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  • "Stupid stories!"

    Share with us your "stupid stories". Stuff that you've seen people do with sound equipment that was wrong, crazy, or just plain stupid.

    Tonight I saw someone hook a snake return cable into the speaker output of a Mackie M-800. That poor amp had to drive all its power through 100 feet of thin, shielded snake cable to 4 wedge monitors daisy-chained, some of them hooked up with shielded guitar cables.

    Hey, 1/4" is 1/4", right?

    Jared

  • #2
    A few years ago I spent a few weeks training a new guy so I could spend some time with my wife. His first night working all alone I get a frantic call on my cell phone:

    All microphones were up, everything was PFL'd okay, wedges were fine, but nothing was coming out of the mains. Amps were on, cables were run, and he couldn't figure it out.
    I left dinner (with my rather annoyed wife) and broke many traffic violations, as it was already 9:30 and shows start at 100. I run in the club, and within 10 seconds had the mains up and sounding fine....
    problem = master fader wasn't turned up.
    Live and learn.

    -Matt

    Comment


    • #3
      A guy I knew called be up one day because he was having problems getting his new guitar rig going. It was a Marshall AVT 150 head and he was using an older crate cab. I asked him what was wrong and he said it worked fine when he got it but it just stopped and was giving off this "kinda burning like" smell. So I asked him how it was hooked up. He says that when he hooked it up the first time the low end was kind of dissapointing, so he took his brothers hartke bass amp and ran the marshall through it, after he turned it on it made a "real weird" noise and quit working and smelled bad. After a couple of minutes of trying to conrol my urge to breakout laughing, I told him that he should call Marshall (Korg) and ask if there is a service center somewhere close to see if it could be fixed. In a very alarmed voice he asked "What do you mean IF?", to which I replied that I'd be surprised If the components in his amp weren't a melted glob of goo at this point. The cool thing was that the hartke came through this working fine. go figure.

      ------------------
      Mike
      www.strangedaze4.net
      Mike

      Comment


      • #4
        I drove 5 hours round trip on a service call to turn on a breaker feeding an amp rack in a resort ballroom system. I walked their "tech" through it and he assured me that the lights were on and the amps were working properly, just that the installation was really ****************ed up. Maybe his lights were on but obviously nobody was home. They then asked me if the service call was covered under warranty!
        -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/Fender Musical Instruments Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

        Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

        Comment


        • #5
          All our gear was set up for a gig. I come back into the venue 1/2 hour before our starting time and see that the speaker output of a peavey xr684 powered mixer is plugged into the input of my little Fender Princeton Chorus guitar amp. Apparently the other singer/guitarist just wanted to test out the pa without having to use the mains for some reason. He just figured he'd plug it into my guitar amp I guess... luckily it was okay.

          Joe.

          Comment


          • #6
            Bonehead sound tech--the one smart thing he did was start dating the singer before I could fire him for sheer incompetence.

            We hit at 9:30 in a 300 seat club that's a regular venue. It's packed. All through the first set, he's frantically twiddling EQs and pushing faders, with a stricken look on his face. At the break he grabs me: "There's something really wrong--I can't get Bill's guitar in the mix." I go back to Mixworld and throw a CD up. No output. None. I trace signal--there's output showing on the Ultracurve and Ultradyne, as well as on the board input and output meters. Check the snake connection. He's got that done-- (missed inserting the FOH EQ and processing at an earlier gig, and another time, forgot to hook the snake to the board outputs). Before heading for the stage to make sure that the breakout box--crossover interconnect is done, I eyeball the amp rack (Oprah) from my Mixworld vantage, looking for pilot lights. Monitor EQs--hot. DSP1100s--hot. Monitor amps--hot. Crossovers--hot.

            At the bottom of Oprah are our four main amps: two Yorkville AP3000s (tops) and two AP3400s (subs). They're dark. No pilot lights; no signal lights. Four dead amps. He'd forgotten to turn them on, and had "mixed" an entire set with the mains--down.

            I could go on about this guy for days, but I get pissed off remembering the time and effort I put into trying to train him. In the end, it was like teaching a chimpanzee to knit.

