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Things you forgot to bring to recording gig
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Tommy-boy
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#1
17th March 2013
Old 17th March 2013
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Things you forgot to bring to recording gig

I recorded a school jazz fest last night and forgot to bring headphones. I felt like a total dope.

On the bright side, they weren't really needed as it was seven school bands rotating on/off two stage areas and I had no warm ups to set levels or adjust mics. Fortunately I've recorded bands at this school before and knew about where the mics and levels should be.

I am generally well organized and use a pack list I created in Excel. Last night was an exception, which I don't plan on repeating. I must always use a pack list!

So what have you forgotten?

Tom
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17th March 2013
Old 17th March 2013
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Sometimes small things like gaffers tape, sometimes a mic holder, once cables. I am more careful now about double-checking and then a final check as I load the gear into the car. It is kind of like the carpenters' rule, "Measure twice, cut once."
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17th March 2013
Old 17th March 2013
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I find that whatever it is that the importance of thatever I've forgotten has an inverse relationship with the availability of that item. I probably won't forget to bring a USB cable to a gig at the local college that has 4-5 of them in every room, but in that case, I'd probably forget one of those Apple video adapters, because they only have pc's at the school, and I can't project the images for my lecture without one. I have also forgotten headphones before, as well as power cables and I was caught short of mic and instrument cables once. I now tend to bring two of everything except the computer, so that I have options, and even if something is forgotten, I have a workaround at hand...
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17th March 2013
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I once, on someone else's gig, grabbed a W4 to XLR tail that I thought was male, not even realizing there were female versions in the shop. The tails were in a pig bag and I just didn't check. I guess that's not exactly "forgetting" but that was definitely the biggest mistake I've made. Thankfully we had JUST enough XLR turnarounds to make the gig happen. Sorry, Steve!

Oh, a few weeks ago I forgot to grab camlok turnarounds and the damn venue had turned around ground and neutral. I place a little bit of blame on them since they were the ones who decided to switch them and not keep turnarounds on hand. But ultimately it was something I had meant to bring. Thankfully my warehouse was only about 20 minutes away. I wired the stage while my partner went back for them, no harm done. If all else had failed I would have either taken apart one of the venue's cables to steal the connectors or would have opened up the box to tie in with tails. Which brings up a followup question, if you don't mind: What have you had to do to get by without the item you forgot?
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17th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by secret secret View Post
I find that whatever it is that the importance of thatever I've forgotten has an inverse relationship with the availability of that item.
Oh man, ain't that the truth! Or it's the middle of the night and/or you're in a desolate place and there's no way of getting it. I destroyed an IEM transformer in Australia once forgetting it was 220V there (Aus/Japan tour and I got the voltages mixed up even though I looked it up ahead of time). It was surprisingly difficult to find an appropriate transformer there and the band went without functioning monitors for a couple of days.

I've forgotten IEC cables enough that I keep one in my gig bag and hidden away in several cases that don't even have electronics in them.
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17th March 2013
Old 17th March 2013
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While on holiday in France, was to record a concert in friends villagechurch 450kms away. Brought a minimal yet complete setup, there was only a limit amount of 220v wallsockets. THEN you find out the powerextensioncable I took with me was not the grounded one and won't fit the wallsocket. Nothing else available.

Thanks be to Victorinox ...
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17th March 2013
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Put something like a Zoom H2N in the bag, and if you've forgotten anything required to complete the recording chain, then at least the Zoom represents the entire chain in one small device. Far from ideal, but at least you'd come away with something.

And knowing that if you've forgotten something, you might have to put up the Zoom in front of paying clients to your extreme embarrassment helps you to triple check everything before leaving home!

I pack my gear in a very systematic way in shallow plastic boxes so (a) you don't have to rummage to find what you need and (2) you don't assume that some vital (unpacked) item is down the bottom of the bag - everything can be checked as present at a glance, usually without removing the clear plastic lids. And the systematic packing means that at the end of the gig, you can see if you've left anything behind because it's obvious that it's not in its place.

