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Thread: The "Welcome to My Nightmare Gig" Thread

  1. #1
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    The "Welcome to My Nightmare Gig" Thread

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    I'd love to hear others experiences (especially if you're the sound guy). I have a couple so I'll start.
    We had a parking lot gig outside a local club. One other band and a bikini contest would go on before us. A sound company would be coming in to provide PA and lights. That is, before the sound company cancelled a couple of days before the show. The club manager knew we had a complete sound system and lights so he offered us the same pay as the sound company to provide PA and lighting. Whoa. We get paid to play and to use our own equipment? Don't see that everyday. Anyhow, we got there several hours before the gig to set up. Power would be from a 70 kilowatt (yes 70KW) generator. Enough to power the club and us! We got the equipment set up and went to plug into this monster generator. Uhhhhhh, where are the 120 volt outlets???? There are none. Oh yeah, the first band goes on at 5:00. That's one hour from now and the band is setting up for sound check. The only outputs at the generator are 240 volt bus bars. Quick call the generator guy! It's Saturday so it takes 45 minutes for him to get there. I ask him where's the distribution box? He says the sound company guy told him he had his own. The generator guy heads off to find a distro box and I head to Home Depot. I figure if nothing else I can build my own (I do some electrical work too). When I get back the guy is back with the distro box. A really high tech looking one. We're already 30 minutes past start time now. He plugs in the box and says it's ready to go. No, first I want to see the voltages on your multimeter. Murphy's law surfaces. All outlets are 240 volts, not 120. Just imagine what that would have done to all my equipment! He starts tearing open the box and I start building my box. Damn, I didn't get cable. Don't even think about an extension cord for a distro box. Sent someone back to my house (10 miles away) to get the cable because I'm not going to pay $2 a foot for cable.
    The club manager has stopped pacing. Actually I don't know where he is at this point since he quit asking when the show would start. No, there he is. Uh oh. He's carrying extension cords plugged into the club. 14 gage, 100 foot cords no less. I explain to him that the cables won't handle the current not to mention the voltage drop. He insists on using them anyhow as he has $100 tables front row at the stage. At least the first band is just a 3 piece and it's still light out. We get halfway through the second song and everything shuts down. Both guitars are acoustic so they keep playing and the singer keeps singing. At least the $100 tables can hear them.
    Here comes the generator guy. The box is ready. I check the voltages, plug in and power up. Everything works. The rest of the night goes without a hitch except for the girls in bikinis with high heels tripping across the stage. Actually that wasn't a bad thing either Our play time was cut by an hour but the band got paid and I got paid. Life just doesn't get any better.......

    Sorry this got so long. Who's next?????????????

    DD

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    240 volts?

    Are you sure you didn't take a wrong turn at Alberquerque and end up somewhere in Britain?
    Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital recording is a pretty neat idea.

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    Or was that 220 and 110? Oh well.......

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    well...i once was asked to do the PA for a few bands and the organisation didn't have a big budget, they gave me some junk to work with,
    i had 4 monitors onstage and no equalizers on them,
    shit,
    then the first bands started to play, electric piano went trough a little piano-amp-and-+speaker, two accoustic guitars and a flute,
    ehm, i didn't have any condenser mics, only sm57's and stuff,
    it was feedback hell, could only play back the music on low volumes and even then there was feedback in every song,
    i hated myself during those performances...thats when i started to wish that i had feedback destroyers, even behringer would have been nice,
    or just some damn EQ's ! or some normal bands without all that accoustic shit...
    now i'm the PA man for a "professional" band, they got their own gear, all low budget stuff, but works fine, they got all their amps connected to the mixer using their line outs, only vocals go trough a mic,
    its my job to upgrade their quality, so i'm gonna get rid of all the line-out stuff, start using mics, but this time i'll make sure that on every monitor (and the FOH) i got 31 bands of "first aid"

    not even close to your 240volt misery, but it sucks when everyone blames you, cause you're standing behind the mixing desk...
    ...listen...

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    The band had bought two Crown microtechs to drive a couple of EV 3way mains cabs and two subs with EV18b's in them. We much prefered the smoothness of a good 3 way cab over a 2 way for the average room. For larger clubs and outdoor stuff we used CLS horns to get the highs. Anyways..., the soundguy and I had taken out 2 Carver 1.5's to put in the monitor amp rack to replace an old QSC that was way past the amtbf's, and just hung the microtechs in the rack and hooked them up to get a feel for the amps using a CD player for listening to see if we could point out a difference in the color of the sound with the new amps, without setting the limits on them. We were tired and left the studio to go get some sleep and return the next night to finish the setup.

