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One For the Trenches

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by bearfoot, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. bearfoot


    Jan 27, 2005
    Chittenango, NY
    Just a brief little gig tale with world war references. : )

    I offered to run sound for a Church fundraiser / Halloween event. 2 bands, including my band as the 2nd act.

    This was one of those situos where , 2 hours before the start time, I get a pounding splitting headache. Take two Tylenol, no effect.

    I had asked only two things:
    1) bring the PA snake
    2) let me know if I need to bring my subwoofer

    Therefore, there was no PA snake, and I had to bring my 90# sub because I had no idea if we needed it. Which we didn't , so it was a total waste of energy.

    There were other fiddly problems that made the set-up take longer.

    I ended up trying to mix hidden offstage. Great. All I can tell you is, the levels on the board were good. And I did get out front one time to confirm the vocals were on top, and everything was at least audible. This was in a booming Church hall, so it was Reverb-from-HELL. Spent the whole time riding vocal mics, a feedback-prone acoustic piano mic, EQing, and soforth.

    By the time we are switching for our band, the headache is still full bore. I can no longer think straight enough to be able to keep track of what channel is what. The monitors start feeding back, so I have to bring them down. My EQ is there, but my brain is melted at this point. I desperately try to notch out the frequency to no avail. (yes I did so earlier, but something changed....) No one onstage can hear anything. I can't tell where we are in the song. I took a naproxen, the headache goes away, and I am jumping up and down trying to keep the tempo in this reverberating fishbowl of doom.
    Somehow, around 3 songs in, we manage to not suck. I can't hear my bass, and don't realize I have an auto-wah/funk patch on through a whole number. LOL.

    I actually have a multitrack board recording of all this nonsense. The first band, might actually be a good recording. I haven't listened to any of it.

    One for the trenches. A perfect storm. After the gig, a friend of mine gave me some pointers on how to get much better sound in an echoing place like that.

    Money was raised, for the Church. So despite all the mayhem on stage, it was a successful event , people had fun, and they want to do it again next year.
    Flooflox likes this.
  2. rufus.K


    Oct 18, 2015
  3. I have a small sound company and I have also experienced similar problems. Most recently I did a job where the band wanted to bring some of their PA gear to blend with mine to save some money. Additionally their PA guy was supposed to help set up along with addressing any problems. Well, he knew how to set up his gear but was no help troubleshooting problems. The biggest problem was the merging of our two systems, plus he didn't have proper cables for his own gear.

    Ten minutes to showtime, the audience is seated and waiting and we can't get both the FOH and monitors working at the same time. I decided it was time to scrap the use of the band's gear which included their cables and their FOH speakers. I changed my monitor speakers making them the FOH and went without monitors. By now there was no time for a sound check so I set levels and mixed during their first song. We made it to break time when their guest group, a female barbershop group was to sing a few songs. Turns out the ladies are mic shy and decide they want to go without mics, which is Ok with me since a whole different mix is required.

    We finally finished the show and I told the organizer that if I do this annual fundraiser again I will not agree to mix systems to save money. Either I use my gear only or I will decline the job.

    Thump on,


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