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Recording Bloopers

Member for

17 years 3 months
Just to have some fun, vent a little, and perhaps add some spice to the forum, I thought we could all share some horror stories while they're still fresh.

As the season winds down, you may have a couple of good ones to share as well.

Most of my gigs go quite well, with a lot of repeat clients who know their stuff, but horror stories can still happen.... :twisted:


My latest was just over the weekend, a live dual-choir recording at a church in North Philadelphia. It was potentially a dream gig, considering the pedigree of both choirs (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty in this case).

Somewhere along the line, three of the members of the "host" choir decided they wanted to get a recording of the performance (without double-checking with the music director) and asked the host church's sound engineer to be onsite as well, and make a recording from his own equipment. (A more bizarre hodge-podge of gear from analog to digital workstation you'll not see anywhere, all up in a 2nd floor balcony/gallery area that's not easily accessible from the main church's floor. Potential for trouble: EXTREME.)

So, as I arrive to set up prior to the rehearsal and confer with the two music directors, what to my wondering eyes appear, but: a FORREST of cardioid dynamic stand-mounted mics (at least a dozen all told) in various places around the front of the choir area, plus a spot mic taped inside the piano over the bass strings, and other assorted atrocities. All this tied somehow to several years worth of PA speaker zones and upgrades: big cabinets, underhang boxes, stage monitors, etc.

The 'rehearsal" was now about to turn into a sound check - for the PA system, of course. Why they needed a PA with 120-plus voices in a wonderful acoustic space was eluding them, I guessed....

I remained calm (which isn't always the case, but hey, I'm getting too old for this stuff to blow my stack at the first sign of trouble!) and took a moment with both music directors, and as nicely as I could, I asked: "Why do you need a PA system, and would you consider turning it off, since you're paying ME to make a fundraiser CD recording of the event?"

They huddled for a moment, and since no one was ultimately incharge (it wasn't really the "Home" church for either group), they went with the flow and kept the PA system in play, "just in case" they needed it. I politely yet firmly warned them that it could compromise the recording (oh boy!) but we proceeded.

To be fair, the sound guy was pleasant, cooperative (in addition to my own mics, he gave me a two-channel, mono feed from his board - which he swore was stereo) and we proceeded. He was also completely inept and knew little about the board and live sound in general, blaming it all on a bad installation he inherited there. During a rehearsal with a soprano/boy-soprano duet (You guessed it: Andrew Lloyd Webbers "Pie Jesu") only one of their two solo mics worked. One howled in feedback while he was down on the church floor, away from the console, and the other one was dead. They got it working - just barely - by showtime.

In addition to setting up my own mics for the choir et al, I had asked for various spot mic feeds since his board had six sub sends, but when it came time to make it happen, he realized the subs were dedicated to feeding other things, like VCRs, Cassettes, Crying-rooms, etc. No patch bay, no way to get me individual sends. We then dashed to set up our own spot mics afterall. (Which we should have done anyway.)

The worst moment came during a piece (that was NOT sound-checked) with an incredible soprano solo during a Negro Spiritual: I Wanna Be Ready. Using the solo mic that WAS working (with its input set WAY too loud) this wonderful, wailing, emotional solo turned into a kazoo blast through the PA system & monitors. (You know what I'm talking about: sinewaves turned into squarewaves due to total and complete clipping.)

I literally had to get up from where I was set up (also in the loft/balcony) and go into the booth and SHOW him how to cut back the input trim & overall gain on the Soprano; it was deafening the first ten rows (where the PA's center cluster was doing the most damage) and bleeding into every other mic there. (His comment was: "Gee, she's LOUD!" ((well, duh!!! It's a GOSPEL soprano; what did you expect?!?!?))

All in all, though, most of it came out pretty well. (I'll be doing some sleight of hand with Sequoia fixing THIS one up, though.) The only piece I'm sure we wont be using is the blown-out Soprano vocal, which I've already warned the music director about; it seems completely ruined.

Funniest part was when we were packing up to go, the house-sound guy had already burned his CD recording, was now playing it on the church's sound system, and was giving out copies to the three guys who asked him to do this. I pointed all this out to the music director (who's selling OUR recording as a fundraiser in a few weeks) who promptly went "upside his head" and not only took the master away from him, got the other copies back as well. 8-)

And believe it or not, I had a good time overall; the music was fantastic, and I just might have snagged the guest choir as a new client.

Comments

Member for

17 years 3 months

JoeH Fri, 09/27/2013 - 10:14
Wow, Tom, that's a helluva story! So many bodies littering the floor in the aftermath..... I did an opera back in the spring with two camera ops that I don't normally use; one was OK, the other was just awful....(In hindsight "I" should done one of the cameras and put the newbie in charge of just monitoring the audio recording.) I also had some hard drive issues after I transferred the video clips out of the cameras. (It took forever to re-render 1-1 copies for safety/backup, but thankfully THAT part worked out ok. It was the main/master camera footage that was in danger of getting lost on the balky HD.) Then I finally got around to editing through the awful camera work and low-light issues. (Act 2 and 3 of this opera are in a "Cave" and as you can imaginge....the newbie cam guy didn't know how to increase the gain/sensitivity and as such I had footage that was not only too dark, but mostly out of focus as well. How DUMB can someone be???) In the end, I got it all done, using a lot more of the master shot than I normally would, but it all worked out ok. Sort've! :-)

Member for

19 years 9 months

Thomas W. Bethel Fri, 09/27/2013 - 15:05
JoeH, post: 407529 wrote: Wow, Tom, that's a helluva story! So many bodies littering the floor in the aftermath..... I did an opera back in the spring with two camera ops that I don't normally use; one was OK, the other was just awful....(In hindsight "I" should done one of the cameras and put the newbie in charge of just monitoring the audio recording.) I also had some hard drive issues after I transferred the video clips out of the cameras. (It took forever to re-render 1-1 copies for safety/backup, but thankfully THAT part worked out ok. It was the main/master camera footage that was in danger of getting lost on the balky HD.) Then I finally got around to editing through the awful camera work and low-light issues. (Act 2 and 3 of this opera are in a "Cave" and as you can imaginge....the newbie cam guy didn't know how to increase the gain/sensitivity and as such I had footage that was not only too dark, but mostly out of focus as well. How DUMB can someone be???) In the end, I got it all done, using a lot more of the master shot than I normally would, but it all worked out ok. Sort've! :-)


Sounds horrific.

We are constantly having to hire new videographers due to the fact that most of our videographers have just graduated from the local college and are only here in town because they are waiting for their girlfriends to graduate and move on.

The one we have now I wish I could keep but he is destined for greater things. Not only is he a GREAT videographer he also does graphics and animation and is great to work with.

Our last videographer was either on something or got off his meds.

He proved to be completely worthless and was working more for his own company than he was for us. He borrowed some equipment from my company for his own uses and then did not return parts of it. He is now in the badlands working on some project that he has dreamed up. Big talker little doer.