            Phil
            Qualis vir, talis oratio?

            --Phil

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by bassknave:
              Bonehead sound tech--the one smart thing he did was start dating the singer before I could fire him for sheer incompetence.

              We hit at 9:30 in a 300 seat club that's a regular venue. It's packed. All through the first set, he's frantically twiddling EQs and pushing faders, with a stricken look on his face. At the break he grabs me: "There's something really wrong--I can't get Bill's guitar in the mix." I go back to Mixworld and throw a CD up. No output. None. I trace signal--there's output showing on the Ultracurve and Ultradyne, as well as on the board input and output meters. Check the snake connection. He's got that done-- (missed inserting the FOH EQ and processing at an earlier gig, and another time, forgot to hook the snake to the board outputs). Before heading for the stage to make sure that the breakout box--crossover interconnect is done, I eyeball the amp rack (Oprah) from my Mixworld vantage, looking for pilot lights. Monitor EQs--hot. DSP1100s--hot. Monitor amps--hot. Crossovers--hot.

              At the bottom of Oprah are our four main amps: two Yorkville AP3000s (tops) and two AP3400s (subs). They're dark. No pilot lights; no signal lights. Four dead amps. He'd forgotten to turn them on, and had "mixed" an entire set with the mains--down.

              I could go on about this guy for days, but I get pissed off remembering the time and effort I put into trying to train him. In the end, it was like teaching a chimpanzee to knit.

              Phil

              Except,you might get a ****************ty sweater out of the other deal!
              tlbonehead@yahoo.com
              www.myspace.com/tbone_tommy
              -For Sale:
              -set of GFS Dream 90s- gold and black pearl- $40 shipped in the cont. US
              -(2) Celestion G12M-70 16 ohm guitar speakers in good condition $40 ea. + shipping.
              - Vox VT15 Valvetronix very clean - $85 + shipping
              - Hughes Kettner Edition Tube 20 (the early Voxy sounding one) Sounds & looks good. $250 + shipping. SOLD
              - Crate Palomino V8 - 10" Celestion - Very clean - on Ebay (sold)

              Comment


              • #8
                Phil - That's almost as stupid as your *drummer plugging the output of his power amp into the aux input of your SR24:4.


                *note: not all us drummers are stupid.
                Jared

                Comment


                • #9
                  bump
                  Jared

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I once mixed a big outdoor show for a band that had fired me as a player a few months back. Hey, I'm a Buddhist, don't need any extra karma, right? Turn the other cheek stuff, you know. Besides, all that money.... it's show BUSINESS, not show friends, isn't it?

                    Anyway, I hooked up my rig, fired it up, put a mix CD through it as the crowd began to grow. Everything seemed fine, until the band got up and began to play. First kick on the bass drum, system went down. Came right back up, knocked down by the kick again.

                    Took me forever to figure it out while the band fumed and assumed I was pulling some **************** for revenge. Turned out the apartment complex "electrician" had hooked up the main power to the photocell circuit on an overhead street lamp. Not very many amps available! The crossover was muting every time the voltage dropped, then coming back up after the built-in time delay.

                    It's not much fun arguing that you're an imbecile, not a bastard in front of 5 guys that want to kick your ass. Even my apprentice thought I was guilty as charged. He said you're much too smart to not figure that out right away. Ouch!

                    Terry D.

                    $$$TD1$$$
                    Telling Stories releases 2nd CD, see our WEBSITE! Please check out my GROUPIE STORY and Tales from the Road.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hey, I have to share one more story, a confession, really. Perhaps it will explain why my apprentice thought so badly of me in the last story.

                      Once upon a time, I owned the only studio in a mid-sized Texas college town. I also promoted the occasional concert from time to time. As it happened, my services were engaged to provide sound reinforcement for a famous Texas artist to play at a large fraternity / sorority party. I signed a contract for a substantial amount of money.

                      Now, more money is always better, so it occured to me that if I could get one of my label artists on the bill for this show (did I mention I had a small record label?) then I could move some product and make some serious cash, er, I mean help the young musicians. So I approached the sorority people and offered the band as an opener at no extra charge. The lady I talked to thought it a fine idea.

