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eds1275 2011-01-17 - 10:06am

MADD Charity concert I did sound for was a blast - the set up, not so much

I do a fair bit of charity work, usually for ungrateful wanna be rock stars and charities. It's really stupid when you donate something like a full day of dealing with unorganized bullshit and don't even get a thank you at the end. That being said, a nicely organized event is a treat to work on.


Anyway, I went to the location where the event was a few days beforehand to check it out. I was going to supply the mics and do the sound on the house system. They had a "big PA". Yeah, it was physically large, 2 giant 200 watt cabs and no monitors. 2 mic stands, and "Optimus" brand mics... yup, Radio Shack. So oversized and underpowered. I really, REALLY reluctantly agreed to bring my PA. I don't like breaking my spine for anything. So I hauled out my 2 Yorkville Elite 400 watt speakers, and my 800 watt amp. And 30 mic cables. ANd 10 mics, 2 di's, a dozen mic stands, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Frustrating! ANd back breaking!

I got it in with NO help from the event. I set it up alone. I ran the house snake from the Yamaha MG series mixer to the stage and situated myself at the back. The snake had a bunch of broken channels on it, so running mics was a pain of finding out which snake channels worked, and running cables for those that don't. I made the organizer throw some rugs over the cable mess. And then I waited... for 3 hours as the drummer of the main act set up his kit and talked to the others like he was a rockstar. We started sound check finally about 40 minutes before the show started and luckily I got a good mix going in just a few minutes. The other two acts were rappers with iPods. I got the monitor mix running pretty effing loud considering what I had to work with [a 7 band graphic eq and 200 watts - one of the speakers from the house pa was broken].


Anyway, after everything happened the show went on and it was a lot of fun. The singer for the band was really shy at sound check, I was kinda worried she'd have a panic attack. So of course the first thing she did was TEAR EVERYONES HEAD OFF with her first words! She opened up right away. After that fell under control, I basically just had to watch out for the guitarist. Sometimes in life there are guitarists who think that horribly high pitched squeal that comes from cheap pickups is good. He'd just let that shit ring out so I had to ride the fader a bunch. That and once the bass player stepped too far from his amp and pulled the cord out... I suppose they aren't used to playing on 40 foot stages and all of them brought 6 foot patch cords.


Afterwards, the bass player whined about not being able to hear himself during the show. I told him that since he didn't mention it at sound check or motion to me during the show, it was his fucking problem. If I don't know, how am I to fix it?


   I loaded my stuff in the car and escaped. The newspaper had great things to say about the sound, as well as calling it a "well-organized event". Pfffffft.

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