Hardest Part” segment sheds light on the patience required in the industry, from waiting around for gigs to begin to mastering the interpersonal dynamics in your band. They also offer invaluable tips on achieving the best sound for your instruments in any room, emphasizing that great sound is key to a memorable performance—because you should always be performing.

    Mike and Dave also address the delicate balance between a musician’s ego and the band’s overall sound in “Is Your Sound Part of Your Ego? Or Part of What’s Best For Your Band?” Here, they encourage musicians to make sound choices that serve the band’s best interests. The episode is peppered with practical advice, from managing stage equipment like cables and snakes efficiently to choosing the right gear like BFSD for snare drums and Smokin Ace Rectangular Cymbal Shields to enhance stage sound. For any musician looking to refine their craft and learn the ropes of effective stage management, this episode is packed with critical insights and tools to help you shine in your next gig.

    Press play, enjoy, and always be performing!

    00:00:00 Gig Gab 428 – Monday, May 6th, 2024

    May 6th: International No Diet Day

    00:03:47 Playing “Less” for More Money

    00:05:48 All Good Things Will (Eventually?) Come to An End

    00:11:08 The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

    Britney Spears “Baby One More Time”

    00:12:15 Check Your Attitude…Stop and Enjoy

    00:16:45 Rehearsing a Musical

    00:20:05 Getting Drums to Sound Good In a Room

    00:22:10 Gear Gab: BFSD to muffle snare drums

    Big Fat Five

    00:24:28 Is Your Sound Part of Your Ego? Or Part of What’s Best For Your Band?

    Field Of Dreams VIP Tent

    Roland VAD Kit

    Diezel Amps

    00:29:29 Playing with Softer Hands

    00:34:58 Make Your Sound Work For The Room

    I Can’t Really Hear The Vocals

    00:38:45 Gear Gab: Smokin Ace Rectangular Cymbal Shields

    Telefunken M80

    Heil PR37

    00:44:55 Andy-Managing cables and snakes without CAT-SASS

    Custom Loom from Pro Audio LA (With a Lifetime Warranty)


    00:51:49 The Proper Way to Roll Cables

    It’s Not Rats-Nestian

    00:56:01 Gear Gab: Stage Ninja Mic-12-CB Microphone Clamp

    00:58:45 Gig Gab 428 Outtro

    Contact a href="https://www.instagram.com/mikeyschulte/?

    • 1 hr
    Self-Promotion and Redheaded Air Drummers with Best Not Broken

    Self-Promotion and Redheaded Air Drummers with Best Not Broken

    In the latest episode of Gig Gab, you’ll catch Eric Jackson and Carlo Carluccio from Boston’s own Best Not Broken sharing their journey from cover band roots to rocking high-energy performances with a mix of originals and covers, including an unforgettable opening gig for Barry Goudreau’s Engine Room. They spill on mastering the art of self-promotion—think relentless social media engagement, eye-catching posters, and savvy online PR campaigns. It’s not just about music; it’s about creating a relatable product. So, dive deep into their strategies to build brand recognition, foster radio relationships, and keep the business side as sharp as their harmonies. Remember, always be performing.

    Switching gears, the duo discusses the technical side of their shows, from managing setlists to incorporating tracks and clicks effectively—for them, just the drummer gets the click, no one else! They weave in crowd-pleasers like “Freebird” and “Don’t Fear The Reaper” alongside their hits like “Tell Me You Want Me,” creating a seamless blend that keeps the audience engaged (all while proving why the rhythm section is so crucial!).

    Whether you’re navigating the challenges of promotion or the intricacies of performance management, take a leaf out of Best Not Broken’s playbook and keep the focus sharp: always be performing.

    00:00:00 Gig Gab 427 – Monday, April 29th, 2024

    April 29th: Poem In Your Pocket Day

    Guests: Eric Jackson & Carlo Carluccio from Boston’s Best Not Broken

    From a bicycle in Nashville to a car in New Hampshire

    High-energy performance, tight harmonies, the clever inclusion of cover songs interspersed with originals, and opening for Barry Goudreau’s Engine Room (not to mention the crazy waves crashing!) caught my attention!

    00:03:02 Started as a Cover Band

    00:05:32 Some of their best songs are on their most recent release.

    Best Not Broken’s Human Emotion

    00:07:33 The Art of Self-Promotion

    Spend some time on social media

    Posters. Build Brand Recognition and Resume

    Hire Promotion Help with Gig Money.

    Treat it Like a Business

    Online PR Campaign

    Find Radio Stations

    Build Relationships

    Keep at it, and pay attention


    Think about your product…it’s not just music. Make videos. Make something relatable.

    00:13:18 Management Help?

    Enoch Entertainment

    00:14:19 Playing with Tracks (and a Click)

    That’s Because We’re So Clever

    No IEMs for Lead Singer

    Click only for Drummer

    “Too Hot To Operate”

    00:19:51 Managing Setlists

    Keeping the tracks effective and simple

    Using the drum overhead as “stage wash”

    00:22:50 Sneaking Covers Into Sets

    Distracted By A Redheaded Air Drummer


    The Rhythm Section is the Most Important Part of The Band

    “Don’t Fear The Reaper”

    “Tell Me You Want Me” – Best Not Broken

    00:27:06 Gig Gab 427 Outtro

    Contact Best Not Broken

    Contact Gig Gab!

