Monday, December 7, 2015

Mixing Headworn Vocal Mic and Keyboard Through a Keyboard Amplifier

Recently, I was involved in mixing a show where a keyboardist wanted to mix his vocal mic and keyboard through a keyboard amp and send that feed to the FOH mix console. The keyboard amp was an Alto Kick 12 that featured 4 input channels and balanced stereo outputs. The vocal mic was plugged into input 1 via the XLR jack and the keyboard was plugged into input 2 via the 1/4" jack. It took a few minutes to set the balance of inputs on the keyboard amp and then set the output to the FOH console.




















During sound check the output level coming from the keyboard amp was too hot for the input on the mixer even with the channel gain set a minimum. Upon inspection of the keyboard amp I saw that the main output level was set to maximum and needed to be dialed back.


















Next I needed to get a proper balance between the vocal mic (a headworn type) and the keyboard itself. At first the sound was not good because, the keyboard amp had EFX turned on along with the EFX at the FOH console. So, I turned off all the EFX on the keyboard amp and used only the FOH mix EFX instead.

After some tweaking I got a reasonable blend of signal coming to the FOH mix. The biggest issue was keeping a good vocal / keys balance throughout the set. If only the performer would have let me take his mic feed direct to the FOH console and not through the keyboard amp, I would have had better control.

Then afterward, I got thinking about an alternate setup that I should have consider trying if I had more time between sets. If I had an XLR Y-cable, I could have taken the vocal mic feed, split it into two feeds, and sent one feed to the keyboard amp and one feed to the FOH mix. I wondered if that would have lessened the amount of signal sent to the FOH mix.

Then I wondered about using a mic splitter to split the channel properly to avoid any ground loops issues. Of course, Radial Engineering has just the solution that would work for that setup. It is the Radial JS-2 Mic Splitter. See the application drawing below:













Just like the diagram shows, the mic signal goes into the box and two outputs come out and go to the two mixers. It shows two FOH mixers but, it would work with the mixer keyboard amp too. With this setup the keyboardist could adjust his keyboard levels to way he likes and I would have independent feeds for the vocal mic and keyboard allowing me to achieve a better balanced mix at FOH.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Road Map for Choosing The Correct DI Box by Radial Engineering













Radial Engineering has a really cool DI box selector called the Radial Road Map.
Click on the web link below to open the application, select which instrument you want to connect to a DI box and you will find a number of example hookups illustrated using Radial Engineering products.

http://www.radialeng.com/roadmap.php

Also check out the Radial "Intercom" newsletter available on the web site in PDF format. There are features on new Radial products along with some great articles and helpful tips.

http://www.radialeng.com/newsletters.php


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Taking Care CDs, DVDs, and Cassette Tapes

For most people these days, music that they listen to is usually downloaded from the internet and played back on their Smart phones, tablets or MP3 players. Only a small percentage of people still actually use CDs, DVDs, Vinyl records and even cassette tapes. I personally still like to listen to my music on CD but, I do still have a box cassette tapes in my collection. I have even gone to the extent of transferring some of my cassette tapes to my computer allowing me to make a CD copy to play in the car, etc.

Today, I came across an article on Prosoundweb.com that discussed how to maintain magnetic and optical media (ie: CDs, DVDs, and Cassettes). The article tells you how to solve problems with your media. Like a scratched CD or a crinkled and snapped cassette tape.
Click here for the article: 

So, if you still have recordings on these older formats, take a few minutes to read this article and learn how to keep your collection in good shape. For all the younger people out there who have never seen or used a cassette tape, see the diagram below:














.....And Here is a picture of a typical dual cassette deck that will playback and record onto the above shown cassette tape:














With a dual cassette deck, one deck is playback only while the other is playback and record. This allows you to playback a pre-recorded cassette on the playback only deck and record a copy onto a blank cassette using the record deck. Blank cassettes available with various time capacities. Standard formats are C-60 and C-90 which meant 60 mins total recording time and 90 mins total recording time respectively. Recording is available both "sides" of the cassette tape. A C-60 tape will be 30 mins per side and a C-90 tape will be 45 mins per side.

Some samples of 60 min. and 90 min blank cassette tapes (new):














Monday, November 30, 2015

Cam Jam 2015 - A great success!

On Nov. 21st, I mixed sound for "Cam Jam 2015" at the community centre in Camlachie, ON. It was a great day of local country bands and a little blues thrown in there for good measure. During the day I did have some minor technical glitches to deal with but, solved those problems in good time.




