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Author Topic: I guess it had to happen. I got canned from a festival.  (Read 2649 times)

Matt Vivlamore

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Re: I guess it had to happen. I got canned from a festival.
« Reply #40 on: June 22, 2022, 12:13:39 PM »

You could be on the other side... I am not going to name the festival that I was working, but the management was a complete MESS!  It was a clusterfuck inside of a shit show.

2 weeks prior to the event, they moved the event indoors (due to lack of ticket sales); originally the main stage was an SL260 with KSL and B-Stage/Local stage was an SL100 with Vís, and then dramatically cut the budget.

Friday: should have had 12 labors to help push and build up the room, this was cut down to 2-3 people.  It seemed like a ľ mile push from loading dock and up two freight elevators into the rooms.  The main stage had 3 bands on it and was running behind about an hour (because of lack of labor).  I was able to take my time and set-up the B-stage.

Saturday:  No labors to help the bands push to the stage, so the entire festival was playing catch up.  For the most part, I was able to keep B stage on schedule for the day.  B-Band #3 started complaining that they didnít want to play while ___ 80ís National Act was playing, they bitched and complained and we were able to delay their set 20mins and not affect the next act, they had a 30 minute set time.  At 35 minutes the Stage Manager (a part of the festival company) came over to my board and muted the band in the middle of them playing.  Then when the band started bitching that it wasnít professional, the SM decides to push the blame on to me and tell them that I muted them.  I looked at him and the band and said bullshit! he pushed all the mutes on the board. 

Sunday:  I had two B-level national touring acts on my stage (one with a ďmust meetĒ rider, they requested a FOH & MON boards; I only provided a FOH board because of budget).  Headline was scheduled to arrive at 11am for load in and sound check, then stack the rest of the bands in front of them, but they didnít show up until 4pm.  So the 1st band arrives, we have backline for our stage, we get sound check and have about 20-30 minutes to chill before they start their set.  Well SM comes in and began to take the b-stage back for the main stage because they forgot to order it for the opening act. So they take the backline, the opening band has their trailer with gear so they agree to allow the other 2 band to use it (last 2 has their own gear).  So, we reset and able to start a couple minutes late.  Fast forward to the 3rd band (last band on the backline) got them all sound check and then the opening act comes in starting commotion and then starts grabbing their gear; apparently instead of the band getting paid, the promotor said that the band owes the festival money.  So they take their gear (understandable and the 3rd band got shafted and didnít get to play, main stage was so far behind that the opening act was still performing and we could get our backline back.  National Act 1 was cool about the situation and made the best of it.  National Act 2 (the ones that didnít show up on time), spent the entire time before their set complaining that their advanced desks arenít there (I was the promotors cut the monitor desk; I brought out an Allen & Heath SQ5 for both FOH & MON duty).  I looked at their band manager and FOH guy and said, since you missed the Sound Check, itís a throw and go on my festival patch.  The entire time during the set, their FOH bitched and moaned that I didnít have his layout and DCA set-up for him.

The entire weekend there was no communication between festival staff and I would get 4-5 different responses from the staff. 
After the festival, I began reading commits from bands on the Festivals page and a lot of the bands got shorted on payment or never paid.  At least production was paid up front.
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: I guess it had to happen. I got canned from a festival.
« Reply #41 on: June 22, 2022, 04:02:21 PM »

It seems the vocal in the stereo mix was 180 degrees out of phase between the two channels and was canceling when summed to mono.

I do IT support for a local radio station. One of the things they do is live broadcast of local high school games, and they do it by streaming audio from the site to the studio, then playing it over the air, live. That all works fine.

But they also were recording the game in the studio, coming off the board. (Receiving PC feeds the board, the board feeds the transmitter and the PC that was recording.)

All was fine and well, until they tried to replay the game on their AM station, and it sounded like a garbage truck rolling downhill -- sideways. They called me in to troubleshoot, since it was "computers" and I was their computer tech.

Thankfully, I've got some experience in analog audio, too. I figured out that the feed to the recording PC was incorrectly connected to the board. Rather than the left and right to the PC being connected to the left and right channels from the board, their engineer (a contractor that supports many stations) had connected the shield of the stereo twinax cord to the shield of the right board output, the "left" + of the twinax to the + of the board right output, and the "right" + of the twinax to the - of the board output. (Or something like that. One balanced out feeding opposite channels of unbalanced ins.) The result was that when feeding the AM station (which was mono), the left and right cancelled, but not completely, since the compression of the stream wasn't identical in the left and right channels.

