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What is your most embarrassing experience you have ever had in Audio?

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Brian Abington:
Hey guys,

I'm new here. I'm originally from the Omaha area and recently moved to the Spokane Washington area. I have over 20 years of experience in a Church volunteer FOH positions, and freelance show production work.

I thought the question of "What is your most embarrassing experience you have ever had in Audio?" would be a good ice breaker.

For myself, some of my friends in Omaha had all played in very well known bands over the years and came together to form a new band.

Their first show was in the small bar attached to the Ranch Bowl in Omaha. They asked me to run sound for them since the RB did not provide techs for the bar.

The bar had a small sound system consisting of a 16 ch mixer 2 speakers, 2 monitors, and a really old amp that was sooo full of dust bunnies that you could have made a rabbit from fuzz I pulled out of the openings on the back of the amp.

The first act was an acoustic duet, and the second was an acoustic solo act. Nothing to complicated.

It was a small enough room with only about 100 people that all I put mics on were the acoustic guitars of their 2 opening acts because they didn't bring an amp and I didn't have a direct box with me.

When when my friends band played I put the kick drum in the monitor for the drummer. That was all that was needed beyond the vocals because the bass and guitar amps were loud enough to be heard over the drums.

Into their first song the super dusty amp needing to finally exert itself to be loud started over heating, the cliping indicator kept flashing, and John sounded like he was singing with a kazoo in his mouth. Then the amp started to go into thermal protection and shut off.

I had the gains all the way down, and decent levels coming from the board. But there was nothing I could do about it. I told the band what was happening between songs but the crowd didn't know what was happening.

Everybody was staring at me because they thought I was the reason it sounded like crap and not the facilities poorly maintained equipment.

I sat on the floor behind the mix board the rest of the show.

frank kayser:
We walked into a bar like that the other night - fortunately we brought our own stuff.

During setup, my friend called me over saying he had not seen anything like this outside a shop - OLD jbl 2x18 cab, top speaker teh dust cap was gone, the cone disconnected from the burned voice coil.  It looked like the cabs hadn't been used in years - just there taking up space on the dance floor, and attempting to impress, I guess.

They also had some old Cerwin Vegas on the wall, and some old Peaveys as well.  This place has been there since I was a kid, 40 yrs ago.  One could imagine...

As far as stupid, well most of what I do - but specifically, last Sat had some brain fade and plugged the IPOD into the INSERTs rather than the inputs - all I got was a woeful, pitiful low-level muffled sound out of the aux1 monitors - nothing out of the main - ran around looking at everything.  Of course, since I plugged the IPOD into the channel strips, I also inadvertantly disconnected two channels of DI - No signal, of course,  WTF? changed out pristine DI boxes with better ones and still nothing.  Of course, some of the DIs worked, so that was confusing.  10 min later, I had that D'oh! moment...

And we lived happily ever after...

Chris Hindle:
Doing monitors for a BOTB about 25 years ago.
shared drums and guitar amps. Bring yer axe and keys.
2nd or 3rd group changeover, and this little 8 year old is poking around the drum kit. Tell him to bug off. 2 minutes later, he's sitting on the throne. Tell him to bug off.
Guitar dude starts to play a riff, again I tell the kid to bug off.
Rest of the band takes the stage, and now the little bugger is whaling away on the kit like he has been doing it all his life.
Turns out he HAS been doing it all his life. Pretty good at it too! He was able to play the entire set staring at me with daggers in his eyes, and not missing a beat.
Lesson learned ? Be carefull what you say at a gig. You may be surprised to see who's paying the tab.

Jared Bartimus:
frank kayser wrote on Wed, 26 January 2011 06:10
As far as stupid, well most of what I do - but specifically, last Sat had some brain fade and plugged the IPOD into the INSERTs rather than the inputs

In my case it was plugging into the L/R output inserts instead of control room out for monitoring on my laptop but fortunately that was near the beginning of practice.

Bennett Prescott:
Most of my embarrassing experiences are nightmares, literally. Had one last night that I was mixing some high profile event with a lot of spoken word in between music acts. I set up the system, Midas Pro 6 at FOH, and we did a check. For some reason whoever was in charge was all over my back the whole time, asking if I'd done this and that... I kept assuring them that I had certainly done that and was more than ready for their event. I was also under staffed, the only audio guy on the show, and my mix position was buried deep in the audience.

Anyway, we finish the run through and prep for the show. Show opens with an announcement by some dignitary, and I realize I haven't prepared... at all! Channel gains aren't set, no EQ or high pass, and I have nowhere near enough gain before feedback. Somehow there also doesn't seem to be any connection between my channel gain and the feedback that keeps happening, and people in the audience are starting to mutter to themselves about the audio. Another announcer steps up and I can't find her mic at all, it must be on some other layer, and I've covered up the banking buttons with a script or something. Every time I move it to try and find them I somehow just cover them up again, can't find them anywhere on the board. So I panic, and go into my patching, and try and patch her channel (which I can see on the screen) to the fader right next to the guy who was just speaking. Somehow I manage to delete my whole patch, inputs and outputs... dead air.

This is when I realize that the whole time I've actually been mixing on some kind of sidecar, and the actual desk is on the other side of the audience. When I killed my patch I also killed the assignments that make the sidecar work, so I have no control whatsoever any more. I'm going to have to get out of the row, packed with people, across the aisle, and into the other audience section to get to the main desk... and still there's dead air.

Just as I'm starting to think I've finally totally fucked my career I get that funny feeling like this isn't real, and I might be able to just wake up. This isn't my show, it never was and never will be, I can just wake up.

So I fucking did!


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