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Author Topic: Don't like operating "singer's" phone for backing trax? Beat this.  (Read 5412 times)

David Allred

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Had a nine act talent show and several group skits over the weekend.
Of the 8 needing backing or sound-fx trax, 2 brought flash drives (as resquested).  2 showed up as their skit was about to start with a phone.  One couldn't get it to play the file and one couldn't get the cover off (for the aux jack to fully engage) before the rest of the group just went on without it.  2 showed up with new Iphones (no aux port) and no adapter.
The winner was a phone playing a karaoke file...... off Youtube.... live... in a room of 500.  I warned them of that danger and they replied that they could use their "extreme" wifi service.

I forgot to say these are all teenagers, but didn't think it was necessary.
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Steve Oldridge

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Re: Don't like operating "singer's" phone for backing trax? Beat this.
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2019, 04:36:35 pm »

Had a nine act talent show and several group skits over the weekend.
Of the 8 needing backing or sound-fx trax, 2 brought flash drives (as resquested).  2 showed up as their skit was about to start with a phone.  One couldn't get it to play the file and one couldn't get the cover off (for the aux jack to fully engage) before the rest of the group just went on without it.  2 showed up with new Iphones (no aux port) and no adapter.
The winner was a phone playing a karaoke file...... off Youtube.... live... in a room of 500.  I warned them of that danger and they replied that they could use their "extreme" wifi service.

I forgot to say these are all teenagers, but didn't think it was necessary.
Wow!!   At least it was teenagers. . I've had similar issues with ADULTS! 
"Can you play this CD?"  Having sent out comms that we take USB drives only for content playback.
Thankfully, we invested in Android 1/8-to-1/8" cables and couple of lightning-to-1/8-headphone adapters.
At a couple of $$ each.. it's a lot less painful dealing with folks who don't read, don't listen and believe that SR folks have every adapter in the galaxy on-hand, including the flux-capacitors for their phones plutonium cores and a satellite uplink :)
« Last Edit: April 08, 2019, 04:40:40 pm by Steve Oldridge »
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Steve Litscher

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Re: Don't like operating "singer's" phone for backing trax? Beat this.
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2019, 05:39:34 pm »

HA! (although that's the laugh of a man who's been beaten down by so many similar scenarios that it really says, "I feel your pain.")

And, while I hate to be a one-upper...

A few years ago, it was one of the first large (5000+ people) festivals that I did production for. Two days. Outdoor stage. No cover. No advanced stage plots, input lists, or requirements provided by the organizer or participants...

First group shows up and wants me to play "dance music" for their performance. I asked them if they had source material.

Dance coach: No, the place that we perform at always has the music.

Me: Ok, so what's the music? I can see if we can find it online real quick.

Dance coach: Well, it's got seven songs that we have cut and edited to work with our routine.

Me: Not sure how we're going to do that on the fly. You didn't bring it along?

Dance coach: Why would I? They told us that we'd have a sound guy.


Same festival, later in the day...

Parent of kids performing: Ok, here's our CD that we perform with.

Me: CD? I don't have a CD player.

Parent: What? Why not?

Me: No one responded to my request for info about required equipment.

Parent: Well I just thought you'd have a CD player here.

Me: Do you have a copy of the music on your phone, or on something that we can plug-in to the mixer?

Parent: No.

Me: I can run to my house (3 blocks away) and get my old laptop with a CD player, and we can play the songs through the laptop.

So, I run home (literally), get my old laptop and get it connected to the PA, all while my other team member is helping get things situated and running through a quick vocal sound check.

Me: Ok, here we go.

Parent: Do you know what order they need to play in?

Me: What???

Parent: Yeah, we usually start with track #4, and then go to track #7, and then...


I should've quit at that point. :-)

Mike Monte

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Re: Don't like operating "singer's" phone for backing trax? Beat this.
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2019, 07:49:19 pm »

Had a nine act talent show and several group skits over the weekend.
Of the 8 needing backing or sound-fx trax, 2 brought flash drives (as resquested).  2 showed up as their skit was about to start with a phone.  One couldn't get it to play the file and one couldn't get the cover off (for the aux jack to fully engage) before the rest of the group just went on without it.  2 showed up with new Iphones (no aux port) and no adapter.
The winner was a phone playing a karaoke file...... off Youtube.... live... in a room of 500.  I warned them of that danger and they replied that they could use their "extreme" wifi service.

I forgot to say these are all teenagers, but didn't think it was necessary.

I have provided the sound system for the local ACS Relay for Life for the past 12+ years.
Over the years there have been singing contests and such.
I always tell the activities organizer to let the participants know that the "talent" needs to bring their own sound-source (on a cellphone) with an aux cable plus someone to run it.

I have the DI and patch cables, etc. to tie-in to my mixer. 
If worse comes to worse, I could mic the phone if necessary.

I used to ask for CD's but my laptop can't play all of the different formats out there.

Let's see what this year's Relay in June brings......
 
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Steve Loewenthal

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Re: Don't like operating "singer's" phone for backing trax? Beat this.
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2019, 08:18:59 pm »

I too have done several ACS Relay for Life events and I was always amazed at the diversity of preparedness of the "talent". A particular dance troupe was always on top of things, sometimes getting the mp3 files to me a week ahead of the event. Then there were the not so much prepared doing everything stated in the previous posts. I was able to politely accommodate most of the requests.
What I was never able fix were the inexperienced bands that (despite my coaching) insisted on turning the amps up to 11 when I told them my monitors only go to 10. I could make it sound acceptable around the perimiter of the track, but for those near the stage it was probably just a bunch of unintelligible noise.
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Steve Loewenthal

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Mike Monte

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Re: Don't like operating "singer's" phone for backing trax? Beat this.
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2019, 08:34:47 pm »

What I was never able fix were the inexperienced bands that (despite my coaching) insisted on turning the amps up to 11 when I told them my monitors only go to 10. I could make it sound acceptable around the perimiter of the track, but for those near the stage it was probably just a bunch of unintelligible noise.