    @GigGabPodcast on Instagram


    a href="https://www.giggabpodcast.

    • 29 min
    Refreshments & Rapport with Train's Matt Musty

    Refreshments & Rapport with Train's Matt Musty

    In the latest episode of Gig Gab, Matt Musty, a seasoned pro known for his work with Train, Grace Potter, and others, joins Dave Hamilton to share invaluable insights into the diverse roles a musician can play—be it a team player in a band setting or a versatile session artist. Emphasizing the need to adapt, whether grooving to the iconic beats of “Drops of Jupiter” or navigating the unique demands of various venues like Blossom in Cleveland and Tanglewood in Massachusetts, Musty illustrates the essence of “Always Be Performing”. He stresses the importance of context, from the dynamics of performing live to understanding the subtleties of venue acoustics and audience vibes.

    Navigating the complexities of tour life, including Matt’s time on the road with Jake Clemons on the S.S. Tina Turner bus, unveils a layer of touring rarely discussed— the social dynamics and unspoken rules like those governing the guest list. Tips from life on the road with musicians like Kacey Musgraves and interactions on the Grace Potter tour delve into the personal journeys artists undertake, blending professional commitments with personal evolution. Whether discussing the technical nuances of in-ear monitors or sharing a laugh about the quirks of tour bus life, the underlying mantra remains clear: wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing, “Always Be Performing”.

    00:00:00 Gig Gab 426 – Monday, April 22nd, 2024

    April 22nd: National Jellybean Day

    00:01:20 Guest Co-host: Matt Musty from Train (and everywhere else!)

    The epitome of the Working Musician. Train, Grace Potter, Keith Urban, Dhani Harrison, Gwen Stefani, Smash Mouth, and countless others.

    00:03:14 Know which hat you’re putting on

    A Creative Partnership

    Shutting Up And Doing The Job

    A Tool in Someone’s Toolkit

    The Freedom with the click…and with session work

    00:08:01 Playing “Drops of Jupiter” live

    00:09:43 Honoring Neil Peart

    00:12:09 Singers: You are in Missouri (not Kansas!)

    00:12:39 Vet your tattoos with reverse image

    00:14:27 Distinguishing Features of Venues

    Blossom in Cleveland

    Tanglewood in Massachusetts

    Woodlands in Houston

    Great Woods

    Meadowbrook in Gilford, NH

    00:20:07 Woodwork Day

    00:21:22 The Unspoken Rules of The Guest List

    00:27:55 On The Road with Jake Clemons in the S.S. Tina Turner

    “If Your Bus Has a Name, Something’s Up”

    Hypnotic Clambake’s “Unba”

    Refreshments & Rapport

    00:35:50 Tips from The Road

    Kacey Musgraves Guitarist

    Valley Famous Band with Jeff Babko

    “No One’s Calling Me ‘Sir’”

    Two Months with Train

    The Importance of The Hang

    00:42:33 Master Tour

    Business Brain

    00:44:04 Who is “Ali”?

    Resynator Movie

    00:45:51 Grace Potter Tour…leads to Romance!

    00:50:29 In-Ear Therapy

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Demolishing Walls & Pulling Teeth with Adam Moskowizard

    Demolishing Walls & Pulling Teeth with Adam Moskowizard

    This week on Gig Gab, Dave Hamilton welcomes guest cohost Adam Moskowitz from VAM Band, diving deep into the essence of musicianship and leadership. Adam shares his unique perspective on structuring your band life around personal commitments, showcasing how he manages the VAM Band. The discussion peels back the layers on how the “Bandleader Advantage” can help you book gigs that fit seamlessly into your lifestyle, emphasizing the VAM Jam life where every performance counts. They touch upon the enriching experience the ingenious MySet Request App, enhancing gig interaction and fulfilling audience expectations—because, remember, you should always be performing.

    Further, they explore the transformative insights gained from legendary performances, like Phish’s iconic Baker’s Dozen in 2017, and how these experiences can redefine your band’s approach to live shows, making each one a unique spectacle. Lessons from music giants like Paul McCartney and Flea are dissected to inspire musicians to transcend everyday gig logistics. The conversation shifts to practical tips on navigating the industry and the critical importance of protecting your rate turf. They wrap up with a focus on building a community around your band and reveal the creative origins of the VAM Band’s name, blending personal connections with dynamic musical expression.

    Press play and enjoy, folks!

    00:00:00 Gig Gab 425 – Monday, April 15th, 2024

    April 15th: World Art Day

    Guest Co-host: Adam Moskowitz from VAM Band

    00:02:00 Heading back to the Bass(ics)!