It is getting harder and harder to find good people to work with. Many video and audio people today got their training in college and it did not prepare them very well for the real world, They want to start work at 10 am have an hour and a half lunch and leave at 4 pm to go drinking with their friend just like when they were in college. If you need them for evening shoots or for weekends they tell you "sorry but I have plans" even if you give them a months notice. I wish them well in the "real world".

It is also getting harder and harder to work in the fields of audio and video. Too many amateurs doing work for nothing or very little and with budgets getting smaller and smaller for a lot of groups they take these people up on their offers of free work and all of a sudden you find yourself on the outside. When the free workers turn out sh!tty work the groups get upset and wonder why these "wunderkinds" cannot do what the professionals they fired could do.

I have been the pro audio business for over 40 years and this is the worst BS I have ever seen.

Best of luck!!! with your company.

Member for

21 years

audiokid Sat, 09/28/2013 - 09:42
Thomas, I love reading your rants on this. I can relate! I have a pretty good business here and do most all myself. I won't hire anyone unless its absolutely impossible to finish on time. I'm waiting for my kids to mature, hoping they might either take over or use what I've built to help their journey. In the mean time I'm working at the speed of 3 normal people. Which is just enough of a pace for me to break a sweat.

I'm beginning to wonder if the increasing stupid we're seeing everywhere isn't caused from all the "over attention" we're spoon feeding our kids right from their first birthday on. I mean. Helicopter parents , chauffeurs. Kids are being picked up and dropped off right from kindergarden up until we buy them a car. They don't even walk much. Not like all the past generations, that for sure.
Another big one is: Common sense is hard to find now. People are memorizing things but not really learning. It sure seems like this to me.

We took out kids out of the public school system and they are doing incredible now. The schools are one big commercially driven meat market. Its unbelievable.

Member for

19 years 9 months

Thomas W. Bethel Tue, 08/22/2006 - 05:46
Well we have all had our share of screwups.

I was doing a live broadcast of the Cleveland Opera. We were about five minutes from the end of the opera when a stage hand trying to get out early and beat the rush goes out a door that he is not suppose to use and cuts our ISDN line so the end of the opera and the commentators outro do not get broadcast.

I was working at home and got an EMERGENCY call from a local church high school that was doing Jacob and the Amazing Dream Coat at a converted movie theater nearby. Their sound and lighting engineer had a nervous breakdown (you will understand why shortly) and they were opening that night and could I come up and get them going. I got to the theater and was greeted by the director who informed me that their sound and lighting engineer had ordered all the equipment and what was there would be what I could use. He had spent most of the budget on renting 6 Vari lights and with what was left he had rented a hodgepodge of mismatched audio gear that was sitting in a pile on the floor by the stage. There were some speakers, some microphones, some wireless microphones and a Mackie audio console. With the help of one of the students from the high school we set it all up and got some sound out of the speakers. There were all kinds of problems that the would be sound engineer had not considered and we were strapped for equipment and for microphone cables which he had "forgotten" to rent along forgetting to rent, a snake. It was a mess. But we got it working by borrowing some cables and a snake and some additional equipment from the theater . I was sitting down after busting my butt for three and a half hours non stop when the "administrator" for the high school comes over to me and says. We are not paying you to sit around so why don't you go home. I said OK and left sending them my bill for RUSH service which they paid. I don't know how the show came off but one of the reviews said the lighting was better than the sound-go figure!

I was doing a live broadcast of a radio show using some ISDN lines in a remote location. The broadcast went off well but until three minutes before the show was suppose to go on we did not have a working ISDN line. We later found out that someone had "used" the lines for a telephone hookup since the person in the cable room at the telephone company (Verizon) was new, did not know what the tags on the lines meant, and after verifying that there was nothing on the lines used them for a telephone line she was installing. Talk about white knuckle time.

We were doing a remote recording in a Church. The Father was very nice and we got set up and ready to record. Just when the choir started coming in the lights on our console started to go dim and then out. The good father had given us a dim able AC feed and when the house lights went down so did our AC feed. We got it working but we lost the first five minutes of the concert. We now carry a UPS to all gigs.

Great Topic

Member for

20 years 7 months

FifthCircle Tue, 08/22/2006 - 08:23
Thomas W. Bethel wrote: We were doing a remote recording in a Church. The Father was very nice and we got set up and ready to record. Just when the choir started coming in the lights on our console started to go dim and then out. The good father had given us a dim able AC feed and when the house lights went down so did our AC feed. We got it working but we lost the first five minutes of the concert. We now carry a UPS to all gigs.

Great Topic

I think we all have a power story like this... Mine was doing a choir concert at this church. The choir brought all sorts of lighting and when the show started, they turned them all on. They blew several circuits instantly. The electrician then started turning all the circuits on and off- including the plugs in the sacristy (where I was set up). Lost the first couple minutes of sound- luckily it was just opening remarks. I went out and purchased a UPS the next day.

--Ben

Member for

17 years 3 months

JoeH Tue, 08/22/2006 - 15:50
I'm glad to see this thread active again. I've got a new horror story to relate, and I've been debating posting it or not, and I don't believe in responding to unprofessional behavior with what might just be seen as carping. I also have the proof: AV clips that I MIGHT put on "YouTube" at some point, if I can find a way to expose the guilty and protect the innocent. ;)

If nothing else, I may post an audio clip here, of the worst moment from the folk show on day 3.....we'll see, I guess....


Part 1. Whatever Happened to Professional Courtesy?

Background: This was a recent outdoor, 3-day event (in the middle of the recent broiling July heat wave) with Orchestra rehearsals on day 1, Orchestra concert on Day 2 and 2 singer-songwriter headliners for Day 3. It is a local cultural venue not far from here that is celebrating its 100 Year Anniversary and in addition to several musical projects we've done with them, we're hired for an ongoing DVD production about the facility, its history, its features, etc. (Full access, in other words, to shoot HD video; it's a 2 yr production schedule from start to finish.)

Keep in mind that my company is involved with this client for the next 18 months and well beyond, so rocking the boat (at least at first) was not an option; I HAD to make nice to the knuckle-headed outside sound contractors, because I didn't know who was greasing-whom yet.

Recording AV for this event was included in the DVD budget, and our job was to shoot both days of concerts with multicamera HD video, and interface with the live PA (outside contractor) people. My advance emails and phone calls to the people in charge of this particular event didn't get me far, in fact an in-house contact (an employee of MY client who should have known better) didn't help much either in terms of coordination. Every email I sent this guy was responed with: "I am the director of...." (More concerned with telling me WHO he is, than answering my questions...BIG warning flag that I missed totally.)

Early on, it was starting to smell like none of these on-site live contractor sound folks were taking the "Movie" people (that would be US) seriously.

