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The summer festival season is here. Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 29th July 2018
  #31
According to the media, Bestival (final day) is cancelled due to storm risk/damage.
Camp Bestival's final day cancelled due to severe weather conditions - NME

I did a few years at Glastonbury during very bad weather and the rush to leave can cause its own problems: vehicles getting stuck in mud, etc.
Old 10th August 2018
  #32
Lives for gear
 

general observation

having mixed a few bands this summer season, i was heavily reminded of how insane parts of our business are/have become:

trucks of gear get moved around the continent although there would be a large rig available every 200 kilometers (or even closer), plus almost every band is carrying their own desk (often two) with them even though they would not really need more than 16 channels with some basic processing! - most silly thing this years (so far): someone using the monitor desk which got provided but inserting graphic eqs running on a server!

what i sometimes get to hear (at foh) is way below what an experienced festival engineer could get with just a line check - no wonder when looking at the parameters on the desks of some visiting engineers (plenty of time to do so when a festival is not running on schedule but you were there as requested).

having survived a gig (after hours of waiting, yet minimal changeover time), you then get assaulted by the constant boom boom coming from the tents on your way to the hotel...

...and walking a festival area after visitors have left gets me depressed: so much litter, waste and trash!
Old 11th August 2018
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
having mixed a few bands this summer season, i was heavily reminded of how insane parts of our business are/have become:

trucks of gear get moved around the continent although there would be a large rig available every 200 kilometers (or even closer), plus almost every band is carrying their own desk (often two) with them even though they would not really need more than 16 channels with some basic processing! - most silly thing this years (so far): someone using the monitor desk which got provided but inserting graphic eqs running on a server!

what i sometimes get to hear (at foh) is way below what an experienced festival engineer could get with just a line check - no wonder when looking at the parameters on the desks of some visiting engineers (plenty of time to do so when a festival is not running on schedule but you were there as requested).

having survived a gig (after hours of waiting, yet minimal changeover time), you then get assaulted by the constant boom boom coming from the tents on your way to the hotel...

...and walking a festival area after visitors have left gets me depressed: so much litter, waste and trash!
I haven’t had any real delays so far this year, but I agree about the fact that everybody is running around with a truck load of gear that hardly (if ever) make any difference to what they’re doing. It’s gotten so ridiculous that some festival are only allowing headliners to bring their own consoles.

I’m generally happy with how some of the bigger, more responsible festivals manage garbage connection and treatment. We have a very efficient collection, sorting and compaction system on site and with all the bins we put in place we can’t stop some flop Le from littering.
Old 13th August 2018
  #34
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The tourbus was invaded by a squadron of 3 or 4 giant Asian hornets just after midnight this morning at a gas station in the middle of France and two people (including me) were stung. A banal toilet stop in the middle of nowhere got turned into a serious emergency situation within a matter of seconds...apparently the extreme heat of the day followed by a violent thunderstorm and we probably parked over or next to their nest was a declaration of war which may have aggravated the hornets.

Within seconds of opening the doors they flew into the bus and started aggressively attacking anything that moved, which started a panicked counter attack defense with towels and magazines on our part, which made them even more aggressive, which increased the panic..... My hand and arm has swollen to twice its regular size but its the excruciating pain from the sting that was just absolutely frightening...it is amazing and scary that an insect could be so aggressive and inflict such pain with a single sting.

Thankfully neither of us who got stung are allergic and we were only stung once or the situation could have been dangerous...we were told that these insects can and usually strike several times pumping several doses of their powerful venom into you which can result in serious problems. Just when you think you've seen or heard everything some crazy **** like this happens and forces you to rethink how you do things. How do you prepare for something like this, what could we have done if the emergency service or communication services were not as efficient or if one of us were allergic and/or had been stung several times?
Old 13th August 2018
  #35
Gear Maniac
 

I know it is a panic reaction, but as you said they attack everything moving.
So, stand still, don't move !

Lucky for you France has an excellent health system and very efficient Samu, so, in case someone got a allergic reaction, help is not far away.
Old 14th August 2018
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derick View Post
I know it is a panic reaction, but as you said they attack everything moving.
So, stand still, don't move !
Don't know about you, but I find it a little hard to not move when a 4cm long insect armed with a 2.5mm hypodermic needle loaded with venom lands on my body. Especially since I have no idea why it's ticked off and if my breathing, body temperature or a small twitch might set it off.

