9 hour long soundcheck? Someone please shoot me!

9 hour long soundcheck? Someone please shoot me!
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#1

Guess what I did all day.

8:30am. Get up and run to Chick Filet for breakfast.
9:00am. Soundcheck.
10:00am. Soundcheck.
11:00am. Soundcheck.
12:00am. Quick Sushi break for lunch
12:30am. Soundcheck some more.
1:00 p.m Soundcheck.
2:00 pm. Soundcheck.
3:00 p.m. Soundcheck.
4:00 p.m. Soundcheck.
5:00 yay…we finally have sound, lets run a few songs.
6:30pm. Dinner
7:00 showtime.

I really couldn’t believe this. We were here setting up last night. Really. We got here the night before to try and avoid this. Omg. What the hell? How does this even happen?


#2

What went wrong? Anything longer than 2-3 hours is a rehearsal. Bands that have it really down are 30 min.


#3

Try a festival with 15-minute changeovers. A quick line check and you’re done.


#4

OMG hang in there! I hope you charge by the hour :slight_smile:


#5

Sounds like a horribly unprepared group of musicians and techs. Those suck! Been there man.


#6

Must be the chick fillet. Defenitely :stuck_out_tongue:


#7

I’ve been there as I’m sure many of us have.
A guitarist that I toured with a long time ago, got stoned one morning before the band was to rehearse. We were at his place and he was trying to set up the studio and get to it. We were there all day waiting on him, he was so baked that he didn’t even care. Funny looking back on it now, not so much in the moment however.
One day maybe too you’ll look back and remember the experience fondly.
Cheers!


#8

How do you like the keyboard, Jonathan?
Still working good, all lights still lighting up?

S


#9

There was an unnecessarily complex sinfonia feed from Ableton Live. If you don’t know what that means, its the studio tracks feed in group stems to the front of house. Think of it as a mix minus, but instead of vocals minus, its a vocal + drum + bass + guitar + keyboard minus. The TPM (technical production manager) probably should have summed the stems into people’s aviom feeds (those are monitor playback units where each musician can control their own monitor mix independently). There was also some synchronization problems in the lighting rig. This group attempted to send DMX cues to the lighting mixer from the Ableton rig, and it didn’t really work. Also, the Aviom monitors feed from an audio-over-cat5 router. Good monitoring systems like the Furman and Allen Heath branded systems can handle this. These guys were trying to pull it off with a Behringer P16 in-ear rig. It was just a mess. When I go out on pro tours like this, a TPM can easily spend a week organizing, building templates, labeling patch terminals, and color coding drop boxes during the rehearsals leading up to the tour, and inventorying the gear. This guy was one of the most ridiculously credentialed production managers I’ve ever worked with, but he didn’t even see the board until the day of the first show, and he only had one other guy on his team, which means there was some pretty weak planning from the company producing the tour. But this guy has one of the most amazing ears for live sound I’ve ever worked with. I’m really blown away by how amazing this band sounds in the house, and he’s pulled it off using a behringer X32.

The drummer really has his shit together. This guy is solid. I didn’t get the sinfonia and the scores until the day before we launched, and I’m leaning really heavily on my sight-reading for this one. I had almost no time to prep my MainStage rig, which is why I opted for the single Native Instruments S88 on the backline. I’m still tweaking and modifying my patches in Omnisphere, Arturia, and Addictive Keys. I have a Nord Stage 3 backstage incase my computer goes haywire, but I don’t think we’d all agree this tour should have at least attempted to rehearse before it went on the road. I met most of the others in the band for the first time before they gig yesterday. I did manage to get a hold of the keyboard patches from the guy who played on the studio recordings. The rest of the tracks I played on, so I knew exactly what was happening in the recordings because I mixed half of the record.

That’s actually not my keyboard. Mine never left the studio, but I was able to get one brought out from the backline company. I am really really liking this thing though!! I wish they wouldn’t have come out with the new mk2 version as quickly as they did though. The new ones have two color LCD screens like the Maschine Studios.

We played a different show tonight…this one went a lot better. The second stage (tonight) wasn’t much different, but we were sound checked and running in 45 min. The tech guys were up past midnight labeling and patching as they were striking the stage yesterday, so I’m pretty sure they worked out a ton of kinks in the workflow.


#10

We have an out-door show tomorrow. As long as there’s an adequate power feed, those are typically a lot easier because you don’t have to fight room acoustics and tip-toe around stage volume issues.


#11

Fighting the weather can be fun:) Also if you are touring in the US check that they properly ground their generators. I found many companies (in the Nashville area) aren’t using grounding rods on generators which is what saves peoples live in the case of lightning strike! They will say “its no problem the breakers will take care of it.” If the breaker fails your dead!


#12

THe 9hr soundcheck sounds like an Anita Baker gig. I remember she did that in the Summit in Houston while she had to have every monitor with a perfect mix fixed for her. Even with people in the venue she spent 2 hours tweaking her mix with all her fans there :slight_smile:


#13

One of them was fun, but my phone was dead all day and I’d left it in the last hotel room so I didn’t get any pictures. I was also the only one in the band with an android. I probably could have asked someone else to snap some pictures then text them to me, but none of the stages have been anything special, so I didn’t bother anyone.

Tonight we got rained out. Not my problem…I hope the promoter had insurance.


#14

What!? So she told the band what she wanted them to have in THIER monitors??? That’s insane. I’ve heard all kinds of shit about Axel Rose and Mariah Carry being unnecessarily diva like about monitor mixes, but that’s a first.


#15

Yeah, I worked concert security back in those days. She walked to every individual monitor and bossed the sound guy to deliver what I imagine was a different mix to her liking in each, something like noon to 9pm, crowd was let in the venue at about 7pm and she kept going at it.
I don’t even know what the deal was, like she was bossing each musician as to what they’re supposed to hear.