I was told by "Mr. I'm In Charge" we'd have full access, multiple outs from the main console, and the ability to mic a full symphony orchestra the way WE needed to, to captuer the audio properly for the commemortative DVD. There was also a 20minute piece of symphonic music commissioned/written specificially for this event, so a lot was riding on it all to come out right. (The composer is a good client of mine, as well.)

From the moment I arrived and saw the aging rock'n'roll JBL sound system setup, I sensed hostility and unwillingness to cooperate from the live sound guy - no hello, no friendly chat about strategy or mic placement, no desire to cooperate at all; just a grizzled, semi-mute dehydrated, slovenly dressed burnout who mainly ignored any and all direct questions, giving me mostly blank stares when I asked direct questions. (I'm serious. I think maybe he'd gone deaf!) In spite of what I'd been assured, there were NO multiple console feeds available (all 8 or 10 of them were all being used, he said - god knows what for - this was a classical & folk concert, barely even any reverb being used, other than lead vocs. Go figure.)

In place of some kind of "hello" or conversation, he gave me an earful on all the classical people he'd worked with in the area, as well as a couple of choice vulgar comments on what idiots he thought they all were. (I guess he just didn't care that I was one of them, and knew everyone he was speaking about?)

My offer to provide a transformer-split stage snake was rebuffed with: "No, we already have one." 20 minutes before the dress rehearsal downbeat, the entire crew were all at the console, frantically trying to figure out which mic was on which line, doing it the old-fashioned way: Plugging in one mic at a time and turning it up to the point of feedback. (With 75 mucisians onstage, and clients all around, mind you.) My request for a stage plot/mic list was ignored - to be fair, I'm sure they simply had NO IDEA what mics were patched where. (I think it was sunstroke, among other things going on that day...)

I asked them at that point: "No problem, I'll just do the same thing at my end, and plug 'em in one at time. WE're isolated, RIGHT????" They gulped and said: Errrrr, no, you're on the monitor mic side of the stage box with our feed, which is NOT transformer isolated, but you'll be ok."

Rrrrrrrrrrrright. (You can just see this coming, eh?)

The moment I plugged in line #1 into my console inputs (with phantom power OFF) it was: POW!!!!!!!!!! the loudest, rudest bang exploded out of the FOH mains. (Of course, few knew it was ME backstage, everyone glared at them instead.)

I bagged this idea immediately, and decided from then on they were just useless slugs, (an embarassment to good Live PA folks everywhere) and put up my own pair of DPA 4006's for the orchestra mains, and mic'd the dress rehearsal that way. In true rock and roll fashion, all the onstage mics were AKG 1000's or cheaper (model # escapes me right now) and several Sennheiser MD421's on the brass. Oh, and a few really beatup AKG 451B's on the winds. (This was a rock'n'roll PA company, so every instrument got a mic.....four flute mics (!!!) five brass mics (imagine!) and all kinds of other silly, inappropriate stuff for an upscale orchestral crowd that could have heard most of it all just fine with half that number of mics - not to mention the ugly, nasty comb filtering going on, coming out the PA mains.)

As rehearsal began (nearly 20 minutes late due to staging problems and mic patching) , a near constant 400-440 drone of feedback floated around in the monitors and mains, and got worse every time the conductor tried to use the HH wireless to address the orchestra or plead with the sound people to sort it out.

My client (the DVD coordinator/factility boss) and the composer came up to me at one point and said: "Can you imagine having to do something like this?" Thinking it was a rhetorical question, I said: "Yes, I used to do this all the time, and it sure wouldn't work out THIS badly!" They then said: "Oh, so the sound doesn't HAVE to be this bad? Can you do it for us next year?"

Still being a nice dumb schmuck and not trying to cause any problems, I said: "Hey, give them a few moments; they'll sort it out; they're no doubt getting levels for each mic, and little by little, the mix will improve, I"m sure." They said: "Oh yeah? Well there's NO ONE at console right now, (it was deserted for god knows what reason, in the middle of the rehearsal) ,and it sure ain't getting any better!"

Things did improve by the end of the rehearsal evening, but not by much, and I learned quite a few things that night about being Mr. Nice Guy to a fault. So much for being ignored and no cooperation; I was ready for day 2.

Fool me once....

End of Part 1

Member for

12 years 2 months

kmetal Sat, 10/05/2013 - 01:52
I wish them well in the "real world".
that's exactly where there going man, 9-5 two kids a wife and a dog, and probably pretty miserable doing it. ever go to the bank, or the store and see the look of absolute misery on people.? creative people may get run down, or be snobby know it alls, but i find in general they are happy.

i just worked w/ an intern kid tonight who constantly goes on and on about all this equipment he used in his past four years in three different audio programs (which we all drool over, and i've never touched) and all his certifications, who's probably got less than a dozen recordings to his name, of any fashion. assignment plug in this rack (about 20 items) 8 hours later he goes 'look' and flicks the switch on w/ a huge smile the rack lights up. looks great from the front till i see a mass of cheapo power strips and spaghetti, to a level of my preschooler nephew discovering how plugs work, and not one audio connection.

man i'm not a blow hard, just regular dude, but the quality i'm seeing from these graduates is ridiculous. they spend 30k a year, 90 grand to complete the bachelor program and the live sound test does not involve setting up the stuff, room tuning or using groups, or multiple auxes. they are not taught from the ground up, alot of the time. and i blame the schools curriculum. your going to make someone know what the diff between resistance and impedance was but not make them even plug in a PA!? how bout a fake 'ground loop' hands on exercise. this kid was telling me his audio program doesn't even supply pro musicians to record, and they come out w/ a bachelors degree! what a scam. they have to 'go find them'. i say take that 90 grand and live off it while you go actively seek out the time consuming unpredictable thing that is audio, unless your sole purpose to to teach 'the book' at a school.

the owner i work for always says you can't teach attitude, personality, or willingness to work, you can teach the technical stuff. i dunno what your attitudes are about hiring people but thats his FWIW.

- quick horror story, 500 people sold out for national touring rapper (sold many platinums records), i show up to the usual club w/ my usual kit, hmmm none of the wireless mics work, batteries, routing, all ok, but no voice, only a pop when i turn the mic on/off. scratch the noggin, the transmitter is getting sound, but no voice, so i take the windscreen off and realize some ignorant person cut ALL the wires connecting the diaphragm to the plug on all house mics. so i got my one backup harwire emergency mic going, and scotch taped the other three together w/ about 5 min before the place packed. i guess even if ya work the same place for years, theres always that element of chance.

another- quick- a battery backup started smoking, and a digital board acted up on the first session of an e.p project right in front of a band i'd never met in a studio i just finished building, talk about blushing how 'professional' everything is. that was my first solo 'pro' session a few years ago. lol them on the couch, i'm frantically behind the board w/ the owner "well, we're having some problems" okay what "well something smells like its burning and the board is making a noise that sounds like a donkey being run over by a car" needles to say a couple hours we got it going and the band was very happy by the end. awww how sweet.

lol i realized i was out of touch when it was like a project for me to figure out the adjustment settings on an ipod the other day, sound guy huh? i sure havent stopped learning all around!

this thread is very entertain fellas, keep 'em coming!