Stephen Dumont and friends last night at cam jam
Posted by KayDee Connors on Sunday, November 22, 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015

Wiring The Stage Efficiently and Safely

Today, the feature article on Prosoundweb.com is all about wiring up the stage efficiently and safely. There are some excellent tips to help every sound technician when wiring the stage. Here is the link to the article on the web site:















Another great resource I found was a downloadable spec sheet on "Stage Zones" by Radial Engineering. They are a company that manufactures snake systems and cabling assemblies and custom patch solutions. Radial products featured in the document are the: Stage Flea, Stage Bug, and Stage Slug. These are various kinds of sub snake systems for cleaning up stage wiring. 
The document features a diagram showing how the stage can be divided up into "Zones" making the wiring the stage more efficient, clean and safe. Click here to go to the Radial Engineering web site and download the PDF document:


Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Alchemy Interviews: Arnold Lanni

I found this video about Mr. Arnold Lanni originally from the Canadian bands "Sheriff" and "Frozen Ghost". I have been a big fan of all the Frozen Ghost music since the 80s. Frozen Ghost disbanded in 1993 after their last album and Arnold Lanni went on to become a major record producer. Arnold has worked with bands like "Our Lady Peace", "Finger Eleven", and "Simple Plan". In the video, Arnold Lanni talks about his time recording albums for these bands.














Here is the link to the video:


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Sennheiser Asking Bands & Artists To Review Their New D1 Series Wireless Systems

Reading the most recent entry in Canadian Musician magazine blog reveals that Sennheiser is looking for bands and artists to test out their new D1 series wireless systems. Sennheiser is looking for official testers to try out the new products. You must go to the Sennheiser web site to register yourself as a potential tester. Sennheiser says that they have 150 spots for potential testers.

Please click on the link to read the blog entry in Canadian Musician magazine and then click on the Sennheiser web link for more information and how to register.

http://canadianmusician.com/blog/2015/11/06/sennheiser-calling-on-bands-artists-to-review-its-evolution-wireless-d1-series/

Here is a look at the D1 Series Wireless Systems by Sennheiser


Canadian Musician Magazine - Dean Brody CD Giveaway





















Here is the latest sweepstakes from Canadian Musician magazine. CM is giving away Dean Brody's latest CD "Gypsy Road along with a copy of CM magazine with Dean Brody and Paul Brandt as the feature article. Go to the web site link to enter:  http://www.canadianmusician.com/sweepstakes/
Good luck everyone!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Country Cam Jam Saturday, November 21, 2015 - My Next Gig
























Here is the poster for my next sound gig the Country Cam Jam 2015. It is at the Camlachie Community Centre on Saturday, November 21st, 2pm to midnight.

Here is the band lineup for the event:

- Borderline
- Cornhuskers
- Country Kings
- Free Rein
- Joan Spalding
- Stevie D.
- Vic & Kim

Yours truly will be doing the live mix for the show using the sound system provided by John Tiernay and Borderline. I am looking forward to the gig. Let's Jam!

Monday, October 26, 2015

My Most Recent Sound Gig Worked


Okay, here is a picture of Sarnia, ON. band called "Marinol Nation" playing live at Trinity Lounge and Temple Bar. I was at the helm mixing the show in this really unique venue. What you are looking at is the remnants an old strip club that used to be called Cheri Champagne's. Notice all the mirrors on the full wall behind the band. Acoustically, this makes for some challenges mixing loud music in the space.

My mix location was behind the stage left speaker shown on the right side of the picture. I had to walk out to the front of stage to listen to my mix and then back to make adjustments. The sound system consisted of a Yamaha EMX5016 powered mixer, 2 - Yamaha S215 Dual 15" speakers, and 2 - Community 12" speakers used as stage monitor. The main speakers were connected to power amp outs of the EMX5016 mixer. The stage monitors were connected to a Yamaha EMX212 powered box mixer being used as a power amp. It was a creative setup but, it worked.

For mix inputs, there were just 4 - vocal microphones and 1 - kick drum mic. The rest of the instruments were not miked. There was only one monitor mix sent from the main mixer to the box mixer. The main speakers were run full-range since they cannot be bi-amped. A subwoofer was not used.

The stage size is approximately: 20ft W x 7ft D x 3ft high with a low ceiling. The stage is very hollow inside and some frequencies resonated a little more than others. Used a little bit of EQ on the mixer to adjust it. The kick drum mic used was a Shure Beta 52 and its input level was way too hot until I selected the -26db Pad button for that particular mic input. Solved the problem.

AC outlets were at a premium and I think every one was used on the stage area for the show. Luckily, there were no ground hum issues with the setup. Considering the condition of some of the old light fixtures and electrical wiring, no breakers tripped during the show. I noticed some old fluorescent light fixtures in the ceiling above the stage that all have exposed wiring coming out of them and no light bulbs in them. Instead there were two, clip-on lights on either end of the stage ceiling to light the stage. Found out later that if you want a light show, you need to bring it yourselves. Lighting was basic to say the least.

