Nov 102011

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 AsylumStarship, 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.

Sep 222010

Scrolling down you can see that posts from the old tour blog stopped more than a year ago.  So what’s happened since?  Most obviously I haven’t been touring with John Michael Talbot.  But, JMT fans rest assured.  John Michael is still out there and going strong.  He is now doing full time what we did only occasionally in the past.  In the past we called it “itinerant ministry”.  John Michael is out there singing and teaching.  Leading retreats.  Even spending several days at a time in one parish.  But, he’s doing it with no tour bus, very little if any sound or lighting gear, and no Frugal Audio Guy.  Partly this came about because of financial pressure brought on by the monastery fire and a plunging economy.  But, for JMT I think it also marks a return to the basics.    You can check up on him at his website or on facebook.  The Brothers & Sisters of Charity are going strong too.  The new chapel and common center are finished enough to be occupied and they are busy as ever.  Be sure to check them out at their website and on facebook too.

I’ll be following up with another post or two on Frugal Audio endeavors in the past year or so.

 September 22, 2010  Posted by at 10:21 pm Tagged with: , , ,
Oct 222008

Well, home now. Just a brief review of the Ireland trip with JMT. Even though I was at Little Portion I flew separately from John Michael and Viola. I left XNA early on the morning of the 7th flying first to Atlanta, then Newark and on to Dublin. I’ve never flown through Newark before though I took a friend there for a trip to London long ago. Terminal C is OK with lots of food options, but I still had a long layover and no amount of food will cure that. Flying from the NYC area up the coast toward Newfoundland after Dark I tried to identify what features I could along the way. Saw the baseball stadiums in the Bronx (Yankee new & old I think). Mistook Providence for Boston which I realized fifteen minutes later when the pilot announced that Boston was visible out the left side of the plane.

Boston from 35,000 feet

I was in the very last row of the 757 on the trip out. Fortunately, the middle seat was empty so I had some room. It’s also fortunate that I hadn’t succumbed to the urge to buy the special fancy power adapter to use on the plane with my laptop. Turns out that Continental’s 757’s have been refit and have plain old 120VAC in every row!
I arrived in Dublin at 7am local time but still had about two hours to kill before our friend Gerry McCoy would arrive to pick us up (the Talbots were scheduled to arrive around 9:30). I was meant to wait for Gerry in in the food court upstairs above departures. Problem, I couldn’t find my way into the food court. It seemed to me to be on the other side of security. So back down to the arrival area which is really not much bigger than in Buffalo and pretty spartan in the way of accommodation. I parked myself in a chair and did my best not to fall asleep for the next two hours or so. I stood up to begin looking for Gerry when Lo & Behold John Michael & Viola stroll in having landed early. Now to wait for Gerry. After some waiting Gerry rushes to us, having been looking for me in the food court for some time. “How did you get in there?” I ask incredulously. According to Gerry “you have to be Irish”.
So off we go into Gerry’s car for the drive up to Belfast with much catching up to do along the way. We arrived at the Balmoral hotel in Belfast at 11am by which time I believe I had been continuously awake for 24 hours (I didn’t sleep on any of the flights). Off to the room for an afternoon of napping and then a quick dinner. And now for my pet peeve of the trip….hotel beds with no top sheet! Fitted sheet on the mattress and just a duvet. Problem, the duvet is too darn warm and I don’t like to sleep uncovered. Aaargh. I though the Irish were famous for linens. Didn’t I read that in Douglas Adams book? Would one more sheet really kill them? Just the hotels, the B & Bs were fine.
Spotted from my window at the Balmoral

Our first concert In Belfast went great, with sound provided by our friend from Armagh, Enda McClusker. Enda’s done several concerts for us now and has really grown his production business since we met in 2003. We wish him continued success!
More from the Ireland trip soon….

From the first concert, in Belfast

 October 22, 2008  Posted by at 5:35 am Tagged with: , , , , ,