The above Ad will no longer appear after you Sign Up for Free!

dont let junior techies near a sound desk

Discussion in 'Safety' started by plug_in_baby, Jan 24, 2004.

  1. plug_in_baby

    plug_in_baby Member

    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    DONT EVER LET JUNIOR TECHIES NEAR A SOUND DESK.

    during one of our colleges performances, a smallish one. the TD decided it was time to train up some of the less well trained techies. i have no problem with THIS, but after spending a day showing them the basics of sound and mixing, nothing complicated we let them loose. one of them decided to listen to some of his music coz he was bored so, he had his laptop plugged in and plugged the headphones in, played it and he sat there listening to it, not realising it was being blasted out over the P.A aswell! not good! and he ddint realise for a good ten minutes. unitl i ran up to the box and turned it off. not good at all.
     
  2. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,299
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    New York
    How can you not notice that the music is playing over the PA system???

    I mean, you sould be able to hear the music.......

    right....

    I mean, i do more lighting then sound, but still......
     
  3. Nephilim

    Nephilim Active Member

    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Australia
    If your phones are up REALLY LOUD like inexperienced audio people like it, then you wouldn't notice the PA at all, unless you have k-rad subwoofers :D
     
  4. The_Terg

    The_Terg Active Member

    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Yonkers, NY, USA
    ROFL.

    A pair of Sony MDR-7506's or MDR-V600's will also have that effect ;) I love my cans...

    I have an interesting story. Similarily, a young techie thought he was competent enough to mix for his drama class, without asking me (student TD). He patched the side-fill speakers into Aux 1. Big no no. Anyone who is familiar with the Mackie 24X4 knows that auxes 1 and 2 are dedicated prefader. Well, I wasn't there, but I all I know, is he came running down FRANTICALLY to me, finding me in class. I walked in, to find the system in horrible feedback, with drama class students running out of the auditorium, and a red-faced drama teacher (now our teacher TD, ugh).

    Needless to say, he forgot that the AMPS existed... GROAN.
     
  5. Nephilim

    Nephilim Active Member

    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Australia
    Similarly the Sennheiser HD280pro set that I use. Unfortunately my nice lightweight Philips foldable set just busted one of the top struts, so I can't wear them now :(

    We rarely have that problem due to our complete lack of anything but main LR, which is patched as such and never has to change ;D
     
  6. plug_in_baby

    plug_in_baby Member

    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    yeah, sounds a bitch. any fool can learn about lighting and desks quickly enough but sound's a bit more tricky. there are so many more ways to fark up a sound system than a lighting desk. and the worse bit is i could do with all the techies i could get but mistakes like that don't exactly fill you with confidence when it comes to picking a crew for a show. thing is he had his phones on seriously loud and the guy on lighting was a newbie techie aswell so he just assumed it was 'meant to sound like that'!
     
  7. The_Terg

    The_Terg Active Member

    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Yonkers, NY, USA
    In fact, sometimes I get so PISSED at these young techies, that I boobytrap the board and let them try and work it out. Most of them are idiots, and it works. You know, ill turn off phantom power, unpatch the main mix, send the tape playback to main mix (which kills all other output), screw with gains, unclick all of the assignment buttons, and turn off the amps. One of them knew how to fix half the problems, and the other two had no idea.
     
  8. Crewguy7

    Crewguy7 Member

    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Champaign, IL
    I kinda take offense to this, even though i shouldn't

    I'm a junior in high school right now, and i think its kinda harsh to bash younger techies. I have previously worked sound for my schoo's Variety Show, and award winning choral group, a 90 school jazzfest, etc. I personally think that these problems could be solved by using some security measures such as a hard cover for the board, and locking the power for the system.

    Boobytrapping seems kinda harsh.
     
  9. cruiser

    cruiser Active Member

    Messages:
    243
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Melbourne
    I have to agree, with some people "booby trapping" might be the only way they are ever going to learn 1) that they dont know everything or 2) that they dont know anything!
     