Quote:
Lucky for you France has an excellent health system and very efficient Samu, so, in case someone got a allergic reaction, help is not far away.
I think it's a little more than just "luck"...I pay taxes, but point well taken.
Old 14th August 2018
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Don't know about you, but I find it a little hard to not move when a 4cm long insect armed with a 2.5mm hypodermic needle loaded with venom lands on my body. Especially since I have no idea why it's ticked off and if my breathing, body temperature or a small twitch might set it off.
If they are already on my body, i think i would also have a panic reaction
But not moving is still the best way to not upset them.
Old 14th August 2018
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derick View Post
If they are already on my body, i think i would also have a panic reaction
But not moving is still the best way to not upset them.
I understand what you're saying and this is probably what would happen if one of these insects came unto my veranda while I was having a lemonade. But when a swarm of angry hornets comes unto a cramped and dimly lit bus and immediately stings someone...it's really hard to just stand still when all hell is breaking loose around you.

The firemen who showed up seemed impressed that we killed three of them under the conditions, I was too.
Old 15th August 2018
  #39
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teamsterjim's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Don't know about you, but I find it a little hard to not move when a 4cm long insect armed with a 2.5mm hypodermic needle loaded with venom lands on my body. Especially since I have no idea why it's ticked off and if my breathing, body temperature or a small twitch might set it off.
I think it's a little more than just "luck"...I pay taxes, but point well taken.

No way you stand still, at least in the high humidity Midwest and Southern USA in summertime.
Luckily LED Lights have replaced 1000 watt PAR Lamps and Super Trooper Spots.
They put light and heat on you.
At night from 50 yards out I can see these giant bastards spiraling in like Kamikazes and Im stuck behind keyboards but stand while I perform, so I can duck and side step a little.
If your a drummer you just have to take the Grasshoppers and June Bugs.

Thankfully the money is good.
My outdoor 1U PCs are Supermicro Servers with triple barrel fans on high which is 22k rpm.
They’re so damn loud it’s like a vacuum cleaner.
I got 5 more weeks of this, then I go indoors where I inhale smoke.

I tell ya us folks in the biz get no respect...
Old 15th August 2018
  #40
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The start of a new era...different band, genre and festivals.

Reggae festival on a very windy beach and none of the stages have a roof or walls...the heat, wind and flying sand is going to make this interesting indeed.
Old 19th August 2018
  #41
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i just got back from a festival mixing monitors: one old school blues rock guitar player was trying to melt his amp barely two meters away from my mix position and of course asked for insane amounts of vocals in his wedges - brilliant performer, but not fun...

...while a band of young people (just starting their professional musical education) showed an incredible musicianship: sometimes punching above their weight, but with amazing talent (and with modest requests regarding their monitoring. they also kept stage volume at a very reasonable levels all the time) - much fun!
Old 20th August 2018
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i just got back from a festival mixing monitors: one old school blues rock guitar player was trying to melt his amp barely two meters away from my mix position and of course asked for insane amounts of vocals in his wedges - brilliant performer, but not fun...
For this reason I prefer working with a band than deal with the hit or miss of mixing at a festival or venue...the same guys who never carry their own crew, never advance their gigs, never arrive early to discuss their needs, always like to tell you how long they've been touring and gigging are usually the biggest pain in the arse. And then they wonder why they're stuck in the lower half of the barrel.

The band I'm with now is just so laid back they make me feel like I'm on speed...no soundcheck since the first two gigs, we do a quick line check, then they go on stage and kill it. Recently we got the chance to use the side fills at a festivals in the old-school way which got a lot of interest from some of the other crews. It was a 4 per side ARCS + SB218 rig and I had a nice band mix in them, wasn't very loud but it was solid, while everybody only got a little of themselves in their wedges. The stage sound was big and solid, and the sound was even every where...it was glorious even for the people in the front rows.
Old 20th August 2018
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
...The band I'm with now is just so laid back they make me feel like I'm on speed...no soundcheck since the first two gigs, we do a quick line check, then they go on stage and kill it. Recently we got the chance to use the side fills at a festivals in the old-school way which got a lot of interest from some of the other crews. It was a 4 per side ARCS + SB218 rig and I had a nice band mix in them, wasn't very loud but it was solid, while everybody only got a little of themselves in their wedges. The stage sound was big and solid, and the sound was even every where...it was glorious even for the people in the front rows.
this indeed sounds much more relaxed...

