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Importance of an Input List

When hiring an audio company for any kind of event, most notably a concert, you will generally be asked for an input list for each of the acts performing. Input lists can be completed with varying degrees of thoroughness but should all contain the same basic information; how many vocalists, guitarists, pianists, etc.

Professional touring bands and artists should have an input list within their contract rider and depending on the size and popularity of the act, it can be quite thorough. Some input lists may be extremely general and simplified while others will be detailed to the point of requesting specific pieces of equipment for each entry and their correct position on stage (that is actually part of a stage plot, but I’ll get to that in a later post).

If you’re a band just breaking into the realm of guarantees and honorariums, you’ll probably be asked to provide an input list and it helps to have one already prepared, instead of scribbling one down at the last minute.

Below are a few examples of how to organize an input list:

Example A: Simple and Concise

1. Kick
2. Snare
3. Rack Tom
4. Floor Tom
5. Overhead L
6. Overhead R
7. Guitar Cab SR
8. Bass DI SL
9. Keys L DI
10. Keys R DI
11. Vox SR
12. Vox Lead (Center)

Example B: Fairly Detailed

1. Kick – Audix D6 or AKG D112
2. Snare – SM57
3. Rack Tom – SM57
4. Floor Tom – SM57
5. Overhead L SM81 or ADX51
6. Overhead R SM81 or ADX51
7. Guitar Cab SR – SM57 or e609
8. Bass DI – XLR
9. Keys L  – DI XLR
10. Keys R – DI XLR
11. Vox SR – SM58 or e835
12. Vox Lead Center – Wireless SM58 or e835

Example C: (Yes, this has happened before)

Don't do it this way.
Don’t do it this way.

Example A allows for the producer to use his own discretion as to what microphones to use, although sometimes the production manager will still have a preference that isn’t shared on the input list. This actually happens quite often.

Example B is quite specific in their needs and desires, and makes it perfectly clear as to what is needed of the producer. These are my personal favorites, as they tell me exactly what they need and provide an additional option if possible.

Example C speaks for itself.

Either of these are generally acceptable for your basic promoters and producers, barring extraordinary circumstances. You can also go into further detail, which stand to use for mics, drum clamps or stands, for example. Whether you’re a promoter, band, church, hosting a festival or concert series, I hope you are able to put this to good use.

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