Member for

15 years 1 month

BRH Tue, 08/22/2006 - 17:12
JoeH,
That's funny. The reason it didn't sound good to you was because you weren't smoking from the same pipe! That's why nobody was at the board...they had to reload.
Can't wait for Part 2 and 3.
I'm guessing you were double system, PA being different and it all didn't sync right in the end and was a big PITA.

Member for

19 years 9 months

Thomas W. Bethel Sun, 10/06/2013 - 05:04
audiokid, post: 407537 wrote: Thomas, I love reading your rants on this. I can relate! I have a pretty good business here and do most all myself. I won't hire anyone unless its absolutely impossible to finish on time. I'm waiting for my kids to mature, hoping they might either take over or use what I've built to help their journey. In the mean time I'm working at the speed of 3 normal people. Which is just enough of a pace for me to break a sweat.

I'm beginning to wonder if the increasing stupid we're seeing everywhere isn't caused from all the "over attention" we're spoon feeding our kids right from their first birthday on. I mean. Helicopter parents , chauffeurs. Kids are being picked up and dropped off right from kindergarden up until we buy them a car. They don't even walk much. Not like all the past generations, that for sure.
Another big one is: Common sense is hard to find now. People are memorizing things but not really learning. It sure seems like this to me.

We took out kids out of the public school system and they are doing incredible now. The schools are one big commercially driven meat market. Its unbelievable.


Lately I see the school bus in town stopping at every driveway to pick up kids. I guess the school "bored" doesn't want to tire them out before school. There is no phys ed in schools anymore and if there is the students do it in their school clothes and they cannot do any activity where they break a sweat since they cannot take showers afterwards.

When I was in high school I had to walk 1.5 miles just to get to the bus stop and then had a 20 minute ride to school. We had PE three times a week. We sweated a lot and took showers afterwards and it it did not make me a "bad person".

I had an intern recently that got all of his audio knowledge off the WWW. He would constantly tell me the "right way" to do something but could never tell me what made it the "right way". I also had an intern that was so caught up in learning all about audio that he asked to take some tech manuals home with him so he could do more "learning" when he was not here.

Helicopter parents are not doing their kids any favors and I know interns, who are college aged students, who talk to their parents three, four or more times each and every day. When I was in college I wrote a letter to my parents when I could and talked to them by phone maybe once a week at night. The helicopter parents don't seem to want to let the young people learn anything on their own. They want to think and act for them. Not good. Maybe they are trying to prepare them for living at home when they graduate from college. That is, after all, where many of them will end up.

I had the best parents in the whole world but would I have gone back to live with them after I had started my professional life...NO WAY! Today it seem more the norm, I just read on the WWW that 60% of all graduating college students are now living with their parents after graduation. I know the economy is rough right now but there are a LOT of jobs so why not take one while you wait to get the job you want.

As to horror stories...

I was doing a remote gig for a radio station. We were taking a split off the concert sound guys. It was being done of a live concert by a famous group and it was a "comeback tour". The show was being done at the end of a day in an outdoor amphitheater. It was being done in August with the temperatures running in the high 80s and no rain. There were lots of opening groups and the main performers were not coming on until 8 pm. The pre concert started at 4 pm. Everything, including the audience and the equipment was getting baked under the ever present sun and we measured the amphitheater temperature on the seats and it was over 130 degrees F. We finally get to the main act and they start to sing but instead of nice clean audio all we got was a lot of distortion. I started checking gain staging and everything else I could think of and then it struck me that they SM58s had been sitting out in the broiling sun since early morning and the diaphragms had probably been warped by the hot temperatures. We were carrying additional microphones and put them up at the set change and the problem was solved. When we took the SM58s apart the diaphragms were all warped and in some cases they were so hot that the voice coils had expanded enough so that they were permanently melted to the metal inside the microphone. What a mess and the radio station was NOT pleased that the whole first part of the concert sounded like ...well you know..

More latter.

Member for

19 years 9 months

Thomas W. Bethel Tue, 08/22/2006 - 17:55
Been there done that.

I can't wait for the other parts......

We we hired to do a concert in a converted movie theater. The sound company that they hired to do the PA was local and they were problematic from the get go. We were doing the recording and the radio show. They were doing the concert sound. We asked to get a split from their splitter but were told that they did not have a splitter and only had the feeds to their board which were direct into the microphone pre amps and from there fed at line level to the monitor mixer. So we asked to hook up our splitter to which they replied that it would cost $200.00 payable in CASH for the split.

Lots of talking lots of getting the record company and the hall promoter involved along with the radio station and someone came up with the $200 and we could split the microphones using our splitter. So we setup and get ready to record but there is hum on almost every channel. So we do some ground lifts (built into the splitter and we are in luck) then we start getting each feed identified and checked out. No stage plot no mic list. I go out on stage and bang out each microphone for the PA guys and for us. Most of the microphones looked like they were dragged behind the truck coming over. I ask if we can substitute some of our microphones for the "damaged" ones and am told no that if we want to change out microphones it will cost us $15.00 per microphone for them to change to our microphones and we would have to sign an agreement stating that they were not responsible for the sound in the theater.

So I decide to set up our own microphones next to their microphones but the sound "engineer" does not like the idea and nixes it. More talking to the radio station, the management of the theater and the artist get involved.

It is 28 degrees F outside and I have to keep going between the van and the the theater and we had to park about 50 feet from the venue due to fire laws. WE finally arrive at a settlement and we setup our microphones but of course our splitter is still in line so we start taking out our feeds and plugging them into the remote snake so we can have our microphones fed to the truck. The sound engineer comes down and says we are upsetting the ground scheme and we should remove all the microphones from the splitter and let him plug in his microphones into his console. OK so we start to unplug his microphones and he comes over and says it will cost us another $100 dollars for him to unconnected our splitter. I go talk to the record company and radio station and they convince the guy to let us unconnected for NO CHARGE. He is not looking too happy.

So we get setup about 1 hour before the sound check and everything on our side is find BUT he is running the PA so loud with so much bass and treble that the whole theater is booming and echoing so we have to abandon our crowd microphones and only use the close up Mic's on stage. We have a 24 input console and the star wants 32 microphones on the drums (because that is what she plays ) and has a very large drum set (actually two drum sets put together with lots of Latin percussion and play toys. WE agree on 12 microphones for the drums and the rest are used for band (Country Western). Everything is checked and double checked and it is all working. I look at the incoming AC voltage and it is about 115 VAC. I would like to have it a bit higher but what the heck. As the theater fills up for the show and the stage lights come up the voltage drops to about 100 VAC. Luckily we have a buck and boost transformer arrangement and so we boost up the voltage. We are now back at 110 and holding. We ran a separate AC power for the heater in the van and a separate feed for the audio and the heater seems to be putting out a lot less heat all of a sudden and we measure the voltage and it is 85 VAC and dropping. So we abandon the AC heater altogether and are prepared to freeze or to start up the van. I stays about 55 degrees in the van with the record company exec, myself, my assistant engineer and the radio station engineer sitting in the van all dressed for watching a hockey game.

