Not Always What They Start Out As...

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by Midlandmorgan, May 22, 2005.

  1. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    The other evening, I set up a 6 mic arrangement to record what was originally set up to be a 1.5 hour concert for a nationally acclaimed and recognized HS honors orchestra...no problem so far.

    But, as luck would have it, there was some last minute re-arranging of guest instruments...for example, a small trap set was to be used on one song - during their rehearsal, the kit was set up stage left in the rear...but at performance time, they moved the entire thing to stage right front...still no problem....

    There were several guest speakers, some knew to use the house mic, some didn't...but each one of them stood in a different place to make their oral presentations...so I spent some time relocating the announce mic I set up...a pain, but still no major problem.

    The problem came when the last song was played, I looked at the timer...the show lasted 3 hours, 14 minutes....makes for some rather long editing sessions (thank GOD for Samp's object editor!)

    For some reason, at the very last moment before I started packing stuff to go set up for the show, I thought perhaps something odd would occur, and actually pulled the main instudio computer to use instead of taking my older much less powerful remote computer...

    I guess someone was watching out for me...there is NO WAY I would have had the drive space for 3 hours of 6 tracks, 88.2K...

    Lesson learned? None really, other than what I learned in Boy Scouts: be prepared....
     
  2. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    I hear that! Being prepared is about all we CAN do, unfortunately. I always try to have a plan A and a plan B. Three hours or more run time probably requires something like a 120 gig HD, assuming there's enough free space, too. (That size has gotten almost common nowadays, as well!)

    About once a year or so, I get a gig like that: endless, borrrrrrring stuff, that only vaguely resembles the initial agreement. As hard as I try to qualify all new work, there's always SOMEONE who sneaks in under the tent, so to speak, with a really oddball gig - and all too often I'm the one on the short end of the stick.

    Last December I had a gig like that...a new client, a HS Performing Arts dept. throwing everything but the kitchen sink into a nearly 3 hr marathon "Christmas Concert". I think they had every kid in their prep school involved in one thing or another: percussion ensemble, choruses, jazz bands, stage band...plus speeches. Gad, the thing went on forever. (And of course, it was the ONE job that was booked hurriedly, over the phone with a verbal agreement...sheesh.)

    To make matters worse, I got there and found the entire stage plot had been redone, and the union crew (just doing their job) had already set THIER house mics up, for live sound instead of concert recording, not knowing I was going to patch in first, and give them MY split. QUite a mess.

    Only this past friday I had a client begging for a "Rush" order of 200 custom CDs by the end of the day - 4:30 - so his youth choir could have copies at their Saturday rehearsal. Imagine my surprise and shock upon delivery, when the promised payment was "held up by the account until next week." (urge to kill......rising......)
     
  3. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    Yup...yesterday, while in the middle of attempting to mix a different project, my phone rings...guy says he's the aerobics instructor from a chuch group, and wanted three songs sped up just a bit...since today has been a hodge-podge of mixing, maintenance, spending a moment or two with the spouse, yard work, etc....I gave the guy a break and said I would block out 2-3:30 for him, and (emphasised this) there was NO OTHER AVAILABLE TIME today, tomorrow, of the rest of the week...he promised his soul he would be here at 2...

    2:30 rolls around, and I say screw it - head out with the wife for some time together...at 3:00 this friggin genius calls and says he's running late and could not get to the studio til 4:45...when I explained we had an agreement based on strict and unbreakable time restrictions, he (get this) came un-friggin-corked, and advised me that I just lost his business and his money forever...

    I was charging the guy $25.00, since it was for a church group....

    Of course, this is way off topic, and in an attempt to get back to the original, let me say this: no matter how well we plan, things can and invariably will change at the last possible moment...and I strongly believe that being able to accomodate just about any situation gets a whole lot more gigs...

    Perhaps an adjustment to my business plan's expenditures for the next quarter is in order...not only upgrade the inhouse, but upgrade the mobile systems as well...If I'm gonna get caught with my pants down, it will be under my terms :wink:
     
  4. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    If I'm gonna get caught with my pants down, it will be under my terms

    I kinda like that; mainly because, no matter how we plan, things can and will go wrong. At least we know we've done the best we can when it happens!

    That guy who came unglued did you a favor: You're only out the $25. Just imagine if you'd spent a full day or a week on him, and THEN you found out what mess he is. (And just think, he's STILL out there, trolling around for another soft-touch to get him what he still needs. He's got some 'splainin' to do to his gym, too...esp when they ask what happened to the repairs he was going to have done....hehehe...)

    I think your wife must be someone special, as well, esp if SHE didn't reach through the phone and kill the guy - all the while trying to accomodate him on YOUR day off. (Family time - what a concept, esp in THIS business! :lol: )

    I don't mind moving heaven and earth to get a job done for a client, but there's only two things I need in return: Mutual respect, and above all: Timely payment.

    Heck, i can even live without the respect part. :twisted:
     
  5. Sonarerec

    Sonarerec Guest

    RE really long concerts in Samp/Seq:

    Be sure that you are making each take/track a separate WAV file rather than appending to the file. The option is in the advanced pane of the record parameter window. Take the opportunity to stop and save iwhen possible-- it only takes 2-3 seconds to save and then its back to work.

    I was unwittingly appending and when the file crossed the 2GB point strange and unpleasant data loss occurred.

    Rich
     
  6. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Good tip, Rich! There's been a discussion lately on the Samp/Seq board about this sort of thing, and data loss....

    When I stop the recording process at intermission, etc., I always "Save" the VIP (as something like Concert pt 1, etc.) and then start again with new WAV file names (Left Main Omni Pt2.wav etc.) This way, I'm not appending, nor am I in danger of overwriting something critical, either. (I know they supposedly fixed this since V5 or V6, but having learned the hard way, it's a good habit to be into..)

    When I stop for good, I give the VIP a new name (Concert ALL or something like that) and close it out.

    I wonder how many of these good habits of ours are simply the result of bad things happening to good recordings.

    8)
     
  7. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    Can I get an "AMEN" from the congregation?!?

    After each song ended, I would get about 5 seconds of applause before hitting stop. then save....no appends, no save as...just save...each track is it's own file (I don't know any other way to record...)

    During intermissions, I exit Samp, copy/paste the entire project to a FW drive....takes about 25 seconds....then re-open the original VIP...picking up right where I left off...
     

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