During my mix I did get some high frequency feedback from the vocal mics due to how near they are to the main speakers on each end of the stage. A little bit of EQ roll-off is all I could do with what was available to work with. Opening band was a trio and I was really pushing vocal sound to get above the louder guitar amp and bass guitar. I kept running out of headroom on the mixer. I did the best I could for the mix.

The main band actually played quieter for their sets than the first band. I had 3 vocal mics up and a kick drum mic up and I have a good mix going during the sets. One song had a guest performer play some harmonica during a song and his sound was good during the set. Generally, I had a decent mix going on. There was only a small but, enthusiastic crowd that came to enjoy the music. It turned out to be a pretty good gig.

There are few things that I would change for my next gig at The Trinity Lounge:
- move the FOH mix to the front of house area - would need to find a mic snake cable for the setup.
- use proper stage monitors on a 2 ch. power amp instead of regular speakers on a powered mixer.
- add a 2 ch. 31 band, graphic EQ for 2 separate monitor mixes.
- remember to bring my iPod to plug into the mixer for house mix
- inquire about in-house stage lighting and bring at least a couple of lighting trees with some lights.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

My Response to Gordie Johnson's, "Turn That Amp Up!" Article


Gordie Johnson says, "Turn That Amp Up" to guitarists when playing live...

See article on Professional Sound magazine web site here: http://professional-sound.com/soundadvice/turn-that-amp-up-by-gordie-johnson/

Working as a sound tech in the bar/clubs, I know that guitar amps for the most part of usually louder that the other instrument amps in a typical band. The biggest issue happens when the guitarist has his amp facing the audience and all you can seem to hear is the guitar amp and not much else. Combo amps are problematic when the guitar places the amp on the floor behind himself and all the amp sound is blasting the back of his knees! That is when the guitarist turns it up because, he can't hear his amp!

I know that most tube guitar amps sound much better when they are turned up. As a sound tech, I usually make a suggestion to change the location of the amp from behind the guitarist to beside him. That way the guitarist can still keep the amp turned up while also providing a side fill wash of guitar to his band mates. That way, I can add the mic sound to FOH mix to blend with the rest of the band.

If the guitarist has a 1/2 stack amp then, I suggest that you turn the amp sideways towards your band mates on stage. Trust me, they will be able to hear you and so will you.

If the guitarist has a combo amp then, I suggest that he get that amp off the floor from behind him and put it up on something to allow them to hear their amp better. An empty road case works fine as does an amp stand that can be purchased at your local music shop. A wonderful creation for guitarists!

I believe that all guitarists should have a few amp set ups for various kinds of gigs. If you are playing arenas then a stack amp or powerful combo amp will be great. If you are playing a live music bar/club, a medium powered combo amp is plenty enough. If you are playing a coffee house, or other small venue, then a low powered combo amp will suffice. From my experience, I much rather enjoy mixing a band in a live music club playing through a 20 watt tube combo over a guitarist with a 100 watt stack amp.

When I mix shows at the local live club in my town, I have had the owner come up to me and ask for the mix levels to be turned down. That is when I show him that even when I mute the guitar mic channel on the mixer, the guitar amp is still really loud. It is his club and he has to appease his patrons so I usually find a way to fix the mix.

So, Mr. Gordie Johnson, I do agree that guitarists should "turn that amp up" but, I also know that sometimes less really is more.

Cheers!
The Sound Tech Guy....

Friday, October 16, 2015

Repair Or Replace Sound Reinforcement Gear?

Today, I read an article on the Prosoundweb.com site entitled "The Decision To Repair Or Replace Sound Reinforcement Gear" by Bruce Bain. This article is perfectly suited for this time of year if you are a sound company owner. The summer months are gone and fall is already here providing time to take inventory of all your sound gear and see what needs to cleaned, repaired, painted, or replaced.
Here is the link: http://www.prosoundweb.com/article/the_decision_to_repair_or_replace_gear/P1/


Back in the Jan/Feb 2014 issue of Canadian Musician magazine, is an article that I wrote called "Buying Used Sound Gear". It was my take on the process of buying used sound gear to create a PA system for bands, musicians and independent sound technicians like myself. In it I talk about the idea of contacting local,  sound productions to see what kind of quality, used gear they are selling off to replace with new, updated gear. Here is the link: http://issuu.com/cmonline/docs/sp_cm_janfeb14_2_/60



I was thinking about writing a follow-up article to my first one but, I believe that Bruce has touched on everything I would have talked about. Thank you Bruce!