And my location recording kit is used only for location recording - nothing gets taken out between gigs (or if I absolutely have to, then the relevant box is left open beside the bag until the item is put back).
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17th March 2013
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Once when driving to Cornwall from Ealing, for a big film drama, we were half way there before realising the Nagra was still in the Workshop.
Another time flying full scale pterodactyl with Sir David Attenborough on Dorset cliffs,I arrived without my radio mics...Luckily it was all doable on a MKH 816.
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Lots of times I put radios on to placate directors, and never used them.
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17th March 2013
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Forgot headphones a couple of times.

Forgot mic cables once. Good that I arrived on site way too early. Had time to go back and grab them and return just in time for the gig.
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17th March 2013
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We have all our remote cases numbered. If we have 1-12 then everything is where it is suppose to be. Now if I could only figure out a way to have my interns put things back in the same place they got them from I would be very happy.

Back in the day I forgot a Toslink cable from our digital board to the recorder but I was lucky and I was only three minutes away from my office. The bummer was I lost my close in parking space going to the office to pick up the cable and had to park a block away.

Oh well live and learn!
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17th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozpeter View Post
Put something like a Zoom H2N in the bag, and if you've forgotten anything required to complete the recording chain, then at least the Zoom represents the entire chain in one small device. Far from ideal, but at least you'd come away with something.
I always record a separate demo stereo feed, but mostly to provide something the client can use to choose which songs they want mixed. Usually I isolate a pair of room mics, because I don't want them to get any funny ideas about using the demo tracks, especially if my name is going on them...
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17th March 2013
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I've forgotten the stage box once and once the mixer (the Ipad I regularly use), had to use my phone to mix the live gig over wifi...
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18th March 2013
Old 18th March 2013
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Orchestra gig 350 miles away in Greenville, MS, continuing to a week of AV in Florida...full trailer. Got to the venue (MS) and set up mics, snake, rec position... Apogee Ensemble/DAV/TASCAM CD-R case, HD24 and Edirol 24-bit backup, DB25 loom, computer... NO MBP POWER SUPPLY. Crap. Saturday AM in Greenville MS. Closest Apple store...? Jackson MS, 90 miles, mostly 2-lane.

Time to soundcheck/rehearsal: 15 minutes. I ran on batteries until I got hold of the significant other of one of the pianists, who, it was said, "might have a Mac"'.

He did. Same machine. And he was on the way over, with his PSU. Client suspected nothing. In any event, I was good to go with the DAV/Apogee rig feeding the HD24 (with a bit more time in post to build a Logic session) and that machine to the TASCAM CD-R 2-mix with a 24-bit backup recording to the R09-HR.

The following day I hit the Jackson Apple store and bought two 85w MagSafe PSUs. They BOTH live in my backpack. Each day, every day.

Lessons learned: 1) don't assume because something has been in your gear pack for years, it always will be. 2) One can't have too many backups. 3) Getting old and forgetting stuff sucks...and it's as stressful as hell.

End result: happy clients. Going back in November for #3 biennial recording gig. On the way to Florida. With both PSUs.

HB
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18th March 2013
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Got hired to record a choir and after setting up mics etc. noticed I had left the FireWire cable in the studio...
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18th March 2013
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I once forgot mic clips at a nice gig in a large cathedral. i used duct tape. it worked.
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18th March 2013
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A violin/piano duo recital at a 100y old building remodeled for ladies club or something. No three prong outlets around the stage. Walked around, and found 'the only one' GFCI outlet in the kitchen. I was lucky finding out the outlet, but since then I carry 3-prong - 2-prong adapter always.
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18th March 2013
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Just the other week I managed to forget the hard drive to record onto. Luckily it wasn't a big issue and just bought another cheap one for that gig. Then last friday managed to forget the mic case I usually take, but again luckily I didn't even need any additional ones for that particular gig.
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18th March 2013
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Masaaki: I've ripped the ground plug off an extension cord in a pinch.
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18th March 2013
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I forgot my laptop charger two gigs ago. Kept the lid closed and it survived. Wasn't too worried because I also record everything from the RME UFX's USB port. Love that interface.