                      Until the next day, when I was informed that someone's boyfriend's band would be opening instead. I pointed out that I was under no obligation to provide sound for the additional act and they pointed out that they'd just tear up my contract and hire someone else if I didn't play ball.

                      Well, you know, sometimes negotiation is required and I can usually talk the shine off a shoe. So I met with the boyfriend's band and told them there were no hard feelings, but I needed a favor. I pointed out that I ran the only studio in town, was the only promoter, controlled most of the club entertainment, etc. etc. and that I would be VERY GRATEFUL to them if they'd just let my guys open for them, that is, 3 bands for the price of one. They said, and I quote, "**************** you!"

                      Somehow they got the idea that I'd be vindictive. In fact, they suspected foul play so they asked to send someone to give me cues on their sound. I grumbled about someone inexperienced getting in the way, etc. etc. but eventually I said, what the hell, you win some, you lose some, sure, send a guy.

                      On gig day, I let the guy up on the sound platform. After a brief conversation, I determined he didn't know his ass from his elbow running sound. So I did the headliner's sound check myself, and then, as a goodwill gesture, magnanimously turned the sound over to him for his buddies show. I may have accidentally reduced the gain on the main EQ as I turned the console over to him. I say may have because I was paying attention to the light board, which had the unusual feature that day of controlling a harmonizer that was set to 1/4 step flat and inserted into the main vocal channel. Whenever their singer hit a really high note, I toggled a switch that somehow caused his high note to be really flat. Of course he was blissfully unaware of this because he was listening to my very nice monitor system on the stage which did not have the harmonizer in it.

                      He seemed quite confused by all the booing that ensued.

                      In no time at all, the crowd was chanting for the headliner to come up. The guest "soundguy" was really pissed about the weak sound and his singer's pitch problems, but clueless as to how I had caused it and in what to do about it. In fairness to him, he didn't have much time to figure it out before his band was booed off the stage and my goons escorted him down from the mix tower. As he left, I gave him a brief lecture on how this could all have been avoided if we'd all worked together to help each other out.

                      Later, I met his band backstage and they seemed upset. Being relatively peaceful college types, I guess it didn't occur to them to pound my sorry ass and instead one of them threw a coke at me. Strangely, one of my hired rent-a-cops saw the whole thing and did nothing. I chewed him out later.

                      Anyway, perhaps this was not the best approach. It sure as hell was fun. Almost made up for all those records I didn't sell.

                      I'm much nicer now, really I am.

                      Terry D.

                      $$$TD2$$$
                      Telling Stories releases 2nd CD, see our WEBSITE! Please check out my GROUPIE STORY and Tales from the Road.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        [QUOTE]Originally posted by MrKnobs:
                        Hey, I have to share one more story, a confession, really. Perhaps it will explain why my apprentice thought so badly of me in the last story.

                        Dan Licks and the Hot Hicks

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          And I suppose the moral of the story is you DO NOT piss off a Texan.
                          Yeah, now!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Mr Knobs, was that a Behringer CX2300 crossover??? If so, I can get you off the hook for real... Karma and all!!!
                            -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/Fender Musical Instruments Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

                            Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Mr Knobs,

                              Do not let guilt get the best of you... this little lesson has been taught before!

                              While providing sound for a large Northern California festival, a band who lead guitarist had always been rude to my monitor guy was scheduled to play. True to form, he was rude (really rude) again so we inserted an SPX-90 on his guitar channel in the monitor system only. Since the lead guitar was really hot in the side fills (did I mention he was really rude?) We decided to theach him the "don't get mad... get even" lesson, so during one of his "blistering" solos, punched in a half step down pitch shift into his channel for a couple of notes only. Being a guitar player, he assumed he missed so he corrected, but the correction just made matters worse. Now he was totally lost and the look of sheer panic ensued. He knew my monitor engineer did something but didn't know what. Now my monitor guy could get away with it because he is 6'-3" and 260 lbs... no problem. The guitarist was sure it was going to happen again so he played all his solos as rhythem parts!!! My monitor guy and I have been partners in the sound company for over 25 years.
                              -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/Fender Musical Instruments Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

                              Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

                              Comment



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