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

9 Things Every Musician Needs To Know About The Sound Guy



Okay, today I came across this article pertaining to what a musician needs to know about the average sound guy at any gig. Here is the link to the article: http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2014/01/06/sound-guy/

My Thoughts About Being A Sound Guy:

One of the things I wish to express to all musicians is about your personal gear for your show. As a sound tech, the biggest thing I come across at shows is when musicians do not bring all the required gear for their stage setup. (For example: power bars, extension cable, instrument cable, patch cable,  etc.)

Here is how I would like you to remember it for any gig. Bring all required accessories, cables, from the point of where you instrument setup begins to the point where it ends ready to patch into the sound system. For most sound systems that will usually mean at the point of connection at the microphone snake box onstage. Most venues will have the required XLR microphone cables to hookup to microphones, DI boxes and balanced line outs on instrument amplifiers. That means you as a musician need to worry about everything in the signal chain up to that point.

For guitarists: make sure you have all your guitar cables for your patches between you guitar, amp and pedalboard. I recommend that you also bring your own power bars and AC extension cable to power it all.
From the sound guy or girl: he or she will have the microphone, stand, and XLR cable to patch you into the PA.

For keyboardists: same as above. Make sure you have all your required patch cables and AC power for your keyboards. Some keyboardists show up without their own keyboard amp which is not recommend assuming that they can just patch into the PA. While that works with the proper DI boxes connected, it is not the optimum setup. Your guitarist/bassist buddies in your band have amps, so should you. Since keyboard amps usually have multiple channels then, you would able to have independent levels for each keyboard along with a way to monitor yourself during the show. The keyboard amp would have a line out that would be patched to the PA for the house mix. An alternate option to the keyboard amp could be a powered mixer with passive speakers or a passive mixer with powered speakers.

For drummers: if you have acoustic drums a great way for consistant stage sound is to purchase your own set of drum mics and carry to each gig. That way you know everything works and all you have to do is get the sound tech to patch into the PA.
From the sound guy or girl: we like to use sub snake cables for drum setups. It keeps the cable clutter down by allowing to use shorter XLR cables for each drum mic. Now, a cool option for a drummer is to also have a small sub snake cable constructed of about 10ft. consisting of just XLR Male and XLR Female tales ends labelled for each specific drum mic in your setup. Another popular option is to use a compact mixer to submix all the drum channels allowing the drummer to control the levels to monitor while sending a patch to the PA to the house mix.

For acoustic/electric guitarists: please remember to bring your guitar cable and spare batteries for your guitar preamp system. At most venues, there are not usually spares of this gear. Having an actual acoustic guitar amp to play through is a nice option compared to just plugging your guitar into a DI box patched into the PA. That guitar amp will give you confidence monitoring while onstage and it can patched directly to the PA for the house mix keeping your stage mix independent. If you don't have an amp then, at least purchase your own DI box for your setup. Many acoustic guitarists I have worked with always bring there own DI boxes to each gig which are patched into the PA. Make sure your DI box and guitar cables are in good, working order. Buy quality guitar cables and not the cheap ones. Quality cables will sound better and last longer.

For vocalists: if you have a specific vocal mic that your like to use then, please bring it. Most venues will only have a certain compliment of vocal mics to use onstage. (ie: Shure, AKG, EV, etc.) If you have a wireless mic setup that you prefer to use then, please bring that to the gig and inform the sound guy that you want to use it during the show. Don't forget the mic clip and batteries for your mic. Most venues do not have spare mic clips for wireless handheld mics which have a larger shaft then a regular wired mic. Bring your spare batteries and put in a fresh set just before you go on for the show. If your mic dies during your set there is nothing the sound guy can do about that. Note: If the venue has in-house wireless mics then, the battery responsibility goes to the house sound guy.

For all musicians: please do not damage any gear in the venue. If you noticed something that is broken with the sound gear onstage, please let the sound guy know so that he or she can make a note to have it fixed. When you have drinks onstage, please make sure to keep them upright during your set and take them away once your are done. Part of this is for safety reasons. Spill drink on mic connector and AC connectors and you may get the shock of your life. When it comes to teardown after a gig make sure you take your gear and only your gear. Please do not mix the venue's gear with your own. It all costs money to replace regardless of who loses it. It is best to mark all your cables, and cords with some kind of ID showing who it belongs to.

One note from the sound guy: Please make sure that the sound guy has muted all the mixer channels before you start unplugging cables from your gear causing loud bangs and pops through the PA. This is not good for the audience and it is not good for the speakers. Give the sound guy a few minutes to mute all the channels on the mixing console and then confirm with him or her before you unplug.