The concert is about to start when I get a knock on the truck . I open the door and it is the "star's "engineer" / boy friend/ soul mate who has decided to mix the show (he was otherwise occupied during the sound check and the sessions before the concert) so I make room for him and send my assistant into the theater. The concert goes off well with way too much level from the PA system getting into our microphones but the station is pleased, the record company is pleased and we have everything captured to tape for the first reel of the show (since the assistant engineer's job was to break the tape(s) and put new tapes on it never got done.) oops oh well. I break the bad news to the record exec but he is not concerned because this was such a mess to begin with he really did not want the concert taped. The radio station is not so pleased and really wanted the tapes for later airing but too bad and I tell him that last minute changes are NOT a good idea and he agrees. So we pack up, drive home and have a good laugh about the whole mess.

The venue fired the sound company, they did not get paid and were put on the black list for the theater so I guess all their creating problems were for naught and the only thing they got out of the concert was the $200 they got paid for hooking up our splitter. I hope that was worth their time and trouble.

Member for

17 years 3 months

JoeH Tue, 08/22/2006 - 18:20
Tom, that's another incredible story, alright. I can't BELIEVE how you are able to suffer through these things so nobly (Well, maybe I CAN, but....)

Maybe we all need to have bodyguards or agents to kick some butts, eh?

I like the ending to your story - that S.O.B. who was CHARGING you for every little connect and disconnect should never be allowed to work professionally again. just UNREAL.


But as always, I think we all tend to put up with this stuff as it's happening, because for the moment, anyway, we have no choice and choose NOT to lower ourselves to their miserable, bottom-feeder positions in life.

I love doing live sound, (which is less and less these days) but I can't believe how many mean, grouchy burnouts I've encountered lately. They should just quit if it's that tough a gig for them.

Before I get to Parts 2 and 3 of my horror story, one other tale from ANOTHER recent event: My AV crew was sub-contracted to do video cams and multitrack audio recording of a HS graduation. We did not work directly for the client, but another AV producer, so my hands were tied the whole event, and I had to smile and ask for more while putting up with stuff I would NEVER have allowed otherwise.

Long story short; The live sound company was a miserable pack of incompetants who would NOT cooperate with us, would not take our split (we had it ALL mic'd and ready to go before they even arrived - 2 hrs before showtime). We offered them line outs, submixes, the works. Nope! The were three hours late for the load-in sound check, and were miffed that we'd put up all our own mics ahead of time.

These bozo's (name escapes me, otherwise I'd name names here, really) said their "CONTRACT" prevented them from using other peoples mics. (Translation: we're not gonna play ball with you!) WHen finally cornered, they said (i'm not making this up!) that our WINDSCREENS werern't as good as theirs (ours were actually better, but I don't think they'd seen professional mics before), so they were NOT going to take a feed or split from us.

In the end, we had double mics up for all the podiums, and they used one lone mic (a cardioid dynamic) pointed at the orchestra, and one lone mic pointed at the choir. So, the PA spit out a very nice solo saxophone (nearest the mic) and and one or two soloists who were unlucky enough to be near the other mic.

Fortunately, the video came out great, as did the multitrack mix of the audio. Client is happy, and we're lobbying to do the whole thing next season, including the live PA. If we get the gig again, I'll gladly post the name of the bozo sound company from Sun Valley, PA that did the live audio. They are another bunch of incompetants that give live sound a bad name. :evil:

Member for

15 years 11 months

RemyRAD Tue, 06/06/2006 - 10:56
I like your idea Joe! Here's a good one.

I was working at NBC-TV in Washington DC engineering sound for Tom Brokaw's nightly news when I received a call for a last-minute job downtown DC. I was asked if I could stand in for an audio engineer that had just come down with the flu for a large Howard University variety/awards program, with the Sheffield Video Truck. Now this is a lovely large semi- trailer of the multimillion dollar variety. Because I was on the air and could not get away from NBC until 7 p.m., I would have to miss the rehearsal and then scramble downtown, jump into the truck and without a rehearsal, begin engineering the show audio. Now this is quite a task in an unfamiliar control room to begin with. I was told I would have to also deal with 10 wireless mike's. To which I asked " who is handling the RF stuff?". I was told a professional had been hired to deal with all of the transmitters and receivers providing me with an output of the discrete feeds of each receiver. So I thought that this would make the job a piece of cake?? BROTHER WAS I WRONG!

This "professional fool" that had quite an expensive integrated rig of numerous top-of-the-line Sony UHF diversity wireless receivers and transmitters, with numerous amplified receiving antenna arrays, tested each transmitter before show time, I was told. I was quite nervous as there was an audience involved and this would all be live to tape but I am quite good so I knew I could cut the mustard. What happened next was quite unbelievable.

The musical variety portion of the program involved numerous singers and dancers all on wireless microphones. What the "professional fool RF" guy unfortunately did not pay attention to is....... ALL MICROPHONES WERE ON THE SAME CHANNEL!!!!!! So when I took the cue for that particular persons microphone, it was somebody else's! Then that person was knocked off frequency and another person popped in, followed with another person, then another! They were popping in and out all over the place and only on a single fader on the board! What it came down to was anybody that was close to the receiving antennas would be the only signal received at that moment in time until someone else danced close enough with another transmitter to that antenna in which case it would jump to that person. A TOTAL FIASCO!!! CAN YOU SAY HEART ATTACK?? I almost had one. Everything that was wired to me was perfectly fine but this was a big portion of the " musical variety show" and it was a complete flop because of the "professional RF fool". C'est la vie

The director and producer's realized that the RF guy turned the show into a complete abortion. Quite unfortunate as it would have been an incredible production. Trying to keep a handle on that many wireless microphones is a specialty unto itself, especially in the over RFed world in downtown Washington DC and requires a very competent well-educated engineer. What was he thinking???

I love doing live crap because it can turnout so.....crappy when real professionals aren't used.
Ms. Remy Ann David

Member for

15 years 11 months

RemyRAD Tue, 06/06/2006 - 11:20
OK, you know how women can talk? Here's another good one!