  10. The_Terg

    The_Terg Active Member

    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Yonkers, NY, USA
    There are a few things you need to keep in mind....

    Firstly, Im a sophmore, and im talking about froshes. I know, not a big age difference. But its not only the fact that they are young that I do things to them. Its because they whined to their parents, saying that they wanted to get into tech, but they knew nothing. One of them claimed that he ran sound for a few assemblies! and the other really just did nothing at all

    You see, not only are they young, and extremely cocky, they dont know their stuff, but yet they haven't attempted to contact me and learn. When I was in 8th grade, I had to work with a senior for a year before I mixed a show alone. They got to mix their first show. Not only is it insulting, but it sounded HORRIBLE. The kid had NO ear for feedback, NO ear for a good mix. The music was horribly loud, and the vocals totally uneven. The worst part is that
    A) I couldn't correct him because he wined to the administration and the administration said that they had to mix by themselves.
    B) He didn't know that he was doing a bad job, and I dont know if he still does.

    Therefore, I booby trap the board for good reason. They need to be taught a lesson, that you NEED to train and know your stuff before you try and jump right into things. For that matter, Im not claiming that I should automatically be the TD because I am oldest. I am student TD because i worked for years on tech, since 7th grade I mentored with the head sound guy. In addition, we dont have any easily applicable security measures. The only thing we have, is an enormous wooden cover to the baord, which neither fits, nor has been used in years.

    (On a different point, our new Teacher TD is starting to see the light. He is gonna pull the plug on them if they dont mix well on the first full rehearsal of the middleschool play. )
     
  11. Nephilim

    Nephilim Active Member

    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Australia
    Whilst I'm generally not a proponent of booby-trapping, some people (Sophomore ASB girls, This Means You) with the DJ-style "more must be better" complex just need it.

    It's also exactly why there's a switch on some compact mixer to change the main out from +4dBu to -10dBV.

    *Huge Wink*
     
  12. plug_in_baby

    plug_in_baby Member

    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    true, these days i fond myself sweeping the stage even though i'm the TD, the junior techies only want to do the fun stuff like lighting op or sound op, but won't chip in when it comes to the hard graft. before you can do the more exciting stuff you need to begin at the bottom, start as a stage hand and one day (if you put the hours in) you get to be at the top of your game. and also junior techies, sometime not always, have a real problem with thinking they know more than everyone else, even though the rest of us have been doing it for years. crazy! 8O
     
  13. chizle97

    chizle97 Member

    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey man, good call on the booby traps, a senior did that to me before i knew sound when i worked lights. but i wasnt an enoying tech, i hung around the senior tech since i was a freshmen and just now get to work alot of tech when im a senior. And there is nothing wrong with sweeping the stage, im the Ast. TD and head of set construction and i still mop the stage almost every time it needs to be. I guess i like it a little too much. :D plus you think of really cool things while your moping!
     
  14. Mayhem

    Mayhem Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

    Messages:
    1,790
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Australia
    My initial thought here would be to have each student mix a rehearsal or similar in which his or her classmates have to review their performance.

    Firstly, it gives students an opportunity to mix and receive feedback from people that are at the same level as them. This is often a wake up call for some but often the feedback is often better received than if it was coming someone senior than them.

    Secondly, they learn to listen and to articulate what it is that they have just heard, and this is not always that easy. (Something that can help is to get them to close their eyes (something I still do if I am really trying to pick something out of a mix)).

    Hopefully at the end of this they will better understand the complexities of mixing without being able to cite experience or seniority (of the person critiquing them) as an excuse. The idea is to use it as a learning experience and if time permits discuss what could have been done differently. This is where a more senior person needs to be involved but they should be directing the discussion, not leading it.

