You've probably all seen this: The drum set is built up, the backline is ready and the sound man has just set up all the microphones. Now it is time for the sound check and it's the drummer's turn to begin. "Bass drum please!" You hear "fap fap fap fap BOOM BOOM BOOM (some low end feedback) BOOM BOOM...." while you are standing at the bar or next to the mixing console, trying to get the idea, what things will sound like two hours from now. After a while things continue with the snare drum, until 5 or 10 minutes later they will have finished with the drum sound. A few years back we had a gig in a fairly large venue and was expecting my usual déja-vu, but things went completely the other way. The sound guy twiddled a few knobs on his mixing console and said to the drummer: "Play your entire kit, including toms and cymbals!" So he did, and believe it or not, the sound was spot on after 10 seconds. My bandmates and I exchanged some puzzled facial expressions, until I asked the sound man, how the hell he did that. His answer was quite simple and made me think: "I have been doing this stuff for over 40 years now. Every drum set is more or less the same, the mikes are the same, I place them pretty much the same way and use the same mixing console every time. Unsurprisingly I end up with roughly the same settings every time, so I just start from there and do a little tweaking." The end result was, he really knew what he was doing. But this made me wonder, why do we keep getting the same déja-vu during sound checks with other sound guys? Don't get me wrong, I am not saying, other sound guys don't know what they are doing, because most of them do. Sure, every venue is different and yes, vocalists are different and bass and guitar amps can sound wildly different, not to mention the different volume levels. But if you mike a drum set, wouldn't the gain settings and EQ be roughly the same every time? Why do most other sound guys always appear to be starting from scratch, only to pretty much end up with the same settings they have been using for the last few years, anyway? And no, I am not bitching. I just thought I would like to share this anecdote and have a casual discussion about the art and craft of making a sound check. Or if you have other weird sound check stories, tell them here.