Not quite seven years ago, NBC 4 in Washington DC decided to go all digital. During this incredible conversion process, a new digital audio console was also to be installed. I had seen the newer SSL digital audio console's at the AES show convention in New York City. It was there that they were also displaying what SSL referred to as their first for television, "live on-air console". It was very similar to the SSL AxiomMT digital board. It was called the SSL AsysAir digital console. We all know the quality of the SSL line of consoles in the studio. Well, NBC 4 management chose that you SSL Asys board. So I Figured It Was Probably a Good Pick Also but I really didn't know much about the board?

It was installed and it was one of the first in the nation with operating system 1.0. Now this worried me a little bit as I don't know of any computer operating system or software that ever worked well with version 1.0. It was a 32 fader desk, that was also dual layered. You had to press a button to switch between inputs 1 -32 and inputs 33 -64. Now I thought this a bit impractical for on air purposes during primetime news in a highly competitive market? That was only part of the problem.

We were into sweeps week and during the 6 p.m. news with our most highly respected news anchor Jim Vance the computer, which was downstairs from the control surface in the control room, crashed! The console froze! You could not turn a fader up or do anything with it! It was dead. We went to commercials.

The biggest problem with this particular SSL desk was that it was not a single piece of equipment. It was comprised of numerous outboard digital routers, analog-to-digital converters, digital and analog converters, preamplifier's, etc. and once the console is shut off, it must be powered up with a very specific sequence of timed events. You could not just switch off and switch on! If you did power up the desk with the proper sequence of events, it would still require 4 minutes to do so! Our commercial sets were not usually more than 2 minutes long.

OK four minutes had passed and YOU GUESSED IT! The maintenance engineers switched off the console and then switched it all on at once. 4 minutes later we're ready to go back on air and that's right, NOTHING! NO SOUND NO OPERABILITY STILL DEAD! So I'm screaming that the maintenance engineers must reinitialize the console with the proper sequence of events! 8 minutes of commercials later and we were ready to go back on the air again. EIGHT MINUTES OF COMMERCIALS DURING PRIMETIME NEWS! Do you suppose we lost our audience?? At least it provided the viewing audience enough time to down a complete sixpack of beer!

I'll take another Dunkle Hefe' Wiezen please. Make that a double!
Ms. Remy Ann David (hic)

Member for

17 years 3 months

JoeH Tue, 06/06/2006 - 16:52
Live broadcast stuff is nOT for the faint of heart, absolutely.

I recall a live event back in the early 90's (long before ISDN) that was SUPPOSED to be a live broadcast from the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. The phone lines were run, tested and ready to go. So we thought, at least as of Friday a.m. two days prior to the event.

When our remote truck got there at 11 a.m. that Sunday (for a 3 p.m. live b'cast), there were NO MORE PHONE LINES.

Seems the Bell Telephone crew (long before there was a Bell Atlantic or Verizon) had the paperwork wrong; they'd installed the line on a Monday, and removed it on a Friday. The gig was SUNDAY. D'oh!

After that, we began a policy of putting a 1k tone generator on the line the moment the install was ready, and it was checked daily, up until the broadcast date, to make sure it was still "ON". :roll:

Member for

12 years 2 months

kmetal Tue, 10/08/2013 - 23:42
I just read on the WWW that 60% of all graduating college students are now living with their parents after graduation. I know the economy is rough right now but there are a LOT of jobs so why not take one while you wait to get the job you want.

i dunno man, isn't the key word there 'wait' if your waiting your not doing the job you want, how is that really propelling your career? shouldn't waiting consist more of honing your skills and trying to get music jobs, than some bs job your not trying at anyway? just so you can finance a car you don't own, and rent a place you don't own? sounds a bit like a waste of time and resources to me. it is nearly impossible in america to make enough money to be self sustained unless you work full time. jobs like bartender are one of the exception (i used to avg around 200 per night two nights a week). and really how fresh and attentive are you going to be after an 8 hour grind. is 'after work' when your gonna deliver your best product?

i know what your thinking, but i'm not a college grad who lives w/ his parents, i'm a junior college grad who dropped out of 'real' college junior year, who lives w/ his parents :)

(please don't take this as anything but calm convo here man, i totally don't wanna 'sound' angry thru txt, just find this an interesting topic to bs about)

hear me out on this one. i got one of my good friends (at the time) a shot to work at a studio, he helped me build it, and after i expressed an interest to the owner to work on staff and eventually manage, my buddy expressed interest to me that he'd like to do it too. i had been messing around w/ a 4 track and cpu for a few years, my buddy had little experience. so i get hired, and i highly recommended my friend who also did shortly after. "ah finally working in a pro facility", so where is all the work? what i/we didn't realize that newbies ain't gettin many sessions, but shit, it's fun when we do. we even agreed to split the single engineers pay into a pathetic half so we could both 'work' more.
ah so a year or so passes buy, half a dozen projects, about as much as a job at a mall part time is tossed around. pressure from my friends parent to move out, get a job, get a job, (because apparently being paid to do music insn't one), so he does, he uses that degree that he'll never be able to pay the student loans for, and earned as much as he would (hourly) at the studio. quickly the late nights became a problem, so be came available only on weekends, enter girlfriend, now weekends became a problem, the kid hasn't bothered to call me back in 8 months, so i guess friends became a problem.

he wasted an opportunity that so many people never get(to work along side an engineer who won a grammy, and has earned platinum and gold records during his lengthy career) so he now works forty hours a week, and has less free time and money than i do (believe me when i say i am broke all the time), and he hates forty, oh make that 50 (overtime baby working on saturday!), of his life every week. and was generally too tired to do much when he had time.

you could argue that he didn't really wanna do it, maybe he didn't. maybe he didn't know what he was really getting into and got a taste of sacrifice for love of your job. my point is that up until the move out get a job, he was very happy, w/ the prospect of it all. it was the worse thing possible for his audio career, but again, maybe he just didn't want it bad enough.

if staying at home and being poor, but loving my work is my choice between the grind and still being poor paying rent, i know what i'm picking. i'm not a decorated uber experienced sound guy, but i do work w/ a couple (hopefully more, and more). i feel satisfied. instead of groaning all week till me check comes, i'm embarrassingly old living home and still poor. its a driving factor to find new people to record or make studios for, and rewards a sense of accomplishment when ya get sessions, or book a gig. it's trade between satisfaction, and security. but there's always other things, if i fail at my desires. whether it's teaching general music at a junior college or selling gear.

my long winded point is that if people are spending all their time staying afloat in a "job" how do they have a chance do develop the proper skills they would need to be proficient in something like recording or performing or live sound.? curious on your perspective on this.

fwiw, i'm planning on picking up some hours wherever after this studio project is done, w/ the understanding that i will quit on the spot if i have to chose a session or 'work', and if my live gigs keep steady all i need is 3-4 sessions a week to get outa the house, and be self sustaining, and in general happy to work. i'd rather regret failing, than not trying. not looking for a medal or anything, it just seems to me that most people who are successful (make a living) w/ audio didn't wait for an opportunity they created one. much respect man.

dude totally didn't know diaphragms could melt like that. gonna keep that in the brain.

