..I think the apocalypse has arrived
Remember when everyone switched to digital consoles? You won’t need to carry those racks of gear anymore. No more outboard eq, comps, gates, effects etc. Less truck space equals fuel savings and less money for trucking. Fewer seats taken up means more money for the promoter. Everyone wins!
Uh, yeah. Maybe not so much. Even now that I’m often on shows with the best digital consoles in the world, guest engineers are still carrying outboard gear. Hardware preamps, compressors, effects. Sometimes a laptop full of plugins and an analog i/o interface. And now it seems that the Waves Live package is gaining ground. With platform specific and generic interface options, Waves Live can provide a plethora of plugins for your digital console. But, what do you need to make it work? A Sound Grid Server, Host computer, Interface cards for your console or a generic i/o, plus all the relevant software and plugins. So here we are once more, buying more gear to add to our supposedly self contained consoles.
Truly, everything old is new again.
I just saw a forum post requesting some very basic help with an audio problem. A newbie question as it were. In and of itself that wouldn’t be a big deal. But, the fella in question is working as a lead mixer in a pretty major facility. So I ask myself, how does a guy get a job like that without knowing the basics. Dig into his background and there’s the answer in two words: Full Sail. ‘Nuff said.
Well, the Frugal Audio guy has been out of service for a bit due to health problems. Hoping to be back at work by December but that depends both on how I feel and what the doctors will allow.
Still, the last few months haven’t been without activity. Shows at the local venue included Gordon Lightfoot, Soul Asylum, Starship, Rare Earth, Martina McBride, John McDermott, Jeff Foxworthy and more. In addition, covering for an injured coworker kept me pretty busy over the summer with general operations and maintenance too. Also had some factory training on the Biamp Vocia system that’s being installed to handle paging & background music throughout the venue. The main room is getting a new L-Acoustics Kudo PA that I’m looking forward to working with when I get back.
Thanks to Audio Images for throwing a few extra days of work my way this summer. First at the Hard Rock Cafe in Niagara Falls and then at Kingdom Bound Festival. It had been many years since I last worked a major Christian festival. It was interesting to see what things have changed and what hasn’t. Also fun to see which artists and crew remembered me from years past. Got to catch up with a few old friends and made a couple new ones too.
The Frugal Studio is undergoing yet another software upgrade. Though it was only this past spring that I upgraded to Sony Vegas Pro 10, I decided to pony up and move right into version 11. They bundled it with some extra software and made the upgrade price pretty attractive. However, this also necessitated a move to Windows 7 64 bit. So far all the software installation, including dual boot with the old XP setup, has gone pretty well. Hardware upgrades will have to wait a while. but fortunately I don’t tax the system too heavily. I have added a total of 5TB of storage to the studio in the past six months. So, for the moment, there’s plenty of room for new work and to organize and backup older material.
Lastly, just this week I had the chance to get out and visit with the old boss, John Michael Talbot. In nearly ten years together on the road, we never played a date here in my hometown. Yet, JMT was able to book a few multi-day parish missions in my area this trip. We spent some time catching up and I stayed for the first part of the evening. It’s a much scaled down version of our previous tours. John Michael’s carrying a small Bose PA with no lighting. He, Viola and helper Peggy are traveling by minivan, no bus. It’s great to see them going at it and doing what God asks of them even in these most difficult times. Surprisingly, that little Bose PA doesn’t sound bad at all either! Things like that might just put guys like me out of business!
More updates will come as I have new info and the time to post. As always, if I can be of any help to any of my readers be it live event production, studio production, install design or anything else- please just drop me a line or give me a call.
Zeo Brothers had me along for the Momentum Conference in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Spent the week mixing monitors and doubling as system tech. Aaron Keyes was the worship artist for most of the week. Had the full compliment of EV XW12 wedges to supplement in ears on stage and the EV XLd rig flying out front. Gotta say I really like the XLd PA. Compact, easily handled by one or two guys and it sounds great right out of the box. Felt a little old loading out staging alongside 25 year olds though!
Software update in the Frugal Studio today. Went ahead and paid for the upgrade to version 10 of Sony Vegas Pro. Have had it running on the laptop without issue for a few weeks. Time to install on the big machine. I’ll leave version 9 installed too for the time being just in case.
I’m not a super creative, visual arts kind of fella. But, I’m a pretty darn good nuts and bolts video tech and editor. Most of what I do in the Frugal Studio (in addition to audio mixing/editing) is archival transfers, simple restoration, presentation edits, special purpose DVD authoring. If you’re looking for help with a project don’t be afraid to ask!
Much has gone on here this spring. In the Frugal Studio, completed recording and editing an audio book for a local company earlier in the spring. More on that when it goes public.
On the live front a whole bunch of shows have come through the local venue. Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Ricky Skaggs, Leo Kottke, War, The Tubes, Edwin McCain, Crosby & Nash, Gary Lewis, Judy Collins, The Wailers, Aretha Franklin, and Patti Austin to name just some of them.
I’ve had much more time both mixing and servicing the XL8 and Pro3 systems lately. Will post a complete review in the future.
Looking forward to more great gigs throughout the summer!
Well, fortunately it hasn’t been too slow a winter for the Frugal Audio Guy. Completed installation and testing of the Midas Pro3 consoles in the small room at the local venue. Followed by two New Year’s Eve shows with Eddie Money and a New Year’s Day show with Little Feat. Still sussing out a gain structure issue when feeding the Crown I-Tech amp rack from the Midas desk via digital. Adjusting the digital input trim on the Crowns seems to have it licked but we shall see over time.
Shot some video of a great seminar with friend and Buffalo legend Jim Wynne not too long ago. Hoping to get that edited an online soon. Part of that process is a storage upgrade to the main computer in the Frugal Studio. 2TB RAID10 array is initializing right now. Also worked a crew call for repeat client Break The Floor Productions. Thanks to them for the repeat business and to the easy going crew of Nuvo.
Looks like I have a couple of good events booked for the coming year. But, I’d love to fill the calendar out with more touring and convention work. If you need a Frugal hand, please drop me a line.
Been pretty busy locally. A billiard tournament, show with Paula Cole, and seven shows with Frankie Avalon. Now in the big push to get things ready in the small room before New Years Eve. Floor stripped and painted, new Midas consoles. Details and pictures soon.