But here's the kicker -- it took a while to figure out, because they THOUGHT the problem was in a completely different PC, and I *did* find two separate but unrelated problems with the audio of that other PC! The first was that the sound card was faulty. After replacing it, I discovered "someone" (not me) had used an incorrect adapter on the output of the sound card resulting in only one output channel feeding both input channels of the board. Because only one output channel was feeding both input channels, the inverted L/R of the recorded games wasn't causing a problem in the AM broadcast until I put the proper adapter in.

I guess this doesn't have anything to do with the OP, except maybe that you never know when what appears to be a simple problem will turn into a cluster.
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: I guess it had to happen. I got canned from a festival.
« Reply #42 on: June 22, 2022, 05:29:50 PM »

I do IT support for a local radio station. One of the things they do is live broadcast of local high school games, and they do it by streaming audio from the site to the studio, then playing it over the air, live. That all works fine.

But they also were recording the game in the studio, coming off the board. (Receiving PC feeds the board, the board feeds the transmitter and the PC that was recording.)

All was fine and well, until they tried to replay the game on their AM station, and it sounded like a garbage truck rolling downhill -- sideways. They called me in to troubleshoot, since it was "computers" and I was their computer tech.

Thankfully, I've got some experience in analog audio, too. I figured out that the feed to the recording PC was incorrectly connected to the board. Rather than the left and right to the PC being connected to the left and right channels from the board, their engineer (a contractor that supports many stations) had connected the shield of the stereo twinax cord to the shield of the right board output, the "left" + of the twinax to the + of the board right output, and the "right" + of the twinax to the - of the board output. (Or something like that. One balanced out feeding opposite channels of unbalanced ins.) The result was that when feeding the AM station (which was mono), the left and right cancelled, but not completely, since the compression of the stream wasn't identical in the left and right channels.

But here's the kicker -- it took a while to figure out, because they THOUGHT the problem was in a completely different PC, and I *did* find two separate but unrelated problems with the audio of that other PC! The first was that the sound card was faulty. After replacing it, I discovered "someone" (not me) had used an incorrect adapter on the output of the sound card resulting in only one output channel feeding both input channels of the board. Because only one output channel was feeding both input channels, the inverted L/R of the recorded games wasn't causing a problem in the AM broadcast until I put the proper adapter in.

I guess this doesn't have anything to do with the OP, except maybe that you never know when what appears to be a simple problem will turn into a cluster.
yup forcing stereo to mono crudely can cause all kinds of issues.

A couple years ago I got frantic phone call from an old friend who was doing a major AV presentation in some mid-western hotel associated with a big auto race yadda yadda ...

This friend has his own in house recording studio and no doubt had a fine stereo mix in his video presentation, but when he tried to plug into the hotel sound system his L and R audio got shorted together, or worse... I helped him limp through his presentation by grabbing just one side of the stereo feed.

Git er dun...

JR
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Brian Jojade

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Re: I guess it had to happen. I got canned from a festival.
« Reply #43 on: June 22, 2022, 07:44:21 PM »

At 35 minutes the Stage Manager (a part of the festival company) came over to my board and muted the band in the middle of them playing.  Then when the band started bitching that it wasnít professional, the SM decides to push the blame on to me and tell them that I muted them.  I looked at him and the band and said bullshit! he pushed all the mutes on the board. 

WTF!  I don't care WHO it is. Nobody gets between me and the console without my explicit permission.  That would not have gone well in any way shape or form.
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Brian Jojade

Mike Monte

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Re: I guess it had to happen. I got canned from a festival.
« Reply #44 on: June 23, 2022, 08:35:48 AM »


Sorry to hear about this.
A few years ago I lost a festival in-my-town that I had done for many years (at a discounted price since it was in my town).
The new organizer, instead of hiring me, hired his cousin (a DJ) to tech the stage....at twice my rate.

Sometimes stuff just happens....was I insulted? yes. Pissed? yes. What I did?  I kept my mouth shut and carried on.

I have annual gigs that I do but I never "hang my hat" on the assumption that I will get the gig every year...  You never know....

One bad gig (although painful) for whatever reason does not diminish all of the great work in the past.  It's just a hiccup (sort of the stock market having a "correction").

Learn, pick up'n carry on.

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Matt Vivlamore

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Re: I guess it had to happen. I got canned from a festival.
« Reply #45 on: June 23, 2022, 01:14:46 PM »

WTF!  I don't care WHO it is. Nobody gets between me and the console without my explicit permission.  That would not have gone well in any way shape or form.