Member for

19 years 9 months

Thomas W. Bethel Wed, 10/09/2013 - 03:52
kmetal, post: 407691 wrote: i dunno man, isn't the key word there 'wait' if your waiting your not doing the job you want, how is that really propelling your career? shouldn't waiting consist more of honing your skills and trying to get music jobs, than some bs job your not trying at anyway? just so you can finance a car you don't own, and rent a place you don't own? sounds a bit like a waste of time and resources to me. it is nearly impossible in america to make enough money to be self sustained unless you work full time. jobs like bartender are one of the exception (i used to avg around 200 per night two nights a week). and really how fresh and attentive are you going to be after an 8 hour grind. is 'after work' when your gonna deliver your best product?

i know what your thinking, but i'm not a college grad who lives w/ his parents, i'm a junior college grad who dropped out of 'real' college junior year, who lives w/ his parents :)

(please don't take this as anything but calm convo here man, i totally don't wanna 'sound' angry thru txt, just find this an interesting topic to bs about)

hear me out on this one. i got one of my good friends (at the time) a shot to work at a studio, he helped me build it, and after i expressed an interest to the owner to work on staff and eventually manage, my buddy expressed interest to me that he'd like to do it too. i had been messing around w/ a 4 track and cpu for a few years, my buddy had little experience. so i get hired, and i highly recommended my friend who also did shortly after. "ah finally working in a pro facility", so where is all the work? what i/we didn't realize that newbies ain't gettin many sessions, but shit, it's fun when we do. we even agreed to split the single engineers pay into a pathetic half so we could both 'work' more.
ah so a year or so passes buy, half a dozen projects, about as much as a job at a mall part time is tossed around. pressure from my friends parent to move out, get a job, get a job, (because apparently being paid to do music insn't one), so he does, he uses that degree that he'll never be able to pay the student loans for, and earned as much as he would (hourly) at the studio. quickly the late nights became a problem, so be came available only on weekends, enter girlfriend, now weekends became a problem, the kid hasn't bothered to call me back in 8 months, so i guess friends became a problem.

he wasted an opportunity that so many people never get(to work along side an engineer who won a grammy, and has earned platinum and gold records during his lengthy career) so he now works forty hours a week, and has less free time and money than i do (believe me when i say i am broke all the time), and he hates forty, oh make that 50 (overtime baby working on saturday!), of his life every week. and was generally too tired to do much when he had time.

you could argue that he didn't really wanna do it, maybe he didn't. maybe he didn't know what he was really getting into and got a taste of sacrifice for love of your job. my point is that up until the move out get a job, he was very happy, w/ the prospect of it all. it was the worse thing possible for his audio career, but again, maybe he just didn't want it bad enough.

if staying at home and being poor, but loving my work is my choice between the grind and still being poor paying rent, i know what i'm picking. i'm not a decorated uber experienced sound guy, but i do work w/ a couple (hopefully more, and more). i feel satisfied. instead of groaning all week till me check comes, i'm embarrassingly old living home and still poor. its a driving factor to find new people to record or make studios for, and rewards a sense of accomplishment when ya get sessions, or book a gig. it's trade between satisfaction, and security. but there's always other things, if i fail at my desires. whether it's teaching general music at a junior college or selling gear.

my long winded point is that if people are spending all their time staying afloat in a "job" how do they have a chance do develop the proper skills they would need to be proficient in something like recording or performing or live sound.? curious on your perspective on this.

fwiw, i'm planning on picking up some hours wherever after this studio project is done, w/ the understanding that i will quit on the spot if i have to chose a session or 'work', and if my live gigs keep steady all i need is 3-4 sessions a week to get outa the house, and be self sustaining, and in general happy to work. i'd rather regret failing, than not trying. not looking for a medal or anything, it just seems to me that most people who are successful (make a living) w/ audio didn't wait for an opportunity they created one. much respect man.

dude totally didn't know diaphragms could melt like that. gonna keep that in the brain.

To each his or her own. What works for you works.

How long are you going to live at home??? It maybe the normal thing to do today but when are you going to take your first solo flight? When you are 30 or 40 or are you just going to live with your parents until they pass on and you inherit the house? I personally think this "I am going to live with my parents until I find the perfect job" is a big cop out by a lot of young people. Lets face facts your home feels safe and you don't really have to do that much to survive. Life is not like that. You have to work and make money and experience living solely by what you make with your own two hands and your brain. Your Mom and Dad did it or you would probably not be around to discuss this.

There are jobs out in the real world. They may not be next door or down the block and they may not be "perfect" I know a lot of my friends took jobs in distant cities after they graduated from college just so they could start a career in audio. They worked for TV stations or did AV gigs just to get their feet wet and start a resume. Now most of them have good jobs or they own their own studio.

When I left the US Army I got a job within a month of my leaving. It was doing audio at a TV station about two miles from my parent's house. I stayed with my parents until I found another job one year later in a town 25 miles from my parents and moved there.

With your current thinking you are going to just stay where you are until the perfect job comes your way and it probably never will because you will always keep finding problems with what ever job you apply for since you don't want to give up a "good thing".

Again it is your life and you can do what YOU want to do. I do think you need to do some deep soul searching and figure out what life is all about and I can tell you from experience it is not all about finding the perfect job.

Best of luck and let us know how things are going...

Member for

19 years 9 months

Thomas W. Bethel Wed, 08/23/2006 - 07:04
OK so we get to the church to record a children's choir and start to set up. The minister comes up to us and tells us that we cannot run microphone or line level cords across the aisles since it is against the fire laws and he has been warned before. We are going to be setup in the Sacristy and try to figure out how we are going to get our microphone cables from the church choir area to the Sacristy without going across any aisles. We did not bring our snake and we had a case full of microphone cables but were not sure what was covered by "not crossing an aisle" did that mean on the floor or could we string our cables at 8 feet up and not be in violation of the fire code. After a lot of searching we find that there is a vent between the church choir and the Sacristy which looks like we can remove and replace after the concert. Our microphone lines are all strung and we are getting ready for the concert.

The choir director of the children's choir and I go way back to 1990 and we have a good working relationship. However this concert is NOT going to be directed by the normal Choir Director and is instead being directed by a guest conductor. No problems except that any attempts to talk to this person is met with "don't have time for this now possibly later" or "can't this wait until after the concert?" which makes conversations very short. We roll the DAT and the CD burner at 7:00 pm because the concert is suppose to start at 7:00 pm and I don't want to miss the processional which this particular choir director is famous for starting without telling anyone. So we are rolling for 10 minutes and no choir. We are in the Sacristy and cannot see into the church and so I send my assistant out to see what is going on, Of course as soon as he leaves the processional starts. He comes back and tells me that the director has decided to sing the first song from the back of the church (nice he told us) but without wireless microphones we would not be able to record it anyways since we could not cross any aisles. The rest of the concert goes off without a hitch. After the concert is over and we are striking the director comes up to me and asks why we did not have microphones on the choir for the first number and I explain the ministers admonition and that I did not know about the first song being sung in the back and of course the choir director says "well why didn't you tell me this before or ask me about what was going on" I was going to just punch him in the nose and be done with it but I thought better of it and just said "I'm sorry we did not get a chance to communicate before the concert" which was the truth but not because I didn't try.

