Today we are in Tampa doing another rock show. The warm weather is not so warm but light years better than the various forms of freezing we have been engulfed in over the past few weeks. So I was thinking, why not do something different? How about .....
**** Special "Dear Ratty" Segment ****
Just for a change, how about something new? Welcome to Dear Ratty where I will do my best to unravel the curiosities that present themselves inside the minds of those that post their ponders and thoughts.
Keep up the excellent blog work dave, if you were looking for any suggestions as to future topics to cover may i put forward a request to document/look at the racks and effects used on various channels throughout the rock show?
Thank you Steve!
OK, here you go. I covered the comp and gate connections and usage early on in the blog and if you take a look at tour Blog Day 12 you will find the mic chart. An easy way to skip around the blog days is here -
As far as a look at the racks, you are in luck because I do not play the silly 'secret' game with my settings and gear.and what better way for me to document my settings than putting them somewhere where I am sure not to lose them.
I currently use a total of two effect units during the show. First and foremost is an old Lexicon PCM 60. It was not a premier unit in its day and still is nothing special. Just a simple and easy to use digital reverb unit with buttons on the front. It has 4 room sizes, 4 reverb times and a plate/room selector plus low and high roll off buttons. I use bigger and longer reverb times for the slow songs/parts and shorter tighter or no reverb at all for the faster music. Snare, toms and John's vocal are the primary channels I use it on. Oh, plus I have found that when you overdrive the unit and turn off the reverb it makes an excellent distortion box that I use on AK's vox when they play "Search and Destroy."
The other effects unit I use is a not as outdated Eventide H3500. Primarily it stays as a subtle Reverb/Flanger on AK's vocal. During songs like Sir Psycho and Higher Ground, I use it to to the vocal echo's and I re-dial it up as the guitar panner for a couple of cues in Blood Sugar Sex Magic.
As far as board channels, well, how about pictures of the console EQ's with enough clarity that you can see exactly the gain and EQ settings?
And for those curious about my compressor settings, the Drawmer up top is just a scream protector for Flea and JF's vox channels. Then the BSS quads from left to right, top to bottom do stereo vox, stereo guitar, bass, kick snare, toms, metal things and acoustic guitar totaling 12 comps.
Or actually, just Nerd Speak in general. If you have been to the show or have been checking out the pictures you may have noticed that there are several video devices that Scott and Grier have designed into the show. The bulk of them are low resolution Versa Tubes that form the back drop and the overhead "spines." Additionally there are four high resolution video screens behind the band that move. These things are are not only crazy cool but stupid heavy. They move up and down plus ride on tracks from side to side forming several "looks" throughout the show.
Though on the surface this may seem simple enough, like many things on a grand scale, there are levels of complexity beyond what meets the eye. In order for these screens to safely slid from side to side on a portable track that can be setup each day, much attention must be paid to the varying loads they present to the overhead rigging structure. The mastermind behind this is our Australian techno genius, Raff.
Each motor that supports the track holding the screens is equipped with a load sensor that is connected to a laptop computer. During the show, in real time, in order to follow the cardinal rule of "gear fall out of sky = bad," Raff monitors the weight that each motor bears and has the ability to adjust the various motors with each move so that the weights are balanced and within the structural capabilities of the hardware. Here is a shot of the motor weights in the "parked" position.
**** End Nerd Speak ****
I have no complaints, the tour is awesome. That does not change the reality that it wears on me. The initial challenges and momentum has subsided and now it is about staying focused and keeping my head together. Another hotel, another city and the only thing that is consistent is the timeless sensation of the show itself. Combine that with the fact that my future is determined by an unfolding set of shows that appear in the form of pieces of paper and emails that list various cities we will travel. When does the tour end, where will we go? I have about as much idea as you do. Heck, half the time I find out about confirmed shows on www.pollstar.com long before schedules appear in world. No complaints, it just is the way it is as my future unfolds.
I do know we are going to Japan again as tonight we did a production dinner to discuss logistics.
Boy are there a lot of logistics in moving a show like this around the world and though I have seen it and am involved in it, it never ceases to amaze me.
Oh! I have been so meaning to grab some shots of Gnarls Barkley and here is a quick one I took, I need to remember to take some more.
That's it for now. The Charlottesville show was cool and the venue was a bit more compact sounding, I am at the point now where I look at the seat coverings and ceiling height and already know how the gig will sound before we even turn on the system.
Hey, I will not guarantee that I will do it and I know I have not been making enough time to respond to all the blog comments, but I do read them all, and if you have any requests that you would like to see me cover, post away and I will see what I can do. Just keep in mind that I am all about the techno end and roadie side of things and steer clear of the inner band stuff and any band related things when they are off stage.
Upcoming things .....
Some coverage on the touring monitor system (I should have hit that long ago)
Some shots of Flea's bass rig and perhaps JF's stacks ass well.