It never ceases to amaze me that when I am tech'ing an outdoor show (local town stuff) bands will bring their biggest/loudest/nastiest amps....no matter what I suggest.
For alot of the younger bands it seems to be the old high school-gym locker-room-thing:  ""Mine's bigger than yours...." haha!

A number of years ago a high school age band won the local HS battle of the bands and got a chance to perform one of our town's summer beach concerts.  I was tech'ing the stage at that time.

When I called the bandleader's parents I suggested that the kids did not have to bring huge amps as I would put everything through the PA.  The bass player showed up with a 10" Hartke Kickback amp.  I mic'd it and it sounded great through the PA.

The guitarist on the other hand brought the big-guns....man, he was loud!
 
 


 
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Chris Grimshaw

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Re: Don't like operating "singer's" phone for backing trax? Beat this.
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2019, 03:51:36 am »

Here's one of my war stories...


Teching for a comic-con style event. Lots of costumes, that sort of thing.

I was teching for a Q&A with a panel of People Known To The Audience (although not necessarily to me). Goosenecks at the table, couple of hand-held roving mics and a helper to pass them out. Got through that with the usual issues about mic technique by the general public, but no real problems.

Next up, the panel was to judge a costume contest. I had been made aware of this, and had brought my laptop (mostly because it's higher spec that the ones at the venue, and I'm more familiar with the trackpad etc).

With about 10 minutes until the contest (still during the Q&A), I was given a box containing around 30x A4 plastic envelopes (the ones that go into ring-binder folders). Each contained a couple of sheets of paper describing the act, and a pendrive, CD or MP3 player.

Mercifully, the folders were numbered. The CDs, pendrives and MP3 players were not.

So, I had a 10-minute head start and started copying everything on to a temp folder, and loading the playlist into Foobar2000.

You could tell which pendrives had owners who had done this before - exactly one file, an MP3, saying "theme tune" or similar. Easy peasy. The majority were not like that, and I was wading through a file structure that made sense to exactly one person on the planet.

So, first costume-person is due. I play their music, they come on and do their thing...

... in about 30 seconds.

So do the next few.

I'm frantically charging through the folders, chucking the used media back into the box for re-organisation at a later date. I could see the problem developing - it was taking longer than 30 seconds to find the next pendrive/CD/whatever, connect it up and find the correct file. I was going to lose this race.

... and then it happens.

They'd broken even with my media-loading skills. I put the next CD in. Blank. "Shortcut to Theme Tune.mp3" is the only file, and I don't need to tell you that a shortcut is not the same as burning the file to disk.

I announce that their disk is blank, and they do their thing without any music. There was some embarassment in the air, but I was too busy to care at that point.


I kept it together for the rest of the run, literally working flat out to get this thing done. There was another blank CD in there somewhere, but the MP3 players were helpful - switch it on, press play, and load the next pendrive.

After 30 of those, I was exhausted.

Afterwards, a few of the techs from other venues in the building stopped by me (mine was the last event running) and said that nobody could've done it better, and that I should grab a drink.


Chris
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Milt Hathaway

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Re: Don't like operating "singer's" phone for backing trax? Beat this.
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2019, 07:45:29 am »

Couple of decades ago I had a bunch of older folks get mad at me at a Fair stage because I didn't have a turntable for their square dance record. Normally square dance groups would bring their own, and it would have a mic/remote control for the caller and I would just DI the whole thing into the system.
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John Halliburton

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Re: Don't like operating "singer's" phone for backing trax? Beat this.
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2019, 08:46:49 am »

Couple of decades ago I had a bunch of older folks get mad at me at a Fair stage because I didn't have a turntable for their square dance record. Normally square dance groups would bring their own, and it would have a mic/remote control for the caller and I would just DI the whole thing into the system.

"I'm not the DJ". ;>)

Gone are the days thank goodness of being handed one or more cassettes, and having to bounce around to the right track for Irish dancers.  That evolved to multiple CDs of course, which I haven't had to worry about for a few years now, until last Saturday, when there was a 15 minute dance segment of a pagaent and the dance company brought a CD-when warned prior that ipod/phone type sources were the expected source.   Luckily when we installed the system last year, I had a CD player spec'd, JIC.

Of course, I still had to bounce around to the desired tracks because they couldn't take the ten minutes at home to burn one in the order they wanted for the show...

Best regards,

John
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Bob Cap

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Re: Don't like operating "singer's" phone for backing trax? Beat this.
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2019, 10:11:48 am »

We do several country fairs and local festivals that all have "Talent" shows.

My biggest pet peve is the 5 year old kid that holds the mic around waist level. And can't sing loud enough to hear anyway.

That's not bad enough. Mommy is out at FOH telling me she can't hear the vocals....

I lost one festival after the Mom went under the Caution Tape and started hitting me on my back. I told her to get the F out of there. She was the Mayor of the community....

Now I hide out front and mix with an iPad....made my life much better. They don't know who to bitch at...:)
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Re: Don't like operating "singer's" phone for backing trax? Beat this.
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2019, 10:11:48 am »


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