Some choir directors need to be boiled in there own stupidity and I would like to nominate this person to be the first one in line.....

Member for

17 years 6 months

Cucco Wed, 08/23/2006 - 07:12
I don't think I have anything as bad as the last few here...but....

1st -

I was contracted to record a school event for a local school which was being shut down after 100 years. The event was being held outdoors on their football field which was over 500 feet away from the school. There was no power at the field (they never actually played night games there!).

I was also forced to set up a minimum of 300 feet from the ensembles. The problem was, it was outdoors, no power, huge cable runs and a chance of rain! (Because of which, I chose not to use a lot of my own microphones and used either borrowed 57s or some other dynamics when I got there.)

Well...the ensembles were 2 concert bands, 2 choirs, 2 orchestras (all school-level). All of the ensembles were set up in a line and each group would perform a piece then the next group would perform and so on.

Well...it turns out that the only power we could get to the field was coming from one circuit in the school. The guy doing live sound and myself had to come from the same circuit (which was apparently only 10 amps!) Needless to say, as soon as there was peak (such as a wind blast or loud spot in the orchestra), it pushed the amperage over the limit and circuit would trip.

So...I had to end up using direct feeds from the live sound guy's board. The problem is though, he had set everything up as mono. He used some no-name condensers with no windscreens over each group - 1 per group. I had to high-pass everything at about 220 Hz and try to create a stereo sound out of mono. (I used the other microphones as "ambience" and created stereo from that.)

In all, the disc sounded horrible, but it was the best I could do.

2 -

I recently recorded a live concert of a rather famous 70's pop artist. The live sound guy was the absolute biggest JACKASS you'd ever meet. And by big, I mean BIG. The guy was pushing 400 pounds (seriously!).

As soon as he got on site, he started bitching. According to him, his rider with the orchestra required the orchestra to have 4 strong, able-bodied MEN available to help him with load in. (Above and beyond his two support staff). He bitched and moaned because the only people working the stage that day were 3 small (and quite cute I might add) young ladies. So, he started barking orders at me to start unloading things out of his truck.

I kindly went to the director of the orchestra (with whom my contract is with) and explained to him that I would gladly do the work if HE would like me to because I did in fact arrive 4 hours before I even needed to be there and thus had some extra time.

I was told that I would have access to direct outputs from his console for things such as solo vocal, drums, etc. and that they wouldn't allow splitting. Also, I was told I could direct mic the piano and the orchestra with my own mics.

This JACKASS YELLED at me when I began micing the piano. I mean YELLED. Something along the lines of "What the F*CK do you think you're doing? Are you stupid or something? You can't use your own mics, it's against our contract!!!" I asked him to produce his contract, which he could not. So, I began flying my overheads.

When I went to the back and asked him when I could begin patching into the direct outs on his board, he again called me names and yelled at me. He was saying things like..."How long have you been doing this?" Have you ever recorded anyone FAMOUS before?" "You can't record their voices, it's against the law!! You'll break their copyrights and trademarks on their voice!!"

So, in other words, this guy wouldn't even allow me to take patches out of his live sound rig.

So...I recorded the entire event with a pair of Schoeps CMC64s in ORTF over the orchestra and CMC62s on the balcony so that I could at least pick up her voice over the PA.

When I took the 2 track bounce down to the artist's manager, he was delighted that I could get it to him so quickly and stated that George (her sound guy) would usually get it to her 6 to 8 weeks later! (Ah, so that's it...he didn't want me to give her the 2 track!!!!!)

When the show was completed and it was time to strike, George (the big, dumb, smelly, oafish sound guy) muttered something about being tired and needing a drink and walked out of the hall leaving his two lackey's (who, btw, were smarter and better than he was and NICE too!) to strike everything (including the 64 input Crest which had been gracefully propped up on theater seats).

I LOVE LIVE SOUND GUYS!!! THEY ROCK!

:lol:

Member for

9 years 5 months

Curbside Audio Sun, 04/22/2012 - 18:38
RemyRAD, post: 199596 wrote: OK, you know how women can talk? Here's another good one!

Not quite seven years ago, NBC 4 in Washington DC decided to go all digital. During this incredible conversion process, a new digital audio console was also to be installed. I had seen the newer SSL digital audio console's at the AES show convention in New York City. It was there that they were also displaying what SSL referred to as their first for television, "live on-air console". It was very similar to the SSL AxiomMT digital board. It was called the SSL AsysAir digital console. We all know the quality of the SSL line of consoles in the studio. Well, NBC 4 management chose that you SSL Asys board. So I Figured It Was Probably a Good Pick Also but I really didn't know much about the board?

It was installed and it was one of the first in the nation with operating system 1.0. Now this worried me a little bit as I don't know of any computer operating system or software that ever worked well with version 1.0. It was a 32 fader desk, that was also dual layered. You had to press a button to switch between inputs 1 -32 and inputs 33 -64. Now I thought this a bit impractical for on air purposes during primetime news in a highly competitive market? That was only part of the problem.

We were into sweeps week and during the 6 p.m. news with our most highly respected news anchor Jim Vance the computer, which was downstairs from the control surface in the control room, crashed! The console froze! You could not turn a fader up or do anything with it! It was dead. We went to commercials.

The biggest problem with this particular SSL desk was that it was not a single piece of equipment. It was comprised of numerous outboard digital routers, analog-to-digital converters, digital and analog converters, preamplifier's, etc. and once the console is shut off, it must be powered up with a very specific sequence of timed events. You could not just switch off and switch on! If you did power up the desk with the proper sequence of events, it would still require 4 minutes to do so! Our commercial sets were not usually more than 2 minutes long.

OK four minutes had passed and YOU GUESSED IT! The maintenance engineers switched off the console and then switched it all on at once. 4 minutes later we're ready to go back on air and that's right, NOTHING! NO SOUND NO OPERABILITY STILL DEAD! So I'm screaming that the maintenance engineers must reinitialize the console with the proper sequence of events! 8 minutes of commercials later and we were ready to go back on the air again. EIGHT MINUTES OF COMMERCIALS DURING PRIMETIME NEWS! Do you suppose we lost our audience?? At least it provided the viewing audience enough time to down a complete sixpack of beer!

I'll take another Dunkle Hefe' Wiezen please. Make that a double!
Ms. Remy Ann David (hic)

Haha that's crazy! I couldn't imagine what the audience was thinking.