I forgot my cable bag once. Had to go back and get it.

I also forgot almost all my gear in my car once, which my wife took to LA the day of a gig. I had to take a trip to the local Guitar Center to supplement with extra mic stands and cables. I still had my DPA 4061's handy so I used them as an AB pair on the chamber concert, going into a mackie mixer and a Tascam DR100. I didn't make much money on that concert
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18th March 2013
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Quote:
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Masaaki: I've ripped the ground plug off an extension cord in a pinch.
Brilliant idea!

If that was in Japan, I could have been in a big trouble, since their hot/cold plugs are equal size, unlike the one in the US. US version 2 prong doesn't go into the Japanese version 2 prong.

Most of my check list is always around "power".
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19th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masaaki View Post
US version 2 prong doesn't go into the Japanese version 2 prong.
Yes it most definitely does. At least everything I plugged in there, from computers to in ears, you name it.
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19th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bishopthomas View Post
Yes it most definitely does. At least everything I plugged in there, from computers to in ears, you name it.
What I meant was, one of the male pin (?) of the two prong power plug here in US is wider than the female socket of the two prong power jack over there. It's about 2mm wider, so we can't push in. The other way around is fine, Japanese 2 prong male can go in to the US 2 or 3 prong female. By the way, I brought lots of power extension cables from Japan long time ago, and I can't use many of them because of that. Sorry off topic, but just wanted to mention.
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19th March 2013
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Ah, I see. I don't remember having any problems but maybe just because I never used any polarized (the official term) cables. May be worth bringing an adapter next time I go.

Wait, you brought cables FROM Japan TO the US and you can't use them HERE? Some contradictory statements happening.
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19th March 2013
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Quote:
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Wait, you brought cables FROM Japan TO the US and you can't use them HERE? Some contradictory statements happening.
No. The problem is, most of the power outlets in regular household dwellings are still just two prongs, and the female sockets are equal sized narrow ones. New buildings, commercial places, concert halls etc are equipped with both 2 and 3 prongs power outlets. So, if you've ever visted there for recording/live work, probably you used those ones with unequal sized two prongs or three prongs available in those buildings.

I moved to US ~20yrs ago, and most of the extension cables (two or three outlets on the end) were the one for those narrow male pins, and I can't use them even with 3prong-2prong adapter from HomeDepot. I can only use them for something like Japanese electric gadgets like TV, radio etc or AC/DC wall warts. Some cables I bought over there were "compatible with US standards", and they are okay.

Yeah, when you go next time, just keep this in mind (and the voltage is 100V, not 125V).
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19th March 2013
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What have I not forgotten? Cables, stands, mics, adapters, headphones ...

How I don't forget them (as often). Some have been said already.
1. Have a designated place for everything so that when you pack up, you'll know if something is missing.
2. Run a mental checklist every time I pack a bag/case. Run extended checklist (multiple times) when I pack the truck.
3. Have extra everything. I have several boxes that go on every gig, whether I need them or not. They have extra adapters, cables, headphones, etc. Except for big items like mics, pre's, interfaces, etc. I can almost do a complete (small) gig with what is in those cases.

I've left my mic case a couple of times. Fortunately, the venue had some pretty good mics I could borrow. Same with cables and stands.

What have I had to do without and "McGyver"? Mic stand adapters, various signal adapters - I've butchered a few cables to make an adapter. I had to buy a cheap speaker/lighting stand once from GC that I may never use again as a speaker stand (used it a few times to hang my wet suit on - works great for that)

Like Harry said, getting old and forgetting stuff sucks.

SP
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