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.
So the local venue has kept me pretty busy of late. I’ve been working full time on an install project in the small room. Basically installing more permanent cabling and patch points for audio (analog & digital), com, lighting control, and data. This along with some acoustic treatment, new soft goods, and a dimmer rewire project all in preparation for a gear upgrade. Right now the room gets a Midas XL8 and a Crest X-Monitor for most shows. The upgrade (if it comes through) will include new FOH & Monitor consoles and a whole new monitor rig.
I’ve been working this room a lot. Usually at FOH but occasionally I drift back into monitor land for a show. Though most acts come through with their own FOH guys (no gals yet;-) I’ve mixed a few myself. Among them Joan Osborne and Jon Anderson.
So QSC is partering with Greg Mackie’s new venture to design digital consoles? Oh joy. I may be proved wrong but Pat Quilter just lost a couple respect points with me. Really, has Mr. Mackie designed anything that could be called anything positive (except possibly affordable) in the last twenty years? Sure, the old Tapco 8000 series stuff was ok. But it wasn’t anything to write home about. Since then Mackie’s designs could be called odd, impractical and occasionally flat out cheap. Of course opinions vary.
So while things were slower than usual in the past year or so there have been some interesting things happening in Frugal Land.
At Frugal Control I’ve had a few projects come through. Late in ’09 I did some interesting dialog cleanup for a documentary on 9/11. I also provided mastering services for the second album from Kamikaze LTD, After Radio. I mixed a track on this one too. Bonus points to anyone who figures out which one. Kamikaze is made up of friends and alumni I know from both City Honors and Binghamton University, as well as noted buffalo Bassist Jim Wynne. I’ve functioned as something of a technical adviser since they began.
That was followed with a release concert for After Radio held at Buffalo’s Alt Theatre. I handled lighting along with shooting some still and moving pictures. Also did some authoring work to prep Jim Siniscalchi’s video for projection.
Then after a lot of bureaucratic hassle I signed on as part of the crew at a local venue. I’ve decide not to name the venue here for a host of reasons but I’ll talk about some of the shows as I go along. Many of the artists are great (some not so much). The crew is decent and there’s some great gear too.
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.
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.
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.
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….