Well attended show, and I got to enjoy the chili this time around! I think we have officially reached the point of "not enough PA" for Junior Giant. After the show, Spencer told me that he could barely hear himself...and I was at full throttle on his send! I also drove something at FOH into audible clipping during the heavier vocal parts. I think it's "science project" time again.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Wasatch Music Coaching Academy
WMCA decided to have a post Christmas party with food and bands, and I think it was a solid idea. Being a WMCA show meant that the turnout was very strong, and I got to experience some very fun "rock and roll moments."
I think I'm going to try and find some situations where the WMCA Rock Ensemble could open for some folks, as I think it would be fun for the kids (and educational, too.)
Monday, December 22, 2008
A Cassandra Utterance
Mary May I
The After Autumn
Cool night, went well, reasonably solid turnout. I made a mistake in trying to replace the seized amplifier fan with too little time to spare before load-in, but I ended up having just enough time to get everything in working order when I really needed it. Other than that, my end of the night felt very smooth and comfortable - a great way to end a long week.
Show was canceled due to unsafe driving conditions.
I really applaud the decision, actually. There is no show worth being injured over, and so I have to congratulate Peter Harvey on making a very mature and responsible decision. In the words of The Gorgeous Hussies: "Don't rock yourself to death."
I was anxious for this show, but my anxiousness was unfounded. The long, luxurious soundcheck afforded by Zach's schedule made for the ability to kill lots of gremlins before showtime. The subwoofer amp finally killed the fan on the A channel (10 minutes before soundcheck!), so I had to run both subs off one side. No noticeable problems, though. When you win, you win.
The only thing that really bugged me was how the crowd talked through the sets played by Cameron and John. As much as I try not to let things get under my skin as much as they used to, this kind of thing is sandpaper on my nerves. Here are these guys playing some excellent music, and I've got half the room yapping loudly in my left ear. This really marred the night for me, because it made the truly excellent audience turnout into sort of a bad thing. I would have settled for only having had the 50% of the crowd that actually listened, personally.
Although I've tried to put away my "jaded, mean, cynical audio technician" hat away, I'm going to put it back on now. Underground is not a bar, where bands and solo artists are booked for the purpose of attracting buyers of various alcoholic beverages. Underground is a place to HEAR music. If you just can't be bothered to shut your trap, please find somewhere else to be.
I'm about 99% sure that I'm preaching to the choir with this, but if I'm not, and the preceding paragraph has offended you...GOOD.
There, I feel better now.
Double or Nothing
Empire of the Forgotten
Okay show, turnout was a bit "eh." Pushed the monitors a bit too hard for (Nick?) from Double or Nothing, and got some unpleasant feedback until I corrected myself. I also got a little confused during the changeover to Sara Janey, and tried to get guitar out of a channel that definitely was not the guitar. Ended up with a weird situation with...Jebu, I think? From what I can gather, they could only just make it down right in time for their set, but we were running long. I guess they had to pack up and leave without playing, which is a bum deal."The best laid plans" and all that, you know.
Still, the show happened, and ultimately the technical issues didn't stop us for more than five minutes at a time.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Crashing at Dawn
I never would have thought before that a show with only two bands cold be a rough night, but there's a first time for everything. My problems started with alternatively losing one side of Crashing's keyboard, getting that back, and then promptly losing the other. This little exercise chewed up a big chunk of aTiLast's check time, and my issues were further compounded by me not having the good sense to pick a stage layout and snake patch that would give me flexibility. We did eventually find physical and electrical space for everything, but that didn't solve all the problems. I had some weird balance issues amongst the instruments, and I managed to start everything out with a muddy, over-bassy tone. Yikes! Big credit goes to aTiLast for being troopers, and pulling off their set with all the challenges (including some weird shorting issues on the main vocal mic - gremlins, I tell ya). Thankfully, (mercifully, perhaps?) Crashing's set did not suffer from any major problems, although I got some gnarly feedback for myself in a couple places, maybe because I was running on adrenaine all night...
Wow - this post is big enough for two paragraphs!
I think aTiLast's set highlighted another issue, which is hard to have to acknowledge - but it's necessary. There are just times where our FOH PA and monitor rig aren't enough. We could definitely do with more inputs to the mixing console, and more SPL available from FOH - but those weren't the issue for aTiLast. For them, I think the major issue was the linearity of the monitor rig. There are some spendy wedges out there that can get incredibly loud without feedback, but those aren't the ones we have. Consequently, I couldn't apply the gain required to put Taryn in the "right place" monitor wise. I was at full throttle on the sends, but I didn't dare add any global gain, because taking somebody's head off with a screech of feedback is a really bad idea.
Actually, I need a bigger stage AND a monitor engineer...
I guess there is one good thing about having a night where I really struggle - I write bigger posts!
In Key Drop Outs
2 and a Half White Guys
"Happy Ska-lidays" show. HUGE night - like 180+ people huge. The differing horn arrangements between bands made for some tricky changeovers, but everything seemed to fall into place just in time for the next set to begin. I'm pretty sure we used absolutely every minute between 7 PM and 10:30 PM for this show. Had a little problem when the slamming started a bit too wide - our Christmas tree took some damage, and the stage left mid-high got knocked backwards onto the snake head. Everything was pretty fixable, thankfully, although one of our rope lights eventually got hammered past the point of no return (but that was just wear and tear from changeovers). I'm pretty sure that this was the biggest night ever for Underground. I'm not sure that it can (or even should be) topped, unless there was somehow a system for rotating audience in and out.
Mason Jones and the GT's (Formerly called The Tangerines)
Great night. Smooth as silk, well attended. Serious, no-holds-barred, fun rock. I had a stupid grin on my face multiple times during the night. Had one not so great spot when I learned that Blackhounds rolled their van while on tour. Yikes. Everybody, please find out how you can support Blackhounds - they're great guys, and it would stink for their music to stop, even for a little while.
Monday, December 8, 2008
As Grace Falls
This was one of those shows that "got away" a bit. Everything seemed to be going as smooth as silk, the turnout was good...and then I suffered an epic fail when trying to put together a monitor mix for Fatal Remedy. I managed to get them the exact opposite of what they needed, while ripping the head off of the stage right guitar player with a blast of high-end. They troopered through, and seemed to have a pretty solid set in spite of the weirdness. Well done, Fatal Remedy! (And really, well done to all the bands. "Metal" nights can be hard, but this one wasn't - that is, until I managed to bungle my monitor mixes, and that was my own fault.)
Monday, December 1, 2008
Good show, well played, somewhat light attendance. Good sound overall, though I should have started with the monitors throttled up a bit more. Didn't have the struggles I usually have with instruments like the cello. Giant reflectors with resonant boxes attached can play real havoc with sound reinforcement, but volumes were very reasonable and the show went smoothly.
Crashing At Dawn
Super fun show. Great turnout. Crashing at Dawn did a lot of work on their stage volume between the last show and this one, and so we had far fewer audio problems. There were several times during the show where I just stood at FOH with a big, stupid grin on my face, and simply enjoyed the "big rock cool." Seems like Junior Giant's fan base is starting to re-energize as well.