Hoooo boy, it’s been awhile, hasn’t it? I’ve quit spending as much time online as I used to and I’ve been really enjoying that, so I’m not going to apologize for going so long between logs. Expect that to continue, at least for the foreseeable future.
March 22nd was a pretty basic corporate presentation for the rental company I work for: in a small room for a small audience, so not much sound reinforcement required, but we were mainly there to videorecord it, so there was also a feed to our recording computer as well. As I’ve said before, whenever I’m doing a recording feed or a streaming feed, I treat that feed as an entirely separate mix: just taking a matrix or feed off the main L/R sounds OK, but never good in my experience. It’s important, particularly in situations where companies don’t want to pay money for post-processing (and that’s most companies!), to get a really good-sounding recording at close to “broadcast” levels, and achieving that result requires a radically different approach than just doing sound reinforcement in a 120-seat theater.
March 23rd was another day for the rental company - basically a day of panel discussions at the big closing day of a book festival. Nothing terribly exciting to note there.
The 25th was a continuation of the event on the 22nd: same room, same company, mostly the same people.
The 26th was spent doing work for a sound design for a play that was approaching at the venue where I work.
The 27th was basically spent driving equipment around for the rental company I work for, then I had a production meeting re: the play at the venue where I work.
The 28th was spent doing an event for the rental company that was just a bunch of short presentations: it was basically a bunch of lavs in a medium-sized (~800-person) venue. Thankfully I had decent speakers - sometimes clients want really low-profile speakers that are too small for the space, then complain that the sound isn’t loud enough or doesn’t reach the back rows.
And the 29th was a simple video-playback-related babysitting job at the venue where I work.
The 30th was a dance show at the venue where I work, for a company that I’d worked with last year when they performed with the Dalai Lama. They’re nice people - it was good to see them again.
Sometime during March 31st and April 1st I finalized all the sound cues and recorded voiceovers for the play. I also drew up a detailed signal-flow diagram, input list, &etc. for a big out-of-town show I’d be doing the following weekend with the rental company - it was a big, obscenely expensive wedding-slash-concert where I was trying to fulfill a rider that was asking for a whole bunch of analog equipment (including something like 13 channels of 31-band graphic EQs), and the company I work for is pretty much all digital. (I mean, c’mon, in this day and age: 13 outboard EQs and 14 DBX 160s?) The rider asked for a very specific and kind of weird signal flow, but with some creative soft-patching I figured out how to fulfill the rider with a minimum of added outboard gear.
April 2nd was a day of programming the mixing board and soldering cable in preparation for the coming out-of-town show, and the 3rd was spent finalizing plans and packing the truck for it. The 4th was spent driving, unloading, and doing basic prep setup, the 5th was spent setting the show, the 6th was the show, and the 7th was spent striking and driving back. A few notes: it was wet. Very wet, and very muddy. And bands who don’t update their riders suck. The band I’d gone through all the trouble to give their touring engineer his incredibly specific and weird signal flow turned out to NOT TOUR WITH THAT ENGINEER ANYMORE. Or ANY engineer. So I mixed the show on this other engineer’s weird and pointlessly complex setup. I was able to simplify the signal flow a bit, but it was still really, really stupid - if I’d known I’d be mixing the show I would’ve brought mics I like, I would’ve set the console up completely differently, etc. etc. etc. If you’re in a band or are part of any group that tours: make your fucking rider and stage plots accurate, please. You all waste so many people’s fucking time and energy by not doing that.
The 8th was tech day at the venue where I work for the play I was sound-designing. It went well.
The 9th was final dress, which also went well.
The 10th was a pretty tame day - I did sound for a panel discussion about alternative medicine for the rental company.
The 11th was a day of loading for a big, out-of-town corporate event for the rental company. The 12th was setup for that event, the 13th was the day of the event, and the 14th was strike and return. There really isn’t that much to report - it all went well. Audio-wise it was fairly simple: a podium mic, a feed from 2 video playback computers, and a couple lavs put on speakers (“speakers” as in presenters, not transducers) in the audience. There were also mics for a small jazz band. I also ended up wiring a lav beltpack and receiver backwards to feed a powered speaker the event coordinator wanted at the other end of the tent - it’s easier to do that than run 300’+ of XLR.
The 15th was a day very similar to March 22nd/25th - different venue, but same idea.
The 17th was the first production meeting regarding sound design for a play I was offered but won’t be able to do.
The 18th was a podium-mic-babysitting event at the venue where I work.
The 19th was a bizarre recruiting event at the venue where I work (a couple wireless handhelds, some video, and a podium - nothing special) in the morning, then setup for a TEDx event for the rental company in the evening. And the 20th was the TEDx event. It went pretty well - we did live sound for the room in addition to recording it and streaming it, so I did separate mixes for all those things. And then I had to rush to another event for the rental company - a wedding. It’s getting to be that season again… At least it was a really nice day (it was outdoors).
On the 21st I recorded the local municipal band at the venue where I work. An easy gig - for them I’ve basically settled on a main stereo cardioid pair in NOS or ORTF depending on my mood, then a M/S room mic at the very back of the room to make the most of the fantastic-sounding room and to make the applause sound a little more exciting (M/S room mics at the back of a room are great audience/applause mics - the only place I prefer M/S over other stereo techniques).
After a couple much-needed days off (the laundry doesn’t do itself!), I set up for a medium-sized event for the rental company on the 24th, then ran it on the 25th. It went well, despite the fact that I was parked behind the stage, and therefore the mains. I’m sure it could’ve sounded better, though - I’m actually price-shopping various measurement mics right now so next time that happens I can park one in the crowd and actually hear what the mix sounds like in the house.
The 26th was a long day: it started with a couple panel discussions (lots of lavs) at the same venue I mentioned March 28. Again, decent speakers so it was a nice-sounding, easy gig. Then I did a babysitting job at the venue where I work in the evening.
On the morning of the 27th I did a small job for the rental company: an outside breakfast thank-you-to-important-donors sort of event. Then I did a babysitting gig at the venue where I work in the evening: mostly video playback, then a couple wireless handhelds and a podium for panel discussion. Pretty basic - the exciting thing that happened was that our main DVD player (a really nice one too) wigged out at the beginning of the event and I had to switch to our backup player on the fly. Everything tested fine, but for some reason it just started skipping horribly until I switched over to our other player.
Anyway…that’s it! Pictures will hopefully be forthcoming, but I need to check my various devices to track them all down.