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Simple Experience - Funny little things

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  • Simple Experience - Funny little things

    Just a couple of funny little, common sense things.

    1) How many sound guys line the mic up in it's stand holder so that the XLR release button is aligned with the groove in the holder? I've found that firstly you don't have to feel around so much to plug in the cable when the back of the mic is inaccessible and secondly, if it's a vocal mic, there is less chance of the button being depressed if the mic is removed from the holder (at least the first time ). FWIW most mics with switches are aligned so this is the case with the switch on top (The SM81 is an exception where the rolloff switch and pad ring dot are on the bottom (maybe it's easier for overheads that way ).

    2) When operating a board during the star spangled banner, How many guys have their finger hovering over the vocal fader when that high note "of the FREE" is sung (comps can only go so far )?

    Just funny weird stuff.

    This could be a great thread to share those common sense "little" things that you've learned to do by habit over the years (everyone can still learn something).
    J.R. Previously jrble

    See my Dog Of The Hair studio at: http://www.dogoth.com/studio/

    Quote from someone: Flat response? Get out the jack and change the tire.
    If you think "power is knowledge", you have it backwards.

  • #2
    Our national anthem doesn't have that issue...but in your case, you might want to hover over the trim instead of the volume slider.
    Do daemons dream of electric sleep()?

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    • #3
      I prefer to line up the mic in the clip, for exactly the reasons you mentioned.

      My comps must be better than yours, because I've never noticed that issue with the anthem. Then again, I don't hear it very often, so maybe it's a lack of exposure on my part.

      I thought of some little things I do.

      -I store my mic stands in their case with the clip side of the boom facing up so that I can see exactly what I need when I'm pulling out a stand.
      -I coil my cable under or near the mic stand rather than having a rats nest at the snake head.
      -I leave my cable trunks open during sound check (and sometimes the show) so nobody uses one as a table and fills it with crap that I then have to move when I need to get a cable out.
      -I make sure to pull all adapters off of their cables and put them where they're supposed to be, otherwise I'll probably never find them again.

      I'm sure there are more little things I do, but that's what I could think of at the moment.
      B.

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      • #4
        Never let strangers wrap your cables. Once I turned around to see someone proudly present to me a brand new mic cable tightly wound around a shure 57.
        Dan Snyder is bad Karma

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        • #5
          Originally posted by B. Adams View Post
          -I coil my cable under or near the mic stand rather than having a rats nest at the snake head.
          I do the same thing. It also makes it easier if the stand needs to be moved around for any reason, or the singer takes the mic off of the stand.

          I also spend probably way too much time making sure all of the amp/processing/mix racks are all neatly cabled and organized, including the patch panels in them. I'm sure that one drives my partner crazy but I can't help it.

          At festivals I am usually at monitor position. So a funny thing I do is set up my tent/area so that I have all of the mix/amp/processing racks and cable trunks surrounding me with one way in/out. It's like I am back in my childhood, building a little fort to play in all day. Weird!
          Last edited by mshifflett; 11-02-2016, 06:04 AM.

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          • #6
            Some of my preferences/ideosyncrasies in no particular order:

            1) Using the appropriate length cable for the application.

            2) Routing cables "together" and in neat straight lines, rather than haphazardly strung willy-nilly. Basically everything neat and tidy.

            3) Extending the base of folding mic stands all the way down.

            4) Everything is correct and functions properly. For example: No missing rubber feet on stands.

            5) The three vocal mic stands I supply for the band I perform routinely with, those stands are dedicated and labeled as per the performers, so the same stands as per each performer every show.

            6) Starting on-time, and ending on-time.

            7) Leave it (the performance area) as good or better than I found it.

            8) Gaff tape over identified dysfunctional/ faulty venue electrical outlets.
            I need to catch up with those guys, for I am their leader.

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            • #7
              I'm playing restaurants and bars so the stakes on all that is pretty low. But I stick to my habits.

              "8) Gaff tape over identified dysfunctional/ faulty venue electrical outlets."

              Checking wiring at new-to-me plugs is nerdy, but I do it off and on even when there is no obvious issue. Frequently I end up having to use them anyhow due to the cheap-ass places I play, but I see a lot of bad grounds.

              I'm a nerd about making sure that mic stands don't travel with clips.

              I also got a little anal and painted yellow dots, added tie-lines to all my cables (like, even the iec).

              Having the booms to the correct side of things so that mic clips tighten instead of loosen due to gravity.

              I also have an order to cleaning the stage:

              instruments and personal gear,
              mics,
              boxes like monitor / speakers,
              cables wrapped
              trash

              Nothing gets packed in a vehicle till the stage is clean.