Thank you musicians for understanding what us sound guys are trying to do for you at your performances.
Rock on!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Experienced Sound Technician For Hire

My name is Ron Behro and I am currently seeking work as a freelance sound technician. I am interested in working with clients to provide professional sound services for their show or event. I am interested in working on events located in Sarnia, ON and the surrounding areas of Chatham and London, ON.

I am able to provide professional sound services for your show if you already have your own sound system in house or portable. If a sound system is required, I can put together a system that will work your show or event.

I have experience with up to 24 channel sound systems and audience of up to 600 people. I generally work with analog style mixing consoles for most shows however, I have worked a number of shows using digital mixing consoles.

If you are interested in hiring me to provide professional sound services for your next show or event, I invite you to contact me directly by email to discuss the details of your production. I generally work on a per contract basis with my clients and ask for payment on the day of your show or event. Rates for my services are based on the requirements of the show or event.

If you would like to hire me for your next show or event or require more information, please contact me using the information listed below. Thank you!



Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The state of Le Studio in Morin Heights, QC.

Since the recent news about the vandalism and destruction at the former Le Studio in Morin Heights, QC, there have been so many comments regarding the building's fate.

On another blog page I read a comment about how the town of Morin Heights should consider making the owners secure the building from any further damage or have it condemned due to safety reasons. At least secure the doors and windows again to prevent more vandalism from occurring.

From the owner's point of view, they should secure the building to prevent more damage. Then, the owners should seriously consider on what they are going to do with the building in the near future. With the current destruction, the owners now have a building that will not stand up to what mother nature is going to throw at it!

If I owned the building, I would make it secure again by closing in all the doors, windows and fixing the skylights/roof damage. Next I would have fencing installed around the perimeter of the building to get the vandals out. (Or at least try to!) Then I would sit down with the town of Morin Heights and tell them my plans for the building.

What would my plans for the building be?
If I had the money to by the property, I would rebuild the recording studio into a learning facility for audio recording/music production/video production. I would turn part of the building into a music museum showcasing a history of all the artists and bands that recorded there in the past. Maybe even have a summer camp for students to learn the art of music production and audio recording. The guest house on the property could be used as a summer residence for the students.

The current owners did have plans to renovate Le Studio into something new when they decided to demo the building on the inside. Obviously, plans changed and they just halted the renos years back. Everyone would like to know "WHY?" You would figure that if the owners weren't going to proceed with any more renos to the building, that they would just sell the building/property to someone with a vision for the place.

It is sad to see the iconic Le Studio sitting in the woods of Morin Heights dying a horrible death. If they don't secure the building soon, there will not be much more destruction and deterioration over time. Once the elements get at the inside exposed areas of the studio, there may not be much left to salvage in the long run. Especially once winter gets inside the building.

There have also been many people suggest that the members of RUSH should just buy it and turn it back into their once labelled "Abbey Road". That sounds wonderful to the fans but, I am sure that the guys in RUSH are not about to invest in the building in its current state.

With the current owners holding the property for ransom, there is not much any of us can do about the fate of Le Studio. Maybe the owners would consider selling the property if they got the right price. Of course, they probably would want an astronomical amount of money to buy it! The property alone is probably worth much more money than the studio building. Even if Le Studio was gone completely, the owners still have a huge piece of lakefront property that could sell for millions!

Here are some pictures I found on the web of Le Studio in its former glory days.







Monday, August 10, 2015

Le Studio - Attacked and Vandalized !!!!! August 2015

Heard the unfortunate news that the former Le Studio building in Morin Heights, Quebec has been attacked and severely destructed by vandals! Damn you vandals! Why don't you have any respect for another person's property? Don't you realize that you just destroyed a historic building in Canadian history! Why???

The video below is taken from the Le Studio YouTube channel. Kevin, the host of the channel has already released 2 parts of a 3 part video documentary series on Le Studio. Part 3 has not been released yet but, will be the completion of the video series. Now Kevin is at a loss on how to move forward with part 3.

https://youtu.be/rjagbP9-7Zk


When you are done watching this video and seeing the senseless destruction of a historic building, I suggest you go to the RUSH YouTube page and watch 3 videos that were recorded right there in the Le Studio. The songs are, "Tom Sawyer", "Limelight", and "Vital Signs". All these tracks come from RUSH's 1980 album called Moving Pictures.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Yamaha TF Series Digital Mixing Consoles Released

This year Yamaha has released the newest digital mixing consoles to there full line up. The new Yamaha TF Series Digital Mixing Consoles.