    Well....long story short, and without all the explicitives....My bands guitar player called me around 1 a.m. and said he had some bad news. Of course this shook me up really bad because I was just waking up and rapidly going thru the mental list of horrible things that could happen in the middle of the night. The story was..., he and one of his buddies came by the studio and he wanted to show off the new setup. He powered it up and while they were listening, he turned up a Larry Carlton cd I had in the player to see how loud he get it and them still stand it. He didnt know how strong the amps were.
    Two 18's, two 10's, one 15, and two hifreq diaphrams were history.....

    ....................I won`t bore you with the in-between chaos...........

    The fix for all this was....He rented some JBL stacks for us to use on our next gig while I had the speakers sent off to be reconed and order new diaphrams for the tweeters. He paid for everything and was happy to do it. To this day he won't touch anybody else's board. We are still very good friends.
    " Miwk Kowz "

    KŖÓ•: securelock

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    Quote Originally Posted by earworm
    ...but it sucks when everyone blames you, cause you're standing behind the mixing desk...

    LOL, yeah, and it is EVERYONE too, the crowd and the band, even if some clod onstage keeps sticking the mic in front of a main or monitor. I'm in a duo, and I usually point out the sound guy for everyone to harrass when there's an earsplitting feedback event...

    I actually do our sound from the stage with a Mackie 808s, but I'll still point out some unsuspecting soul sitting in the back as the sound guy

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    My worst nightmare gig happened when I wasnít there. When I was just out of music school I had a gig playing classical gtr for a couple years in a chic California-cuisine restaurant. Fairly large place, two rooms seating probably 90 each, very elegant refined atmosphere. I used a transducer, buffer, DI to a balanced input they had specially installed just for me that ran through a pretty nice quality ceiling spk system throughout the place. I performed in a spot about a 2 minute walk from the sound system controls. At each break I just walked to the control room, switched from live input to the prerecorded. Simple set-up after the initial level setting the first night. My nightmare happened, and lost the job for me, while I was on vacation. Got an excellent guitarist to sub for me but he didnít know anything about SR. Big mistake. (He called me right after the gig and told me all about it because he was pretty shaken up.) Didnít have any gear himself - only thing he could use was an external mic. So he initially sets up his mic pointing, just by chance, at the ceiling spr above him, walks to the control room, switches the system to live input, and because of the isolation of the control room is of course oblivious to the feedback thatís immediately squealing and howling through the restaurant filled with wealthy sophisticated couples out for a quiet romantic evening. Well, it took the staff a few minutes to figure out what was happening as customers were exiting. When they got it shut off, they said ďthank you very much, but you can have the night offĒ. My sub never got to play a note and Iím sure gets the shakes whenever he even sees a mic. Classy place though, they gave him his paycheck none-the-less.

    Tim

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    Great responses. Here's another one.
    The band is playing at a small club. By small I mean the stage was used as the drum riser. That's all we could get on it. I'm the sound guy as usual.
    It's about 12:45AM and we only have about 15 minutes left to finish off the gig. Everything has gone great all night.
    The soundboard is set up about 20 feet from the stage and against a wall so I'm looking at the board in front of me then to the band in front of me. The wall is to my left. Next thing I know a table (with drinks) comes flying by my right side. I turn around to see what's going on and 2 guys are fighting right on top of me. Oh yeah, one guy is with a local biker gang. He's there with about 6 other buddies. Just as I throw my hands up to keep them off me and the equipment another biker guy jumps in. I guess he thought I was in it so he sucker punches me. I grab him and we both go to the floor. At that instant there were now about 10 people in the brawl. Well the guy ends up on top of me so I'm dodging punches. Now my wife has gotten to the scene, PICKS THE GUY UP OFF OF ME AND THROWS HIM FACE-FIRST INTO THE WALL! Man, I'll never piss her off again! The guy hits the wall, bouces off and lands back on me as I'm trying to get up. By this time my son has dropped his guitar on the stage, grabbed the guy off me (again) and is rearranging the guys face on the floor. As I get up another guy jumps on my son's back and starts hitting him in the back of the head (he said all it did was piss him off). So now I jump on this guy, pull him off with a strangle hold and (yep) throw him into the wall. That wall really came in handy. Now one of the band members (chicken shits finally decided to help) has grabbed my arm and is pulling me through chairs (still have marks on my shins). I look back to see why he's pulling me through chairs and there's one of the biker guys getting up with a knife in his hand. Too close for comfort. Anyhow, the club was totally trashed. Broken glass all over the place and every table flipped over. Did I mention there was no security at all? The cops were called at least 10 times when the fight started. One of them finally showed up and all he did was watch the biker guys mount up and ride off.
    Lessons learned: We don't play anywhere without security requirements written in the contract. Keep a 4 or 6 D cell flashlight handy at all times in case you have to "light" someone up. If legal in your state, have a zapper, stun gun, whatever you call it handy. We have 2 now.
    Oh yeah, we got paid

    DD

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