First thing in the morning everyone headed over to the BBC. One thing that is really important about doing TV stuff is to maximize the amount of time that you spend waiting around. Actually this show was pretty tightly run and had a just a short eight hours of time slop plus another two spare hours just in case. The combination of extra helpings of spare time and the fact that my importance was minimal there, with Andrew onboard covering the recorded audio portion, my adventure for the day took me elsewhere and over to tomorrow's gig at the Roundhouse. Anyone want to take a guess at what shape the Roundhouse is?
This recently refurbished historic venue was home to shows by many rock greats like The Doors, Hendrix and the fateful gig where some punter threw Frank Zappa off the stage pretty much breaking the Zappa for a while. Very cool, how excited am I to be back in London doing the acoustical equivalent of the baby sister of Earl's Court? Round House, round, hmmmm? Sound bounces a-round in the merry-go-round of sound. If my mental calculations combined with years of experience serve me correctly, curved surfaced are really good at taking all the sound that hits them and focusing it into a central area. As I learned from Earl's Court, London does have a fondness for embracing acoustical nightmares as rock venues, so there is a good chance that this will be right on track.
Speaking of tracks, take a guess about what the 'Roundhouse' was built for originally. Did you ever have a 'Thomas the Tank Engine' train set? Ever wonder how trains turned around? Well, for the non-locomotively inclined, they used to, maybe still do, build round buildings with a rotating floor that the train would drive into and be spun to travel out on any one of the numerous tracks. These train-engine-spin-buildings were called roundhouses and later could be retrofitted to double as a legendary rock venue.
After waiting as long as I could in hopes of hearing the new sound system, I finally had to move on to the next adventure and off to BBC to meet up with the rest of the crew, hey, check out this car:
We don't have those at home. And a 45 minute cab ride that consisted of about a thousand zigzag turns across the traffic filled city
landing me about 5 minutes shy of perfect timing:
Have you ever looked upwards in a TV studio? Holly crap, ceck out at all that stuff up there!
Look, They put lights on those scissory things that you see with a boxing glove on them in cartoons!
I have been getting requests for more info on roadie Daniel's mysterious monitor world so I will take on that project soon in the form of attempting my first interview. Not sure when, but soon. In the mean time, he can be seen here wielding his sword.
Behind him you can see Manny has been lost to the black side of the berry as he is going through the early stages of crackberry addiction. And as our work day comes to a close, look what I found:
Good luck with that gig tonight!
On the plus side it cant be nearly as bad as Earls Court!
A 45 minute cab ride willl have cost someone dear! Im just hoping it wasn't you that had to foot the bill.... Take the tube! lol.
Out of interest, when the promoter is planning a tour, would you as the FOH engineer have any input at all regarding venues. For example, Earls Court has the worst acoustics of a venue that size in London, can you tell 'em that in the hope they will book somewhere else?
Boringly, trains now have two fronts, like a push-me-pull-you, a sandwitch biscuit or a rare Chillis double A-side 7". So they don't turn round any more, they just go the other way. Very dull, I say bring back spinning trains and their associated circular room things.
Long time reader of your very entertaining blog, Dave
I know all sorts of interesting information about sound engineering - very useful for a stay at home mum! lol
I just wanted to say I made a point of checking out your new pirate themed home last night at the R/House, after the squash up at the front, and what can I say but Arrrrrrrrrr, me hearty, you did a good job with your eBay gotten gains!
Oh, and please, give John a hug from me 'cos he looked so *sad* :( Had he hurt his shoulder? He looked in some discomfort. Whatever the reason, I hope it's all resolved now.
Keep on blogging, you're always good value!
Danny - Occasionally I will get asked about a venues accoustics before booking but typically not. Most places fall into a manageable realm but there are a few bas eggs floating around. Most tough sounding rooms go by the wayside over time but nostalgia causes a few to stay alive.
I did not have any unexpected issues. The main challenge I faced is that the stage volume is pretty high and makes is tough. Someone sent me this review:
Jakob, that is awesome!
Thank you Flo!!!