"How was Prince?" I keep getting asked. Well, I saw a lot of bands the last few days and several that I really like. The two bands playing here though that held the most hype were Roger and Prince. As I lay in my after show hotel bed rolling over in my mind the few nights past, a contrast dawns on me clearly. Prince with a magnificent show, skills immaculate add in Sheila E, Morris Day and a show that was refined and rehearsed to every detail of talent and impact perfection. Roger's presentation was built on decades of concepts and ideals and talent as well, bold statements, perfect alignments of technology and vision. What is it about Prince's show that has my defenses up and Roger's show that I feel trusting? It was the the words still resonating that were forced into my own and everyone else's ears, that define it best, "What's My Name?, Say My Name!" and watching the crowd respond quasi-unified act as commanded and I realize that Prince's show is all about the perpetuation of the 'ME' that is the 'him' that we are occasionally allowed to call Prince. In what I am sure is was an unintended yet amazingly perfect 'ying and yang' contrast, Roger Waters' show carried message after message focused on the benefit of the 'WE' that is 'us' as a human group and individuals sharing the planet that surrounds us as "Don't be led to Slaughter" floats away on an inflatable pig.
**** Sound Nerd Speak *****
Enough of that and lets take a look at the main stage. 15 deep V-Dosc with triple dV's under, 6 V's over 6 dV's on the side hangs and a thundering 40 Rat Subs across front. 8 of which are loaded and processed separately as they are Rat Super Subs and quite a bit more powerful than the standard Rat subs. As things develop down that front, I will share more in time.
Each day FOH changes a bit and consoles come and go with the various bands, here we have a pairs of Digi Design Profiles, Midas Heriti 3000's, Yamaha PM5D's and one Lee.
Out in the field there were eight surround sound clusters loaded with 6 to 8 V-Dosc.
Two left, two right two mid field pointing toward the stage and two rear field pointing toward the stage. Plus the midfield clusters had Kudo on the back side as delays and the stage left clusters had ARC's acting as VIP fills. All in all, there was a whole lot of everything everywhere which would account for why we needed eight semi trucks to haul the sound gear out here, yikes!
While we are sound nerding out a bit, check out the new EAW MicroWedge 12's rocking the Outdoor Theater Stage
And loading into the Sahara Tent.
**** End Sound Nerd Speak ****
But more important than the gear, cause anyone with a wad o cash can mish some mash together and end up with a pile o boxes, how about let's start meeting the crew!
**** Mini Ratchella Crew Special Part 1 ****
Grandpa rocks the old school Rat shirt working the Sahara tent.
Hoover bunnies the FOH duties on the vintage Rat rig in the Gobi tent.
And yes, this is year 4 for him wearing the Gram Rabbit ears she tossed to the crowd here at Coachella 2005
Main Stage crew chief Lee doing some range finding getting that main PA focused up.
A special guest appearance by Nick the Fly helping with a small Jack Johnson gig separate from the Main stage event and general utility problem solver.
With 35 or so Rat's running around out here we have Daniella organizing passes guests, crew happiness, press and just about anything else that jumps in our lap. Without her out here this challenging show would easily shift to misery.
Roz came back again to FOH on the Main stage.
Sarah was super patch tech on Mojave
Steve Walsh, dialing in Mojave Monitors
Taka patch master and Tony Luna crew chief for the Outdoor Theater.
Jamie, FOH for he Outdoor Theater
Jim took on the tough spot of Mojave FOH, as you can see he is joyous over the mic charts.
Neal setting up Outdoor theater before heading to Mojave stage patching
Shaun rocked as one of the Main Stage monitor tech's
Tim's first Ratchella and working as a Main stage patch tech
More crew to come but this will have to do for for now.
**** End Mini Ratchella Crew Special Part 1 ****
Before I leave ya, you may enjoy this backstage picture at the Mojave tent:
How often do you get solicitations to be on the Rat Sound crew? The Jimmy Eat World tour came through RIT recently, and most of the guys said they were on contract rather than full-time shop guys. I guess I'm mostly familiar with being a shop/gig guy at a regional one-off company where I was full-full-time. Could you post something sometime about how getting a job at a touring company works? I can't really figure out how to break into the business without interviewing directly at the shop..
looks nice hope to get to coachella some year soon.
I got one question, what's a Lee (FOH console I guess), I can't find any info on the internet.
Last weekend I was system engineering on the Groezrock festival (Belgium) and I saw my first real life RatSound shirt (proudly worn by Bob Strakele - FOH for Billy Talent)
Hope to get one of those soon as well.
PS let the nice blogs keep on comin'
The Rat Super Subs are loaded with a higher power driver, we juiced up the power to them and put 3 cabs on a bridged Lab Gruppen 6400 and developed some special XTA processor settings for them.
Oh, I have been testing processor limiters and have been able finally to get a digi limiter to beat out the anaologs we were using. The new XTA 44? series processors with the dual limiters work really well so we are migrating over on all but the old school clients.
As for me, I will most likley run the new Rat processor settings with the 501 in line for added real time limiter control.
"Breaking in" is a tough one and there is no set "way" that I know of. Rat typically will hire shop humans whom work their way up to a tour slot and also we hire in 'hired guns' with established reptuations that we know well to scale up as things get busy. Rat is not a very big company so availability of positions is very limited, yet we are honored by how many people would like to work with us.
I have posted some tips on the Rat Message Board about the attitude and dedication that the industry looks for.
All in all, as a general rule, persistance, patience and positivity combined with a willingness to work the trenches to reach your dreams seems to work in just about any field.