The Yamaha TF Series consists of three models in the lineup. TF1, TF3 and TF5












For a copy of the TF Series Digital Mixing Console product brochure click on the link below:
Yamaha TF Series Brochure


Below is a video of the Yamaha TF Series Digital Mixing Consoles - Design Meets Intuition (Official Release)





This is the Yamaha TF Series Digital Mixing Consoles - Feature Tour Video (Official Release)





To be honest, I have worked on some other previous model, Yamaha digital consoles and I found the learning curve was a bit steep to just jump right in and start mixing. The new Touch Flow system in these digital consoles appears to be much easier to learn how to use than earlier Yamaha digital consoles. I would be very interested in trying out one of the Yamaha TF Series digital mixing consoles on a future sound gig. I look forward to seeing one at my local Yamaha dealer.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Sound Tech Tool Kit For Every Gig

Every sound technician should put together and carry a tool kit with all the essential items that you will require for any gig. I carry an aluminum case with all the tools to cover all the technical issues that I may encounter on a gig. It is better to be prepared than not have the tools to do your job.

My Tool Kit is packed into an aluminum tool case which is available at Canadian Tire or Wal-Mart. Here is an example:


















Here is a list of items that I always carry inside my tool kit:












Battery-powered multimeter
Cable Tester Unit
Screwdrivers (Robertson, Slot, and Philips)
Combination Wire Cutters/Pliers (FlipGrip - 2 sizes)
Small locking pliers
Miniature screwdriver set
Allen key set
LED Flashlight (Maglite)
Gerber Multi-tool
Measuring Tape
Sharpies (black, blue, red, green)
Pencils, pens, paper pad or coil notebooks
Assorted XLR, 1/4", 1/8" plugs and adaptors
1/8" to 2x RCAs Y-cables
Nylon cable ties
Coloured electrical tape (black, white, red, blue, green, yellow)
ID/Board tape
Soldering iron with solder
USB memory sticks
Assorted Batteries (AAA, AA, 9 Volt)
Sound system test CDs
iPod Nano with sync/power cable
Vocal talkback mic with XLR cable

In a second case, I take the following items to each gig:












Passive and active DIs
Small utility mixer
Studio monitor style headphones
SPL meter
Spare microphone with XLR cable
AC extension cord
Surge-protected power bars x2
AC cables
Smartphone
Tablet







Monday, July 13, 2015

Making The Live Mix Work No Matter What by Dave Rat

Once again, Dave Rat has written a wonderful article on how to achieve a great sound mix regardless of what happens during the show. Thank you very much, Dave!

As soon as I read this article, I was reminded of a few gigs that went downhill rather quickly and everything went wrong. Yes, I did get upset and yes, I did panic and make even more mistakes. Since then, I have come to realize that staying calm during these situations is the best thing to do.














Dave mentions in his article about taking a step back and assessing the situation while staying calm. More often than not, the problem is usually something that is minor and can be fixed easily with just a little bit of thought and not panic.

Here is the link to article on the Prosoundweb site:
http://www.prosoundweb.com/article/laying_the_foundation_making_the_live_mix_work_no_matter_what/









Friday, July 3, 2015

New owner of Rustic has plans to bring big name bands to former historic nightclub

In the current issue of The Sarnia Journal paper is an article about a local Sarnia man who has purchased the Rustic bar on Campbell St. in Sarnia, ON. The new owner has plans to bring big name bands to Sarnia by turning the club into a concert hall.

Here is the link to the article: http://thesarniajournal.ca/new-club-owner-plans-to-bring-in-big-name-acts/

It will be nice to have a concert venue where we can see more kinds of bands and artists play locally. Good luck to Stuart Manchee and all his ambitious plans for the former Campbell Street Station.

Here is a picture of new owner Stuart Manchee standing in front of the Rustic club on Campbell Street.
















Saturday, June 13, 2015

June 2015 Update From The Le Studio Channel

Kevin from the Le Studio Channel on YouTube gives us the lowdown on the recent news about Le Studio Morin Heights, Quebec. Thank you Kevin for clearing up all the details about the recent news reports about Le Studio. Lets watch the video here:

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Le Studio Mobile Still Exists!

Part of the legacy of Le Studio still lives on today. Le Studio Mobile is the portable version of the original Le Studio Complex. Le Studio Mobile has been providing live recording on the go for over 30 years! In 2015, there is the version 2 of Le Studio Mobile hard at work. Click on the link below to view the Le Studio Mobile web site and learn about the version 2 of the recording truck.



For a detailed list of equipment installed inside the mobile, click the link here:


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Albums Recorded At Le Studio Morin Heights QC (1975 - 2002)










Go to the Wikipedia page for Le Studio, Morin Heights and you will find the history of the studio complex along with a list of all the albums recorded at Le Studio. Here is the web link to view:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Studio#Albums_recorded_at_Le_Studio

Le Studio was the main recording studio for a number of their most important RUSH albums recorded!
Rush - Moving Pictures is one of eight albums recorded at Le Studio.


