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Title: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
Post by: Ned Ward 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!
Title: Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
Post by: Rob Spence 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.
Title: Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
Post by: Ivan Beaver 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
Title: Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
Post by: Mike Reilly 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.
Title: Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
Post by: Dave Neale 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!

Title: Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
Post by: Ned Ward 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.
Title: Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
Post by: Nils Erickson 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.  ;)
Title: Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
Post by: Ned Ward on April 11, 2011, 01:41:43 am
Thanks Nils - appreciate it.
Title: Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
Post by: Dave Neale 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.
Title: Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
Post by: Ned Ward 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.
Title: Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
Post by: Rob Spence on April 11, 2011, 09:36:52 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.
You can ask for some bass in a monitor or 2 so you can hear it. Might not feel it but... I am always surprised at how infrequent the bass is asked for in the wedges. Doing it even on a 12" wedge has often got the bass player to turn down his amp and not excite a hollow stage.
Title: Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
Post by: Skylar Suorez on April 11, 2011, 03:41:06 pm
Hey Ned, I am a house guy at Bottom Of The Hill. Your setup is straightforward and typical of the kind of thing that goes on almost every night there, so don't worry, you'll be fine. You can bring an input list if you want, but it's not a big deal either way. The two center wedges are linked, and there are only four monitor mixes.

When I am working there, I typically use the Audio Logic gates on kick and toms, the Symetrix on bass mic, one side of the Drawmer on the lead singer, and the other side for backup vocals. There is also a dbx 166a there that I will sometimes use on keys or something, if needed. Sometimes I will bring along my BSS DPR-404. I almost never use any of the other outboard.
Title: Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
Post by: Skylar Suorez on April 11, 2011, 03:46:30 pm
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.

For what it's worth, I have never felt hassled by a band bringing things that they feel make their show better. If you want to bring your own mics, it's totally fine. I promise not to drop them.
Title: Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
Post by: Ned Ward on April 11, 2011, 11:09:21 pm
Skylar - thanks very much for the replies, and nice meeting you on the forum - we're looking forward to the show and yes, it's pretty straightforward.

Not worried at all about you guys dropping a mic - it's more the hectic rush of 6 bands in X hours that makes things crazy. house 57 on amps vs. a 906? Not a problem for us - we're easy. I saw the mic and DI list you guys have and it will suit us just fine.

4 monitor mixes is great; we've worked with 2 so we'll be very happy to have 4 different ones.

Perhaps I'll see you on the 18th - not sure yet if we're playing in the afternoon or evening, but we're looking forward to the road trip. If only our drummer had a car that could carry his own kit...
Title: Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
Post by: Ned Ward on April 19, 2011, 12:50:02 am
Skylar - just found out this morning the show will be 12:30 to 4pm, with bands playing for 20 min each and 10 minutes changeover inbetween.

Common backline, including drums, keys and amps for all, so that eliminates a lot of hassles for everyone. We'll send our backline requests by May 6, they'll tell us what they have by June 3rd. So the plot alone will do just fine.

Looking forward to it! should be fun, and looking forward to driving up with just 2 guitars, a bass and my pedalboard - we can actually fit people in the minivan now!
Title: Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
Post by: Bob Leonard on April 19, 2011, 08:25:23 am
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 (http://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!

PM sent.
Title: Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
Post by: Ned Ward on May 25, 2011, 07:59:06 pm
So we got the backline list from them, and it's fine - Yamaha 5-piece kit, Twin Reverbs, AC30 6TB, JCM900, and for bass a Gallien Krueger 800RB with a 4x10 and 1x15 cab. Triton Extreme 76 and Yamaha S90 XS keyboard.

I'm fine with a Twin, since it's close to my 6L6 Bandmaster; we're working with our other guitarist to see how he likes my Keeley-modded TS9 in front of his Vox (he has the modeling VT100) to simulate him plugging into the AC30 without turning it up to Ouch to get that AC30 sound.

Will print out the preset lists for the 2 keyboards ahead of time for our keyboard player, so he knows what patches for our 5 songs (20 minutes ain't long).