(gimme a shout when you get to play in switzerland; would love to get to chat after countless posts here)

...while the problems on my last gig just started with the guitarillo: guess about the level from the leslie on the other side of the stage! and of course the drummer then 'adjusted' his playing style to compete with the already toxic levels, so the bell of the ride cymbal became the loudest instrument on stage: no way to keep that damn thing out of other mics anymore!

nevertheless, i mostly enjoy the challenge of working with different bands on festivals, while mixing a band regularly (as well as remote and studio work) help me to balance things between different areas of our field - i don't like mixing highly preprogrammed/semi-automated shows such as musicals though...
Old 20th August 2018
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
this indeed sounds much more relaxed...

(gimme a shout when you get to play in switzerland; would love to get to chat after countless posts here)

...while the problems on my last gig just started with the guitarillo: guess about the level from the leslie on the other side of the stage! and of course the drummer then 'adjusted' his playing style to compete with the already toxic levels, so the bell of the ride cymbal became the loudest instrument on stage: no way to keep that damn thing out of other mics anymore!

nevertheless, i mostly enjoy the challenge of working with different bands on festivals, while mixing a band regularly (as well as remote and studio work) help me to balance things between different areas of our field - i don't like mixing highly preprogrammed/semi-automated shows such as musicals though...
I'll definitely give you a shout the next time I'm in your neck of the woods.

Generally I really like working with different bands and genres, I love getting a less than ideal system to sound good...I don't enjoy working with bands that don't have their act together or don't have a clue, and I don't do broadcast or corporate/talking head gigs just because It's just plain annoying and I get bored in minutes respectively.

It's especially annoying to deal with unprepared or unprofessional bands you (and your ears) are already fatigued from working all day and night even when the bands are good, let alone when they are sketchy like you described above. I'm never afraid of a challenge and with my work ethic I'm always going to work my ass off to make things as right as possible, but I shouldn't have to work harder than the band on their show. On the bigger stages at bigger festivals it's rare to see bands that are unprepared and/or unprofessional, and those bands usually bring their own crew so you have less work to do anyway.
Old 21st August 2018
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
it is amazing and scary that an insect could be so aggressive and inflict such pain with a single sting.
Off topic, but really interesting, especially how he came to the results.... plus I love how poetically he describedthe various painlevels:

Schmidt sting pain index - Wikipedia


Ps: hope everyone is well!
Old 21st August 2018
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenderboy View Post
Off topic, but really interesting, especially how he came to the results.... plus I love how poetically he describedthe various painlevels:

Schmidt sting pain index - Wikipedia


Ps: hope everyone is well!
The minute that thing touched me I felt the excruciating pain in my hand and arm all the way up to my neck for several hours. Thankfully everybody is well now and the swelling has gone down but the spot where I was stung is still tender to the touch.

I someone figures out how to militarize these things they could reduce military spending and still maintain a high level of security.
Old 25th August 2018
  #47
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i did the design and installation of a pa/anouncement system for an airshow this weekend - it's somewhat hard to compete with a FA-18, especially when not having many subs in use...

it wasn't fair comparison as they got some advanced technology i did not have or even knew would exist: 'endfire' without array! :-) next time i want more subs, much more subs, arrayed along the whole festival area!

and they didn't care much about maximum spl level or dba lufs; too bad i didn't have an spl meter running... - speaking of that: i once had to measure a harrier jet (as one decision point for how far people need to be away at vertical lift off); very scary too and this just from experiencing the unarmed jet and watching the spl meter!
Old 26th August 2018
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i did the design and installation of a pa/anouncement system for an airshow this weekend - it's somewhat hard to compete with a FA-18, especially when not having many subs in use...
Sounds like a very interesting gig, the technical and logistical challenges are the things I like to take on.
Old 26th August 2018
  #49
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Meanwhile I worked with an all female stage crew for the first time yesterday. Everybody, the stage manager, all the technical staff and stage hands were women. Efficient, calm and without the stupid ego that can often get in the way.