Monday, June 1, 2015

Le Studio Complex in Morin Heights, QC is dying slowly!!!

The former Le Studio Complex in Morin Heights, QC now sadly stands in ruins! The current owners of the once famous recording studio have let the building fall into great disrepair!!! It is sad to see this studio dying slowly deep in the forests of Morin Heights. I just found the most recent video taken in July 2014. The camera eye reveals the building in its current condition. The weather and elements have taken their tole on the building while vandalism is completely apparent.

The currents owners have done nothing to the building or the lands surrounding it since they purchased it a number of years ago. That is really so sad that they are letting this building die a slow death. I think the owners should sell the property to someone who is willing to put the work in to bring the studio complex back to life again. At the current rate of decay, there is a possibility that this building will not survive much longer!!! Someone needs to rescue it from its peril....

Here is a the video I found yesterday showing the deterioration of the building.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

How The Aux-Fed Subwoofer Technique Works

Today, I saw a great article on Prosoundweb about the technique of using aux-fed subwoofers in your sound system setup. This is where you assign a post-fade aux send output to your subwoofers as an independant mix. So, for things like kick drum, bass guitar only those signals would end up at the subwoofers while other signals like vocals, piano do not go to the sub mix. The result is a cleaner mix.
Here is the link to the article:
http://www.prosoundweb.com/article/a_detailed_explanation_of_the_aux_fed_subwoofer_technique/

Provided with the article is a great diagram that shows the hookup schematics for a Traditional Subwoofer system and an Aux-Fed Subwoofer system. Personally, I have tried the aux-fed subwooder technique and it works great. (see diagram below). Happy Mixing!!!




Sunday, May 10, 2015

Manteca Live at Aeolian Hall, London, ON.

On Friday, May 8th, I went to see Canadian jazz group "Manteca" live in concert at Aeolian Hall, London, ON. What an amazing performance by an awesome band! This gang really knows how to entertain! It was such a treat to see this kind of band up close and personal in a unique venue.

Speaking of the venue, it was my first time at Aeolian Hall in London, ON. What an excellent venue!
The acoustics are amazing inside this room! The venue is quite unique in that it has been many other things before becoming a concert hall. Now that I have discovered this place, I am looking forward to the next opportunity to see another show in this wonderful venue!

Tony Crea was at the Front of House helm working the excellent sound mix for the show. He is a master FOH Engineer. I actually had met Tony Crea back in the mid 1990s when I was working as a house theatre technician at the Victoria Playhouse in Petrolia, Ontario. Tony used to come in to mix concerts and he taught me so much about live sound engineering. It was so great to meet up with him again after many years!

After the show was over, my friend Ian Gifford and myself stuck around to meet some of the Manteca band members.

First, I met up with Colleen Allen the only woman member of Manteca. Such a wonderfully talented musician who plays many kinds of saxophones in the band.

Then I briefly met Doug Wilde, the keyboardist for Manteca who is also an amazing musician. He was busy tearing down his gear and getting ready to load-out of the venue but, I shook his hand and thanked him for a wondeful performance.

Then I finally had my chance to meet Matt Zimbel, the leader of Manteca in person! I have been chatting with him on Facebook for a few years now ever since the band started touring again after a 10 year hiatus. I was so happy to finally meet Matt in person and he gave me his attention while he was tearing down his kit of congas from the stage. We chatted for awhile until he was done packing up his gear and then we went our separate ways.

For me, this concert was one that I had wanted to see for a very long time ever since I became and fan of the group back in college. Now, if there was a way to get Manteca to come to my hometown of Sarnia, ON. to play a concert... That would be so awesome!!!


Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Industry Theatre - Sarnia, ON - FOR SALE

The Industry Theatre in downtown Sarnia, Ontario is currently on the market FOR SALE. Asking price for the former movie theatre turned night club is $289 900.00. It has a size of 10,000 Square Ft. and is zoned for many different uses.



Click on this link to view information about this property on the ICX.ca Commercial Real Estate web site:


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Le Studio - Temple Of Sound - Episode Two

Today, I watched episode two of the Le Studio - Temple of Sound documentary series. Episode one was released last year which is the history of how the studio was created.
Episode two talks about the studio in its current state of ruin. The current owners of the building purchased it with ideas to create something new but, to date those plans have fallen through the cracks. Episode two talks about 80% of the building except for the actual recording studio part. That part is will be dedicated to a full episode three.

Here is the video of episode two:
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If you didnt watch episode one then, you probably should watch it first so that you will be informed of the history of the studio first.