Should be fun, and only having to drive up with guitars and pedalboard makes me feel almost spoiled. Family looking forward to the road trip and the full weekend in San Francisco, and we'll pack the house with friends.

Thanks again to all for the tips, suggestions and offers, and I'll let you know how it goes in a little over 3 weeks.
Title: Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
Post by: Bob Leonard on May 25, 2011, 09:09:07 pm
So we got the backline list from them, and it's fine - Yamaha 5-piece kit, Twin Reverbs, AC30 6TB, JCM900, and for bass a Gallien Krueger 800RB with a 4x10 and 1x15 cab. Triton Extreme 76 and Yamaha S90 XS keyboard.

I'm fine with a Twin, since it's close to my 6L6 Bandmaster; we're working with our other guitarist to see how he likes my Keeley-modded TS9 in front of his Vox (he has the modeling VT100) to simulate him plugging into the AC30 without turning it up to Ouch to get that AC30 sound.

Will print out the preset lists for the 2 keyboards ahead of time for our keyboard player, so he knows what patches for our 5 songs (20 minutes ain't long).

Should be fun, and only having to drive up with guitars and pedalboard makes me feel almost spoiled. Family looking forward to the road trip and the full weekend in San Francisco, and we'll pack the house with friends.

Thanks again to all for the tips, suggestions and offers, and I'll let you know how it goes in a little over 3 weeks.

Ned,
If you want to pay for the shipping to and from I have 3 deluxe Reverbs, 2 Super Reverbs, 1 Pro Reverb, and 2 Mesa Lonestars for you to choose from.
Title: Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
Post by: Ned Ward on May 25, 2011, 10:52:39 pm

Ned,
If you want to pay for the shipping to and from I have 3 deluxe Reverbs, 2 Super Reverbs, 1 Pro Reverb, and 2 Mesa Lonestars for you to choose from.

Bob - thanks for the offer - would love to use some great gear like your amps or even my own amps and our own keyboard, but the event staff wants common backline that they have rented for all 6 bands. With 20 minute sets each and only 10 minute changeovers, we won't be able to bring our own amps. I had asked for a DR instead of a Twin, but they came back with Twins.

Hopefully since we're the 4th band up the stage volume will be addressed by then with bands being asked to turn down, or we'll know what we have to turn down to hear ourselves. With no soundcheck, we'll need to ensure we can hear each other well and that vocals aren't drowned out. A bit tricky, but we can do it. We're working on dynamics now, including reigning in our other guitar player, who likes to unfortunately play really loud. Getting him used to playing quieter except when he solos. I'm used to stomping on a boost pedal for solos and matching my clean and crunch volumes, but will take some time getting him there.
Title: Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
Post by: Ned Ward on June 20, 2011, 02:45:51 am
The show went great this past Saturday, and the team at Bottom of the Hill + SIR and the R&R Hall of Fame people couldn't have been nicer. 6 bands starting at 12:30, each had 20 min set and roughly 10-20 minutes inbetween for changeovers. While Skylar wasn't there, a woman named Kim mixed us and made us sound great.

We ended up being one of the 2 bands from the 6 to go on to the finals in Cleveland Sept 30-Oct 1 - should be even more fun!

thanks again to everyone from the board who offered advice, and Skylar - hope Kim gave you one of our Toys custom Tortex picks.
Title: Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
Post by: Mike Reilly on June 20, 2011, 07:44:43 am
The show went great this past Saturday, and the team at Bottom of the Hill + SIR and the R&R Hall of Fame people couldn't have been nicer. 6 bands starting at 12:30, each had 20 min set and roughly 10-20 minutes inbetween for changeovers. While Skylar wasn't there, a woman named Kim mixed us and made us sound great.

We ended up being one of the 2 bands from the 6 to go on to the finals in Cleveland Sept 30-Oct 1 - should be even more fun!

thanks again to everyone from the board who offered advice, and Skylar - hope Kim gave you one of our Toys custom Tortex picks.

Ned,

Congratulations ! I hope you enjoy your visit to our fair city. 