    For what it is worth - My experience with booby-trapping things is it can cause the hunted to become the hunter at some stage and it can easily escalate out of control and become rather expensive. Just imagine lifting the mute when you have your favourite Black Sabbath track at unity gain and the amps wound all the way will up. This will definitely change your outlook on life. Not to mention the mass confusion caused by the pressing need to stop the bleeding from your ears, the rapidly expanding dark patch in your jeans from becoming too visible, and cleaning up the bits of paper cone that is fluttering down from the front of house stack!

    Not sure that it really help the original poster but perhaps adopting a rule of “no unauthorized inputs into the console” may help. Some people just have to learn the hard way but for many, discovering this in a controlled environment can have the most impact.

    Cheers,
     
  15. The_Terg

    The_Terg Active Member

    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Yonkers, NY, USA
    My initial thought here would be to have each student mix a rehearsal or similar in which his or her classmates have to review their performance.

    Firstly, it gives students an opportunity to mix and receive feedback from people that are at the same level as them. This is often a wake up call for some but often the feedback is often better received than if it was coming someone senior than them.

    Secondly, they learn to listen and to articulate what it is that they have just heard, and this is not always that easy. (Something that can help is to get them to close their eyes (something I still do if I am really trying to pick something out of a mix)).

    Hopefully at the end of this they will better understand the complexities of mixing without being able to cite experience or seniority (of the person critiquing them) as an excuse. The idea is to use it as a learning experience and if time permits discuss what could have been done differently. This is where a more senior person needs to be involved but they should be directing the discussion, not leading it.
    [/quote]

    That is actually precisely what I wanted to see instated. Thats how it was for me anyway. I worked for about a 1/2-1 year just chilling with and watching this junior techie mix. We got to be good friends, and he would let me mix every once and a while (This was when I was in 8th grade). He let me mix for one performance at the end of the year, which let me begin mixing full time next year when he was a senior. So, I worked up the breif ranks rather quickly, but legitimately.

    Actually, he and I are still good friends. For the past two years, he wen't to a local college (SUNY purchase) and I would help him record audio for a few movies that he was working on.

    The problem now, is that the young techies feel exempt from this system. Last year, there was no real Teacher TD. Therefore, we were setting the rules, and our rules said that if you want to mix, you need to atleast watch a few plays with us. This was the point of techie whining. They argued that they had plenty of experience (Which I can tell you is false from a neutral prospective) and they were able to mix 2 (HORRIBLY sounding) shows and run lights for them.

    Therefore, this year they walked in with the assurance that they had the skill to run other plays. So, at this point I lack the authority (To them) to tell them what to do. It's all up to the newly reinstated Teacher TD, who unfortunately knows very little about what he does.

    But, to terminate this ranting quickly, the techies ran a show poorly at the beginning of the year, and the TD now suspects their skill. I may be giving them the aforesaid demonstration about mixing if the sound isn't up to par.
     
  16. The_Terg

    The_Terg Active Member

    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Yonkers, NY, USA
    That is actually precisely what I wanted to see instated. Thats how it was for me anyway. I worked for about a 1/2-1 year just chilling with and watching this junior techie mix. We got to be good friends, and he would let me mix every once and a while (This was when I was in 8th grade). He let me mix for one performance at the end of the year, which let me begin mixing full time next year when he was a senior. So, I worked up the breif ranks rather quickly, but legitimately.

    Actually, he and I are still good friends. For the past two years, he wen't to a local college (SUNY purchase) and I would help him record audio for a few movies that he was working on.

    The problem now, is that the young techies feel exempt from this system. Last year, there was no real Teacher TD. Therefore, we were setting the rules, and our rules said that if you want to mix, you need to atleast watch a few plays with us. This was the point of techie whining. They argued that they had plenty of experience (Which I can tell you is false from a neutral prospective) and they were able to mix 2 (HORRIBLY sounding) shows and run lights for them.

    Therefore, this year they walked in with the assurance that they had the skill to run other plays. So, at this point I lack the authority (To them) to tell them what to do. It's all up to the newly reinstated Teacher TD, who unfortunately knows very little about what he does.