I was told that this was not by design, it just got that way because most of them were founding members of the festival and they didn’t have the money to pay professionals so they learned how to do things themselves.
Old 27th August 2018
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Sounds like a very interesting gig, the technical and logistical challenges are the things I like to take on.
here' a brief description of the signal flow:

all input signals got split to two desks at foh. main and redundant desks output to the same speaker systems but run on different snakes. main system's madi output gets split and sent down to the airfield via fiber, madi to a analog converters going to (mostly) active speakers on stands along the field (several outputs for several zones).
the last speaker's line output of each zone goes into an analog to madi converter, madi going back via fiber to foh for monitoring purposes on the second desk: should any of the return signals go down, the redundant desk could feed the speakers.

i was thinking of doing an auto-fall over by use of ducking via sidechains or by use of d/a converters with digital and analog inputs plus auto-sensing of inputs, but due to some financial and technical restrictions and statutory provisions (as agreed with authorities months prior to the airshow), i opted for manual switching (which in the end was not needed as the main system was running smoothly all the time)

now i start building a hangar for a fa-18: heavily distorted signal throughout the entire audio spectrum, but with thunderous bass and a insane spl capability! :-)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Meanwhile I worked with an all female stage crew for the first time yesterday. Everybody, the stage manager, all the technical staff and stage hands were women. Efficient, calm and without the stupid ego that can often get in the way.

I was told that this was not by design, it just got that way because most of them were founding members of the festival and they didn’t have the money to pay professionals so they learned how to do things themselves.

not sure how attractive my last project (see above) would have been for an all female crew - nevertheless, i'm trying to get at least some girls involved into all my projects. i still get to work with very few in audio though and just a few more in lights...
Old 27th August 2018
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
here' a brief description of the signal flow:

all input signals got split to two desks at foh. main and redundant desks output to the same speaker systems but run on different snakes. main system's madi output gets split and sent down to the airfield via fiber, madi to a analog converters going to (mostly) active speakers on stands along the field (several outputs for several zones).
the last speaker's line output of each zone goes into an analog to madi converter, madi going back via fiber to foh for monitoring purposes on the second desk: should any of the return signals go down, the redundant desk could feed the speakers.

i was thinking of doing an auto-fall over by use of ducking via sidechains or by use of d/a converters with digital and analog inputs plus auto-sensing of inputs, but due to some financial and technical restrictions and statutory provisions (as agreed with authorities months prior to the airshow), i opted for manual switching (which in the end was not needed as the main system was running smoothly all the time)

now i start building a hangar for a fa-18: heavily distorted signal throughout the entire audio spectrum, but with thunderous bass and a huge spl capability! :-)
As I imagined, this is very interesting and involved project, if you need an assistant in the future please give me a shout...I'm a fast learner, I know how to follow instructions and I work hard.

Quote:
not sure how attractive my last project (see above) would have been for an all female crew - nevertheless, i'm trying to get at least some girls involved into all my projects. i still get to work with very few in audio though and just a few more in lights...
These ladies were great, they ran a tight, stress-free ship that inspired confidence. There were four bands on the main stage with 30 min change overs and we were not late at any stage during the night. We were the only band with a crew but all of the other bands were happy with their sound and setups, they used a combination of old-school, (tape and marking the deck and monitors) and new school...they took pictures of every mic position and reset them exactly.

Coupled with an efficient system of working, we were setup and ready to go with time to spare. For the first two or three years of the festival they hired a very experienced stage manager and a single sound tech who taught them everything...the best practices for the various production trades and some of them (stage manager, electrician, sound and light techs) actually went to school for a formal training and certification.
Old 27th August 2018
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
As I imagined, this is very interesting and involved project, if you need an assistant in the future please give me a shout...I'm a fast learner, I know how to follow instructions and I work hard
no need for an assistant but for a partner to co-operate sometimes - so yeah, let's team up on occasion! *

...here comes the irony (regarding the airshow): the contract between the promotor and the rental company for which i did this project in previous year just ended - although things ran for three shows without any issues (on our side), i wouldn't be surprised if the contract wouldn't get renewed as there are always some companies offering their services for ridiculous low money - not sure if and how others might provide redundancy though...



* although i know and get to work with quite a few engineers (and get along well when working together with some of them), i hardly ever encounter someone who seems to be on the same page and/or brings a set of skills to a project that match well with mine/my approach (which sometimes might be somewhat off mainstream, but if so, i do have mostly more than one good reason!) - maybe a discussion for another thread...

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 27th August 2018 at 04:20 PM.. Reason: edited
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