However, while on stage, please DO try to refrain from quoting Spinal Tap.  Every production guy in town has heard that phrase (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C21yssFhCsk) about 1000 too many times.  ;D
Title: Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
Post by: Bob Leonard on June 20, 2011, 08:09:34 am
Nice job Ned, good luck in the next round. My offer still stands, and you can add a Twin Reverb that came off the bench Saturday.
Title: Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
Post by: Ned Ward on June 20, 2011, 01:20:56 pm
Thanks Bob - I think they will still be sticklers about backline. The Twin i played through from SIR was actually in pretty good shape, as was the AC30 6 TB our other player played through.

We did find out after the fact that our keyboard player could have brought his own Korg since they were swapping out keyboards every 20 min, and that would have made patch finding easier. We're getting him a good road case for it now. Will have to figure the best way to get guitars, etc. to Cleveland if we fly out since only 1 of has has an ATA approved Gator case...
Title: Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
Post by: Tim McCulloch on June 20, 2011, 01:27:24 pm
Thanks Bob - I think they will still be sticklers about backline. The Twin i played through from SIR was actually in pretty good shape, as was the AC30 6 TB our other player played through.

We did find out after the fact that our keyboard player could have brought his own Korg since they were swapping out keyboards every 20 min, and that would have made patch finding easier. We're getting him a good road case for it now. Will have to figure the best way to get guitars, etc. to Cleveland if we fly out since only 1 of has has an ATA approved Gator case...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo
Title: Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
Post by: Ned Ward on June 20, 2011, 04:32:51 pm
Tim - still love that video. We may ship them out heavily packed ahead of time, or find someone who enjoys driving 2K miles there and 2K back... I've been lucky 1 time flying with 1 guitar and putting it in the 1st class coat locker, but with 3 guitars, 1 bass and 1 keyboard... not so much.

Title: Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
Post by: Nils Erickson on June 27, 2011, 04:26:12 am
My solution lately has been to stick a molded plastic guitar case inside of an SKB 61 key keyboard case (with wheels).  This can be checked and weighs in at less than 50 pounds.  Check the maximum dimensions that your airline will allow for checked baggage, as some have different rules for instruments than regular baggage.  This is a system a buddy of mine used for several years traveling nearly every weekend without incident.

Make sure you double up the case though; another friend of mine checked strat in a molded case last summer and the neck was snapped in half (as well as the case).  Not even sure how you do that to a strat.

In the for what it is worth dept., United let me carry on a guitar one way and was going to force me to check it in a gig bag on the way back (not even gate check).  I left it with my family at the gate and found another way to get it back.  I hate United for this.
Title: Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
Post by: Tim McCulloch on June 27, 2011, 09:41:50 am
My solution lately has been to stick a molded plastic guitar case inside of an SKB 61 key keyboard case (with wheels).  This can be checked and weighs in at less than 50 pounds.  Check the maximum dimensions that your airline will allow for checked baggage, as some have different rules for instruments than regular baggage.  This is a system a buddy of mine used for several years traveling nearly every weekend without incident.

Make sure you double up the case though; another friend of mine checked strat in a molded case last summer and the neck was snapped in half (as well as the case).  Not even sure how you do that to a strat.

In the for what it is worth dept., United let me carry on a guitar one way and was going to force me to check it in a gig bag on the way back (not even gate check).  I left it with my family at the gate and found another way to get it back.  I hate United for this.

United is my 'carrier of last resort.'  For me to fly with them requires they have the only seat, only flight, that day.
Title: Re: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco?
Post by: Ned Ward on June 27, 2011, 09:47:18 am
Yeah, right now we're looking at shipping a crate on a pallet that we would pack and pad through an LTL shipper to arrive in plenty of time before the gig. Our keyboard player is going to get a hardcase for his Korg regardless, and our drummer will get a hardcase for his snare and the hardware he'll bring (snare stand, DW double kick pedals). Flying with our gear would probably be the last resort. 

United is our last choice as well; we've had surprisingly good luck with American except when on a trip to Traverse City for an uncle's funeral they lost my family's luggage for 2 days... they did pay for all of our clothes purchased at Target though.