    But, to terminate this ranting quickly, the techies ran a show poorly at the beginning of the year, and the TD now suspects their skill. I may be giving them the aforesaid demonstration about mixing if the sound isn't up to par.
     
  17. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,299
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    New York
    Hum, well, at my school there isn't any real teacher TD, we've got a teacher who is in charge of the arts department, and he does a lot of sound work (and is also the band teacher, and also a composer and musician, etc). However, he is never at any rehearsals, so it always falls to me, because of lack of any one else, to become the TD. Now, first it must be said that my school is extremely tinny. We've got 9 kids in the 10th grade (the grade that im in) around 40 in the entire high school, and 140 or so from Pre-K to 12th grade. I'm in 10th grade, and this is my second year at the school. Last year I was given an over-view of the lighting by a graduating senior who would run the lights. This was great, as my main interest is lights (of corse she showed me how to run the lights for the first rehearsal, and when it came time for the show she put me in charge of it, I was a little freaked out about it....)

    However, there is no one in the high school who can run sounds. For the last show of the year (last year), I was put in charge of sound without anyone really teaching me anything about sound. I knew that you pull the slider up to get the sound, and push it down to kill the sound, but that was really all i knew. As expected, the show sounded HORRIBLE. (after that i was shown basically how the sound board works, ex. EQing, mixing, and the other basic stuff).
    That was my entire introduction to my schools theater set-up, as there was really no one else who did tech.

    OK, back to the point of this post:
    I am really the only person at my school who will go out of his way to work on something tech. I'm the only person who doesn't mind staying 2 hours after rehearsal is over to help put up the set, or run cables, or do whatever else needs to be done. Because of this, I am respected as a techie. Im in 10th grade, and I am the TD/SM/LD, as well as some other things. On my tech crew I've got a senior. And it is that simple, he respects my judgment and that I will do the right thing (hopefully) so he will listen to me. HE is going to end up as my ASM (mainly because I need someone to tell the run crew what to do, and then run crew needs to respect him). On sound I am going to have 2 kids who have worked sound for the past 3 or 4 plays, and they are currently in 8th grade. They completely outrank me in the sound department. On follow-spots i'm going to have a 10th grader and an 8th grader, and at least 90% of my run-crew is going to be 8th graders.

    What must be remembered is that there are 8th graders who are better at doing things then some seniors are, and that just because there in 8th grade, or that I'm in 10th grade does not mean that a senior outranks me. I am lucky at my school, as everyone (including the teachers and students) knows that I'm a good techie (I can't count the number of times teachers come up to me during a break and ask me if i can get this movie, or this image to project on a wall in the next 10 minuets...).

    Do not just say that they are not as good as you because there froshes. cause they might be just as good or better, in some areas. Now, from the majority of the post, I can tell that they acutely are completely out of it, and have no idea what they are doing, but if one of them is competent, then give him/her a chance to show it.

    I know that this was a really long way of saying it, and has a lot of useless info about me (sorry, I just woke up), but don't just assume that they know nothing because of there age. A month ago I was talking to a 6th grader about an effect I was trying to do, because she had some experience with dry ice smoke.

    I hope that this made sense, as I said I just woke up....
     
  18. Mayhem

    Mayhem Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

    Messages:
    1,790
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Australia
    In my opinion, 'rank' should be assigned based on the experience and ability of a person, not on their age.

    Just my opinion.
     
  19. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,299
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    New York
    yes, Mahem said in 20 words what I said in 200.

    thank you
     
  20. thorin81

    thorin81 Active Member

    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    I have always been about giving a student a responsibility and then make them clean something. Give your students an official title and have them sign a "contract" with their responsibilities listedon the contract. Make your sound technitians responsibilities include cleaning the booth, etc. Also give him an assistant. let him know that if he screws up there is someone there ready to take his place. Give as many of these responsibilities as you can and allow different people to "apply" for the assistant poitions when they coem into your program. That ussually keeps all the chaos to a minimum :wink:

    Good Luck Everyone!!
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice