Experience and Extrapolation part 2
by, 05-14-2010 at 10:24 AM (856 Views)
The fun part of our training now began. After the crew had set up their mock gig, I would send them away for ten minutes. Then I would proceed to unhook, miss-patch, swap a few cables with a special set I had that were not soldered in the connectors, change settings on the EQ's and compressors, and other amusing things.
Now when the crew came back from break they performed a second sound check. In this manner they got to learn all about trouble shooting in the most methodical manner possible. Everyone went to their positions and double checked power and visually/physically checked connections. The floaters started at the audio source and then went step by step down the chain swapping mic's or cables etc until the problem was found. The MON and FOH were expected to do the same at their stations.
While there were regulars at each station, the positions were rotated often enough that every person could trouble shoot or run every position. My Marines got to where they could suss out a bad cable in minutes and the mixing positions could repatch or reprogram their racks in just a few moments more. It was a pretty well oiled machine. As old Marines cycled out and new Marines cycled in the personality mix changed but the training routine did not.
Another area of training which seemed ridiculously redundant to many was the area of cable coiling. I had those guys practice coiling mic and power cables ad nauseum. If I couldn't grab one end and throw it out straight without knots then that cable failed. I didn't care whether we wrapped clockwise or counter clockwise as long as we all did it the same. Everyone stayed in practice too. The day following every gig all the cables were re-wrapped. Trust but verify is a constant way of life in the Corps. The last thing you want at a gig under a time crunch is to be sitting there un-knotting the cables in from of the Band Officer or worse, the base General.