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Author Topic: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?  (Read 10905 times)

Ned Ward

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Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
« on: April 09, 2011, 02:36:02 pm »

Our band made it to the 2nd round of the Fortune Battle of the bands - thanks to everyone for their hints on recording with the HD24 as the demo CD really helped. We're playing June 18th at Bottom of the Hill (www.bottomofthehill.com) in San Francisco). Any tips or thoughts on this venue would be appreciated.


What they have:
1 APHEX “Model 108/Easyrider” stereo/dual-mono compressor
1- ASHLY “CL52e” stereo/dual-mono compressor
1- AUDIO LOGIC “Model 440” quad noise gate
1- DBX “266XL” stereo/dual-mono compressor w/ gate
1- DRAWMER “DL241” stereo/dual-mono compressor w/ gate
2- SYMETRIX “Model 501” mono compressor w/ limiter
1- VALLEY/US AUDIO “Gatex” quad noise gate




Looking at their outboard, I'm trying to figure out what would be best used on our input list. DW Kit has kick, snare, hat, cymbals & 5 rack toms, keyboard, bass, 2 guitars and 3 vocals.


Right now, I'm thinking of using the following for inserts based on their inventory, but am open to suggestions from anyone - thanks!
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Rob Spence

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Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2011, 08:54:00 am »

A couple of observations...

You say 5 rack toms but stage plot says 4.

Monitor mixes talk about 5 mixes and while there are 5 wedges shown on the stage plot, the numbers (assuming mix numbers) don't match.

I suggest you fix it or there will be wasted time and a unhappy tech at sound check.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2011, 09:29:18 am »

A couple of observations...

You say 5 rack toms but stage plot says 4.

Monitor mixes talk about 5 mixes and while there are 5 wedges shown on the stage plot, the numbers (assuming mix numbers) don't match.

I suggest you fix it or there will be wasted time and a unhappy tech at sound check.
I guess the band is now trying to "act like the big time", in that the rider information does not match the actual needs "Oh you got the OLD rider-we haven't used that in years-our setup is completely different now" ::)  "You need to completely rewire your stage to fit what we really need". >:(

I'm been on the receiving end of that statement way to many times
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Mike Reilly

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Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2011, 01:02:00 pm »

It's been a few years since I've been there, but the owners & staff were great people.

Both my memory & the tech specs agree that you get 4 monitor mixes - the center mix gets a pair of wedges, the others only one.

Load onto the stage SL.  Those stairs are pretty narrow.  The stage is fairly high for the room, which means the ceiling over the stage is kind of low - that plus the size of the stage (only 15' deep) means it's the kind of gig where I usually won't bother with OH mics.

I'd personally put one side of the dbx 266 on the kick so you have a gate & a comp on that channel.

Are you sure about that date ? Cause I'm looking at the club's calendar and it says that the whole weekend of June 16 to 19 is an Asian Man Records anniversary party, with The Queers headlining a 4-band bill on the 18th.

If you ARE playing that date, then you are apparently doing an afternoon show, making the staff's day a LOT longer.  Be extra nice to them.

I have no idea how the Fortune B.o.B's operate, but in general a battle of the bands PLUS (maybe) doing the show in the afternoon before another show suggests that you'll get little or no soundcheck, little or no chance of using your own mics, you might have to deal with fewer tom mics or mono keys if that's how the stage patch is set up, and maybe even a generic backline that all bands use.

I'd investigate these possible issues before getting too worked up over which comp goes to which channel.
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Dave Neale

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Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2011, 01:13:42 am »

Honestly, If you're not mixing this show, I'd hand the house engineer a stage plot, and dispense with the input list and mic/processing suggestions.

IF the house guys are patching/mixing it's really not your show at FOH. 

If it was my show, it would be festival plot and I promise everything that needs patched will get patched!

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Ned Ward

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Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2011, 01:28:11 am »

Good points all, which is why I posted it in hopes of pointers. Not trying to act like the big time, but trying to get our stuff together to be as helpful as possible. A lot of this may go out the window since on the 18th we'll be one of 6 bands playing, so I'm tossing aside any thoughts of inserts on channels, tom mics, etc. and leaning out our input list to the minimum we'll need.

On mixes, I incorrectly ASSumed that the 2 center wedges could be different mixes; since they're marked both with a "2", I'm guessing now it would be only 4 mixes - thanks for that catch. I'm also guessing that in a BOTB scenario, we should probably shoot for mostly vocals in the mix and balance our stage volume to hear each other vs. hoping on monitors. I'm now bringing an HPR122i for our keyboard player to use as his "amp;" only concern is our bass player's Ampeg B50R - not the loudest bass amp.

I may have gotten way ahead of myself; we should be getting info from the Fortune BOTB people in the next few weeks confirming the date and time (yeah, I checked their schedule as well) as well as time allotted, expected changeover time, and if they even need a stage plot/input list. Whenever we do corporate shows I do this out of habit to ensure we're communicating as best we can with the sound providers. Since many of our corporate shows are in-house, we can volunteer to bring our own mics/DIs where they're better than what they have in-house. For this show, we'll definitely take what they have and won't bother bringing our own mics -- seems like too much hassle for both sides.

When I get the rest of the information, I'll post and may ask for additional pointers. As always, thanks for the suggestions.
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Nils Erickson

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Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2011, 01:32:53 am »

Hey Ned,

Have fun, Bottom of the Hill is great!  I have played there many, many times over the years.  Generally speaking, the house engineers are quite good.  If you're not mixing the show, just get them your current stage plot.  Honestly, in all of the years I have been playing there, 95% of the bands I have been on bills with haven't even bothered with that.  The place is small, set up is quick and dirty, but good. Middle bands rarely get a sound check...

There are four mixes on stage.  Don't fall off the edge with the stairs, they are steep.  ;)
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Ned Ward

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Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2011, 01:41:43 am »

Thanks Nils - appreciate it.
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Dave Neale

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Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2011, 02:05:02 am »

 Trust me, in most rooms with a good system "not the loudest bass amp" is a very good thing!

The rest of your decisions are spot on.


Good Luck.
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Ned Ward

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Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2011, 02:20:54 am »

Agreed - we're not looking for SVT 8x10, but a solid state 50 watt 1x12 amp starts to get lost soundwise on stage pretty quickly with a loud drummer and 2 40-watt amps - he's been having trouble hearing himself onstage. Will try a roadcase, setting it up to fire across him, or both.
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