              Like I said, low stakes, but clean habits make my life marginally better.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Audiopile View Post
                Some of my preferences/ideosyncrasies in no particular order:

                2) Routing cables "together" and in neat straight lines, rather than haphazardly strung willy-nilly. Basically everything neat and tidy.

                3) Extending the base of folding mic stands all the way down.
                Hadn't thought about it but yep I am guilty of those two.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Luckenbacher View Post
                  [
                  Nothing gets packed in a vehicle till the stage is clean.[/COLOR]
                  I totally agree with this one. I usually get everything packed up in the road cases. Then I put them in order as they would be loaded. Crazy.

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                  • #10
                    I try to pick up the trash first only in case there is liquid or other sticky/yucky stuff that will transfer/spill when dragging cables near.

                    As for cable slack.......I try to work it on a per case basis. If possible, I'll ask if the performer travels and if this is in fact the exact final placement of their stand/monitor. I will always leave an extra meter or so for wiggle room anyway. Not having big coils of cable on stage looks cleaner (for a traveler, I make a figure 8 - Hey it looks good once at the top of the show ). If I'm presetting to a nefarious stage plot, I leave just enough for reasonable travel (like covering their half of the stage) and then try to remove unused slack before pinning everything in place for showtime. Mark has the right idea. If you can.......use the correct length of cable. In a festival situation with lots of unknowns.....All bets are off - slack remains on stage near their mics.

                    I also begin with straight line cable runs but I WILL NOT tape down cables until after sound check. This assures you've asked all your questions about placement and travel and allows any cable gremlins to pop up and get easily remedied. I use the minimum necessary, SAFE amount of tape (if cables can be routed a different way, I try and do so) because when loading in, I'm always thinking about ease of load out.

                    Yup a tripod stand with the center poked to the floor makes me crazy and must be fixed. I also leave the mic clips on the stand and in the up position so that I can see what I'm grabbing (IMHO that soft brass insert only has so many duty cycles in them before they die or destroy your stand). I dislike those course thread mic stand adapters (although possibly a better standard, it never got adapted so manufacturers should get over it & move on). I abhor loose mic stand bases, clutches, boom hinges/extensions & mic holders (both at the stand and their hinge point). Although rough on the finish, I've gone as far as taking water pump pliers to tighten up bases (obviously this doesn't work well if you're traveling and break them down every show). It's amazing the people that don't seem to care and will put up with a sagging mic stand all night rather than tighten in once.

                    Rubber feet coming off are a big problem (quick lock stands may be the worst . When I owned my own company, I bought a spray can of motorcycle grip glue. It lasted for years. I can't talk the company I work for into buying any. Contact cement is a close second and helps a lot.
                    J.R. Previously jrble

                    See my Dog Of The Hair studio at: http://www.dogoth.com/studio/

                    Quote from someone: Flat response? Get out the jack and change the tire.
                    If you think "power is knowledge", you have it backwards.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dogoth View Post
                      Just a couple of funny little, common sense things.
                      2) When operating a board during the star spangled banner, How many guys have their finger hovering over the vocal fader when that high note "of the FREE" is sung (comps can only go so far )?
                      Always!

                      Start on time, end on time, labor and conditions advanced actually provided, get paid as agreed. All are things that bother me.
                      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

                      Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

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                      • #12
                        I'm a nerd about making sure that mic stands don't travel with clips.
                        For me, it really depends on the clip. MD-421? NEVER. But those rubber ones that fit a '58? I leave them on all the time. They're basically unbreakable, and inexpensive.

                        I've started trying to train my bar band to helping with "sound guy" stuff so that we can get our load-in down to something reasonable. I was showing up 3 hours before show time and sometimes had to start without eating. Last show, I almost knocked the mixer off the rack .... I guess it's not obvious to everyone that running mic cables 6" off the ground in a high-traffic area is a really, really bad idea. I've also been trying to train them to do a better job during pack-out. I stopped fixing their "whoops I coiled it badly, oh well" messes between shows, and started handing them balls of nasty. Cable bag is tidier now.


                        I bought a spray can of motorcycle grip glue.
                        FWIW...most motorcycle mechanics will use a can of spray paint. ... and that's a good idea!

                        Wes
                        Do daemons dream of electric sleep()?

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                        • #13
                          I use white tire paint or white self-adhered labels for the "up" side of USB, HDMI and similar flat plugs that need to be oriented correctly for insertion.

                          ​Black on black is real hard to read in bad light.
                          Last edited by Ed Storer; 11-26-2016, 06:01 PM.
                          Seattle Senior - Classic Rock
                          EBMM Silhouettes (6-bolts)
                          6V6's: Who needs more than 20 watts?

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                          • #14
                            Try to route mic cables so the guitar/bass
                            guys with boots don't "grind" on my cables with their heels
                            Last edited by Pro Sound Guy; 11-28-2016, 07:00 AM.

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