Archive for August, 2011
I have a blog written called, “The way I’ve always done it” This is one example of how it’s easy to get tied up in the usual ways in pro audio. I have always used the Shure SM58 mic for vocals and sometimes used them in the places that you’d use a SM57 mic. (continue reading…)
In our current recording environment with recording software and plug-ins multiplying like rabbits, and then you add to that, young inexperienced musicians trying to get that famous 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s rock sound with cheap software and gear, but don’t want to put any time into analyzing their recording space/acoustics or better yet, analyzing the musicianship and the instrument. These mostly younger guys are constantly looking for the MAGIC BUTTON for their sounds. This is not a bashing session, but instead, I would like to share some of the principles that I was “raised on” in the studio. (continue reading…)
It’s funny how sometimes I imagine that if either of my sons were into what I do, I could teach him so much. I have worked on cars all my life with a passion and have taught myself what I know today. There were many things along the way that I wished someone could have told me, it would have saved me so much time. Along the way I started getting into audio and have learned a lot. I am now in a position to where I actually have two careers to speak of, custom cars and audio.
Now I can fully understand my kids not being into what I do for a living because it’s not that exciting when it’s around you all the time. But, I have opened myself up to two separate careers and neither have any serious interest in learning what I do. I have students tell me all the time that if I were their dad that they would constantly be learning what I know. Maybe it’s the desire that I see from the students that learn under me that keeps me going because of the lack of sons following in my footsteps.
I’m not bitter one bit because my father was an insurance salesman and I had no interest in doing what he did for a living. I was more interested in carving my own personal career. I remember wanting to do things my own way and didn’t want help from anyone else. Years later when I became older and more wise, I found that asking questions was really the wise thing to do. More often than not, it’s the ones who’ve graduated from the school of hard knocks that can usually save you a lot of time.
Thanks for coming to my web blog. I have a few videos on this subject that I’d like for you to check out.
Thanks for watching, I hope you liked the videos. If you want to keep up with what I am doing in the pro audio world, please subscribe to my YouTube channel as well as sign up for the feedburner emails.
This blog today is going to focus on my experience of setting up front of house sound for the Caleb Fletcher concert. I was hired by David White of Perimeter Production group to locate and book the house sound for the event. If you are ever in charge of this task, you may encounter the type of resistance that I’m about to share.
After deciding that my small PA rig wasn’t large enough to cover the area we were expecting, I got the approval for rental of a larger system. I set out on a mission to find a great system for this event. This would be one of the largest concerts that I’ve run front of house and I needed to make an impression. David White made it quite clear that our number one goal was to put on the best show of the summer series, and that rental fee’s wouldn’t be a problem.
I visited a local company, Music Maker, to discuss rental of a system for the event. I told them what I was hired to do and who I was working with but seemed to get the impression that I was being talked down to by the owner. I name dropped one of my writers here on the website, Eddie Howard, and this seemed to shift the conversation a bit but still not to my advantage. I will try to give you an example of how this went down.ME: I am working with David White to put on a concert in downtown Greenville and need to rent your PA system, I am the front of house mixer. Bobby: Ok I can deliver the system and send my sound guy to mix, we will set you up on the side stage for monitors ME: I have been hired to do front of house not monitors, I can mix monitors from front of house Bobby: Oh ok, well my guy will do a great job and you won’t have to worry. Just bring your monitor console and mix wedges ME: I work as an A2 with Eddie Howard and he will tell you that I can work the console just fine Bobby: Oh Eddie will be there, ok… He can mix front of house and you do wedges. My guy will be standing around if you need anything ME: Ok, well I will let you know if I get the budget approved for this rental Bobby: Ok buddy, let me know and I will gladly help you in any way I can.
What tha??? Did I just get slapped in the face here? At first I was thinking that he had a policy about not letting anyone except his man run the rig until the name drop shifted the mix position to a person who was not being paid to work the show. Eddie would be there but just as a spectator, not a worker.
When I got to my car, I sat there for a moment trying to understand what just happened. I had come to this place to save some money on rental, only to be insulted and feeling like I was a snot nose kid trying to leap ahead of the game.
There is another company known for top notch equipment and excellent staff called Audio Solutions. I called and spoke with Alan about a PA system rental for the day. One of the first things I asked was, “Is there going to be a sound man there that will do exactly as I ask, or can I simply run the rig?” His reply was with no hesitation, “Naw man, it’s not a problem, you can run it” Then I held my breath, so to speak, when I asked for the quote. Only $50 more than Music Maker??? Are you kidding me? And this quote included stage mics, stands, monitors, etc…
On the day of the show, I arrived on time to find Chris from Audio Solutions already there and halfway set up. He was very knowledgeable and an all around nice guy. We had the rig up and running in no time but I still wondered if this small compact system was going to be able to fill this large outdoor venue. I had no idea how great this setup was going to sound until the first kick of the bass drum came through the system. I was floored that four eighteens and four Q7 boxes could sound so clean and crisp.
During sound check we even had someone come up and ask us to back off the kick drum a bit because it was thumping his chest too hard. Chris politely sent him to me and I sent him to my boss David White. We assured him that when everyone fills up the area that things would sound a little better. I tent to drive sound check a little harder than the actual show anyhow.
I mixed front of house on a Yamaha LS9-16 with a presonus mic pre for the digital layer. Actually used seventeen channels and four effect channels on a custom fader layer. The D&B never missed a beat and stayed crystal clear all night. I received several compliments about the mix but couldn’t have done it without such a great system.
One thing I learned about this, Audio Solutions are #1 for a reason. Every time you see an event in downtown Greenville you will usually see them there with their stuff. The reason is that they have great people, easy to work with, and a reputation for being the “Go To” company for all your audio needs.