Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fashion Palace Presents: Super Gala Fashion Show

Wow! This is a first for me. It is not often that a Sound Technician (Me) gets top billing on the tickets for a show! I am usually happy with a listing in the show program or even a mention from the MC after the show is complete. Check out my name in BOLD next to BORDERLINE, the live band for the evening's entertainment. "Thanks Brigitte, that is awesome!"

I have to thank Brigitte Bisson, the owner/operator of the Fashion Palace Modelling School located in Sarnia, ON. Originally, Brigitte contacted me back in 2011 looking for a sound technician for her fall fashion show at the Dante Club in Sarnia, ON. I accepted the job and the show went off without a hitch. Brigitte liked my work and she invited me to work the next show in the spring of this year. Yet, another successful show.

Upon inspection of the Fashion Palace website, I noticed that Brigitte had added me to her list of staff members for the group. I don't even remember her asking me but, I am flattered that she likes my sound tech work so much! "Brigitte, I appreciate it very much"!

For the upcoming show in November, I will also get to mix sound for "Borderline" a band that I get to regularily work with around the Sarnia/Lambton county area. Borderline plans to play as a trio band for this fashion show without their regular drummer. "Maybe next time, Bruce".

In addition to the sound mix required for the band and the fashion music playback, a more detailed, stage lighting is being asked for to make the next show that much better. With the help of my friend John from Borderline and his sound system, we are going to get together and design an excellent sound and lighting system for the next show!

I am looking forward to an excellent fashion show in November 2012 and look forward to working with Brigitte and all the staff at The Fashion Palace group.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Mixing Sound from the Side Stage

Last night I mixed sound for a gig on a stage, under a covered pavillion, while it rained outside nearly the whole time. Due to all the water on the ground around the audience space, it was decided that I was going to mix the show from the side stage facing the bands. I didn't really want to get buzzed, if you know what it mean!

The gig went well and I able to achieve a good sounding mix. Of course, there is always something that goes wrong during a show and I wanted to tell you about it.

The first band is a 4-piece with two guitarists, bassist and drummer with all four on vocals. Recently, the lead guitarist has added more gear to his guitar setup and is now running his rig in stereo. This requires the use of two input channels on the mixer panned left and right. It works great for his setup and he had a good sound during the show.

The second band is a 3-piece with guitar, bass and drums + vocals. During the break to change the stage over to their setup, I proceeded to plug in one mic for the guitar amp and patch it into the mixer. I got the levels checked and then the guys started their set. After a number of songs, I decided to go for a walk into the audience and take a good listen to the mix. That is when this one person comes up to me and says "there is no guitar coming from the right side speaker".

So, I go back to the mixer, take a real good look at my channels and then I realize the mistake I had made. When I did the repatch of the guitar amps from the first band to the second band, I forgot to reset the pan control on the guitar mic channel. It had been panned hard left for part of the show! Man, did I feel like an idot when I realized my mistake. Since I was mixing the show on the sidestage, I never heard the problem because, I was never out in the front of house area mixing the show. I waited until a break in between songs and then adjusted the pan back to centre for the guitar microphone. Problem solved!

Even when you think you have a great mix happening, you should always check and re-check all the mixer settings to make sure everything is good. Sometimes the simplest things gets over-looked.
Next time, I need to mix side stage gig, I am going to do the front of house walk during the sound check to make sure everything is in the mix.

Tonight, I was on the ProSoundWeb site and I came across an article by Dave Rat of RAT Sound. It is called:  A Great Mix? Sometimes It Depends On Who You Ask…

In the article Dave mentions an example of a scenario where a band is playing and then the sound engineer realizes that there is no guitar microphone in PA left. A very similar sitution during my gig! 
For any sound engineers who have ever had this happen to you during a show, I invite you to read the article. Click on the link below to view.