SAC Rack: This is my mobile wireless mix system. The first 10 performances went off without a hitch and I started to relax. Then, at the end of the second act of the 11th performance wireless signal strength went way down I lost my connection with the host. I ran backstage with my laptop and did the rest of the show from there. I’m still not sure what happened, but since then I have taken some steps to insure signal strength. I moved the router out of the rack that houses other wireless equipment and built little RF reflectors to push signal out into the theatre where I need it.
I’m still don’t know if the router is the weak link or the software so I’m doing my best to investigate each one.
Local Venues: If you follow my twitter feed then you’ve heard it several times: This is a tour of contrasts. One day we are playing on a tiny messy stage at a Baptist youth fellowship building where we can’t even install our set and the next day we are playing on a large stage in a 1500 seat auditorium. One of the most difficult things for me has just been a lack of information. When we show up and there is no sound engineer and no one knows the details of the sound system, it’s a big handicap. In Gaffney the technical director didn’t know anything about the system so I ended up in the flies messing around with their amps and processors trying to figure out what was going on. I discovered that they had a 3-way spectral divide of the system into low/mid/high, which is common, but they had sent the highs to the center cluster and the lows/mids to the left/right stacks! It was really weird.
So far the best sounding venue has been Turnage Theatre in Washington, NC. They had a single central array hung in a room with very few reflections. It was nice. One change that I’ve had to make to every system, though, including this one, is the subwoofer level. Every venue we’ve been to has had it set too high. Everyone seems to want to their subs to act as independent instruments instead of an integrated part of the sound system.
The most exciting show happened just last night at Byron Center when the building’s power went out during the first act. We waited for a while for a fix, then decided to continue with the acoustic piano they had in the pit. Eventually power came back online and we finished the show. No one complained or asked for their money back. Our technical director was happy that she got to yell “Hold!” in the middle of a live show.
Driving: When I found out a day before we left on tour that I would be one of the rotating drivers, I was a little pissed. I hate driving. Especially big trucks, in the snow, for hundreds of miles. It turns out that it’s not as bad and I thought and I don’t mind it so much. With nice weather it can actually be pleasant. Day before yesterday I drove 324 miles through the mountains in the snow, though. That sucked.