Well I normally wouldn't (unless they have a police badge)... but when I can see the Buyer in the back of the room telling the SM to get them off the stage and then SM came to me and started yelling at me to mute them in the middle song, I said I am not doing it and I would let them finish the song.  Then thats when he reached over and muted everything. 
After he throw me under the bus, my attitude of the festival changes and "I could careless" about anything else that happened.  As long as my gear didn't get damaged, I didn't care how anymore of the show went.
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: I guess it had to happen. I got canned from a festival.
« Reply #46 on: June 23, 2022, 02:22:28 PM »

Well your honor, he touched my mute buttons........  :o

JR
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Geoff Doane

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Re: I guess it had to happen. I got canned from a festival.
« Reply #47 on: June 24, 2022, 02:32:38 PM »

Not sure I precisely know what this means other than I've run miles of Tri-ax (and everything else) on the actual Queen Mary and that is one venue out of several where hindsight has taught me to refer the gig to your most hated competition!

One of the benefits of doing gigs in hotel ballrooms for 40+ years is that you start to pick up on the hospitality industry lingo.  A "Queen Mary" (often shortened to "Queen" where I've worked) is a large, multi-tier, wheeled device for moving many already plated dinners or desserts from kitchen to dining room, so they can be served to guests.  The shelves don't have sides, so if the Queen comes to a sudden stop (from hitting a pile of cable on the floor) many of those plates are going to slide off onto the floor, and the kitchen suddenly has more work to do.

As for the blame game, I got into one of those on a job last weekend, although it was resolved before anybody's feelings were hurt.  I was back working for my old employer as an A2 on a "recorded for broadcast" gig.  We had the remote truck, and the PA was supplied by a local provider.  Things went pretty well, although somebody had re-patched the insides of the monitor racks, and inputs didn't always correspond to outputs.  I gave him a hand with that, and we were ready in time for soundcheck when the musicians arrived.

Soundcheck also went well, until we got down to the last few inputs on stage left.  Every time the piano (a Nord) was played, there was a rapid ticking sound coming from the PA, a little bit like the clicking sound a Hammond Organ key makes.  We tried some different patches on the Nord, to see if it was some kind of effect, but it persisted.  And to add to the confusion, the guy in the truck wasn't hearing it at all.  We were using a passive XLR split to his A&H stage boxes and our SSL stagebox (connected to the truck by fibre, so no ground loop).  The PA guy wanted to change DIs (JDIs, supplied by us), then cables, but no difference.  We then realized the same thing was happening with her vocal mic, and it was showing up in the monitors.

Rather than waste the musicians' time, we finished soundcheck and then dove into it before the opening act arrived.  We tried a number of things.  The PA guy questioned the power (he had just plugged into wall outlets, no distro), and then I mentioned that it sounded like a clocking error that used to be common in primitive digital systems.  Two clocks can be very close, but will glitch the audio when one device or the other has to drop a sample to keep up.  That lit up a lightbulb, and he headed back to the console (an A&H SQ-6), to check on its clocking.  I'm not familiar with those consoles, but apparently the console was looking for an external clock, since it had last been used as part of a FOH and Monitors setup.  Oddly enough, only sources on the second stage box seemed to be a problem, but once that was fixed, all was right with the world, and we had a good show.

GTD
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: I guess it had to happen. I got canned from a festival.
« Reply #48 on: June 24, 2022, 03:18:17 PM »

Well I normally wouldn't (unless they have a police badge)... but when I can see the Buyer in the back of the room telling the SM to get them off the stage and then SM came to me and started yelling at me to mute them in the middle song, I said I am not doing it and I would let them finish the song.  Then thats when he reached over and muted everything. 
After he throw me under the bus, my attitude of the festival changes and "I could careless" about anything else that happened.  As long as my gear didn't get damaged, I didn't care how anymore of the show went.
I had trade show "sound police" at the Frankfurt musik messe tell me to turn down... We had a live band inside a soundproof room that wasn't completely soundproof. I had a split from the stage inside the sound room feeding my console so I could demo a legal loudness mix for customers outside the sound room. The bass leakage was apparently objectionable and the sound police blamed me for it... I muted my entire console and that didn't get it quiet. ;)

What was even worse all the punters blamed me for a bass heavy mix that was beyond my control.  ::)

JR

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Re: I guess it had to happen. I got canned from a festival.
¬ę Reply #48 on: June 24, 2022, 03:18:17 PM ¬Ľ


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