    00:04:22 The Bandleader Advantage

    Book around YOUR life

    VAM Jam life

    00:08:45 SXSW Martin Scorcese’s Shine a Light Film from SXSW 2008

    00:11:02 MySet Request App

    00:16:51 The Experience of Seeing Phish

    The Baker’s Dozen in 2017

    Phish Boston Cream night

    00:21:37 Relating Phish’s Lessons to Your Band

    Making Each Show Unique

    00:26:48 Demolishing The Fourth Wall — And Pulling Teeth

    00:33:44 Learning from McCartney

    Paul McCartney


    Family Man Aston Barrett

    Transcending The Logistics of The Moment

    \00:38:19 Doing Gigs as a Front of House engineer

    00:40:41 Always Be…Prepared

    00:45:02 Pick Up Gig…A Story!

    Never Do Live Math

    Private Stock Band

    Digging into The Reserves

    “Here’s our asking price. If for some reason that doesn’t work for you, let’s chat.”

    “I want to make sure I pay everyone well.”

    “We were paid [x] recently…Does That Work For You?”

    Protecting Your Rate Turf

    01:03:04 Building Your Band’s Community

    Musical Skydiving

    01:10:28 Where did the name “VAM Band” come from?

    Vibrant Audio Magic

    Vivid Amplified Melodies

    Velocity Anthem Makers

    Very Awesome Music

    Family First: Vicky Adam Melina

    01:14:31 Gig Gab 425 Outtro

    Contact Adam Moskowitz & The VAM Band

    Contact Gig Gab!

    @GigGabPodcast on Instagram

    • 1 hr 15 min
    Gear Gab and Lessons from The Road with Area 52 Studios

    Gear Gab and Lessons from The Road with Area 52 Studios

    Dive deep into the essence of live music production with insights from Dave Cook and Lewis Fawcett of Area 52 Studios joining Dave Hamilton on Gig Gab. As they navigate the intricacies of creating the perfect in-ear monitor mix for artists like Natalie Merchant, they emphasize the delicate balance between clarity and ambiance. Incorporating ambient mics and reverb, while not forgetting the foundational elements of a solid mix, Dave Cook reminds us that to truly captivate an audience, one must “Always Be Performing” with an impeccable sound.

    Their discussion extends beyond the technical, touching on the human elements of touring and recording, from the crucial hospitality towards artists to the mixed emotions of touring without loved ones. Lewis Fawcett, with a background enriched by family connections to Spymob and NER*D, shares some sage advice!

    From road essentials like a dual-voltage collapsible kettle for that necessary coffee to favorite microphones that capture every nuance of performance, this episode is a treasure trove for those looking to refine their live sound or studio recordings, while always keeping the audience’s experience at the forefront.

    00:00:00 Gig Gab 424 – Monday, April 8th, 2024

    April 8th: Step Into The Spotlight Day

    Guest Co-hosts: Dave Cook and Lewis Fawcett from Area 52 Studios

    Last time was June, 2020 for Gig Gab 258

    00:03:03 Dave on Mixing Monitors for Natalie Merchant

    George Cowan was FOH

    Dreamland Recording Studios

    Keep Your Courage (Natalie Merchant, 2023)

    00:08:55 Building an IEM Mix

    Compromise and Get What You Need To Do The Gig

    Ambient Mics

    Add Reverb

    Start with a good-sounding mix

    Extra Kick-and-Snare

    00:21:12 Lewis Fawcett

    Logic vs. ProTools

    Sophomore at Cornell College

    00:24:01 The importance of hospitality

    00:28:25 Lewis is part of the family

    Eric Fawcett from Spymob and N*E*R*D

    00:31:08 From Spymob to Pharrell

    SXSW – Pat from The Black Keys: “The first  rule when you have a band is don’t break up the band. That’s the only rule.“

    00:36:42 The Grinds and Benefits of Touring

    The Guilt of Being in Amazing Places Without Your Family

    00:43:49 Road Necessities

    A bicycle

    Dual-voltage collapsable kettle (for coffee)

    00:45:58 Favorite Microphones

    Roswell Pro Audio

    Mini K47 Microphone

    Royer SF-24 and 122-R

    Laurie Anderson (and Lou Reed)

    Sennheiser 441-U

    Pyle Drum Microphones

    • 1 hr 14 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
42 Ratings

42 Ratings

The Robonzo ,

Consummate pros with great advice and stories

I’ve known Dave and Paul for a number of years and remember when Paul came to me to ask what I thought of the idea he and Dave had for this podcast. Both are outstanding musicians and great people. The information they’ve put into Gig Gab is truly impressive. If you’re a working musician or someone who is just morbidly curious about what goes into putting live music on a stage, you’ll love this podcast. Topics they share are truly insightful and entertaining. Keep up the good work guys!

ConfusedBreakfastPodcast ,


The only thing better than movies, is music. This is one of our favorite music podcasts, full of great conversations and content.

Sertshark ,

Best Band Show

I’ve been listening to these two for a few years, and when I first found them I marathoner all the older shows. It’s the best podcast out there about being in a band. Yes, at times one of them gets a little long-winded, and while at first it was distracting, I have realized it is perfect, and I love it because he always talks about something we all can related to as musicians in a working band. Love the show. It’s my favorite podcast.

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