Here is the video for episode one:

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Real World Gear: The Latest Passive and Active 2-way Loudspeakers

For the majority of work I do as a sound technician, I make use of 2-way style loudspeakers. You have choices of either passive or active types. Passive type that requires external amplification and Active type that has onboard processing, amplification and even a mixer. Both types have their advantages.

Passive type speakers are a great companion to the powered mixer setup. Plug in each speaker with one cable to the powered mixer speaker outputs and you are done. Great for simple setups in all small venues like coffee houses, record stores, and small bars. Only thing that limits this setup is the power output of the powered mixer. You need to match the speakers with available power amp output. Most powered mixer have two power amp channels and work nicely with most passive speakers.

Active type speakers have the advantage of onboard amplification and processing that is perfectly matched for the individual speaker. Also great for small setups with or without a separate mixer depending upon your input count required. Active speakers can be used with any regular mixer by using a standard line level cable for hookup. The active speaker requires the addition of an AC cable to supply the speaker power. Active speakers eliminate the need for a separate power amp rack and crossover setup at the gig. Most active speakers can also be daisy-chained together with a simple signal cable connection from one to another. This allows for a flexible setup that can added onto easily.

Many speaker manufacturers have both passive and active and speakers available for just about any kind of use. A current photo gallery on the Prosoundweb.com web site showcases numerous passive and active 2-way loudspeakers available on the market.

Click on the link to view the gallery:  http://www.prosoundweb.com/photos/category/C165


Saturday, April 4, 2015

SarniaRocks.com - Sarnia, Ontario's Online Entertainment Guide

The web site for SarniaRocks.com is a great resource highlighting all the entertainment happening around the city of Sarnia. It features listing for all kinds of local events from bar shows to theatre performances. There is also business listings for everything from A to Z in Sarnia. If you are a local Sarnia/Lambton county resident, check out the web site regularly to keep up with all the great, local entertainment happening.

Here is the web site link:  http://www.sarniarocks.com/


Friday, March 27, 2015

Home County Music and Art Festival 2015

Today, I was reading the lineup of musicians for the Home County Music and Art Festival July 17th to July 19th, 2015 at Victoria Park, London, ON. What a great lineup of musical acts! Col. Chris Hadfield is the MC for the Friday mainstage shows. That is awesome!


Click below for a complete list of performers scheduled to play:
http://www.homecounty.ca/lineup/

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Application Guide 2010

Tonight I was revisiting the Yamaha Pro Audio web site researching some products and I came across an older application guide book that I downloaded myself. It is the 2010 Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Application Guide book. Here is what the cover look like:



The guide book is a really great resource for sound techs setting up sound systems or putting together systems for different kinds of shows or events. Inside, the book highlights various sound system setup scenarios using Yamaha branded gear in the examples. They have detailed diagrams of sound setups for every thing from a simple band rehearsal systems to a full concert systems with recording setup.

Over the years, I have referred to my copy to help with decisions for sound system setups on my own gigs.
I find it valuable to show to a client when showing them ideas for sound systems for their events. I keep a downloaded copy of it on my smart phone and tablet. Obviously, with the 2010 date, some of the products are slightly outdated but, the general purpose of the guide book is still relevant today. Maybe someday Yamaha will released a revised and updated copy of this great reference tool.

Yamaha still has the guide book available for free download from their web site. To download the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Application Guide Book 2010, please click here:  http://download.yamaha.com/api/asset/file/?language=en&site=countrysite-master.prod.wsys.yamaha.com&asset_id=46704


Monday, March 23, 2015

Going To See Manteca Live In Concert May 8, 2015!!!

I have my ticket to see Manteca live in concert at Aeolian Hall in London, ON on May 8th, 2015. I have been waiting a very long time to see one of my favourite Canadian bands play live. I am so pumped and so looking forward to the show.
Recently, I found a great video posted by Charlie Cooley, the drummer for Manteca. The song is called Big Bear from the 1989 album called Perfect Foot. Check out the video if you enjoy a little jazz music. Cheers!


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Manteca: Live at Aeolian Hall London, ON. May 8, 2015

My favourite Canadian jazz band, Manteca is playing live at Aeolian Hall in London, ON. on May 8, 2015. I have got to get me a ticket as I so pumped about finally being able to see this great band in concert!!!
Their latest CD called "Monday Night At the Mensa Disco" was released in 2013. It is one of their best albums to date.

Click here for the link to the Aeolian Hall web site for ticket and show information:


For more information about Manteca, please go to their web site at:

When you are on the web site, scroll down the page and find the tab on the left side column for a free download of the newest single called "Levitate". Enjoy!