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What not to do

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by superuser2, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. superuser2

    superuser2 Member

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    First off let me introduce myself. I am a general techie who's found an interest in live audio. I'm currently in 8th grade outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

    In reading ControlBooth and the Blue Room (British forum on similar topics) I've seen a fairly strong sentiment that inexperienced sound board operators are dangerous.

    I'm just starting out (I've done 3 shows so far) and will now be running sound for a friend's band without the help of our school technician, I thought I'd ask: what exactly is it that experience teaches you not to do?

    I'd like to use a list format. Please explain what it is you shouldn't do, what to do instead, and the potential consequences of your actions.

    1. Put more sound through a speaker than it can handle. Keep volumes at a resasonable level. If you don't you risk damaging the speakers.
     
  2. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    When a wireless microphone "isn't working", don't crank the volume fader and the gain. See if the microphone is ON first. (I've seen 50 year old "professionals" do this)
     
  3. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    Power up sequence: console and proc racks first, amps last;
    power down sequence: amps first, FOH and proc racks last:
    or more easy to remember, make sure the amps are off when you push the big green or red button on the FOH proc rack.
     
  4. superuser2

    superuser2 Member

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    Excellent points. Both very true and come to think of it, I've seen both in action.

    Almost had the first one happen, except it was a wired mic that came unplugged. I'm very grateful I brought walkie-talkies (though the director discouraged it) and stage crew was able to warn me so I could mute the channel while they plugged it in. (I had cranked it at first - dang that would've been loud had I not muted it :grin:)

    There's a colorful sign in large, friendly letters to that effect right above the power switches in the high school sound booth. Easiest to remember as "don't ever flip any switches while the amps are on"

    Come on, keep going!
     
  5. TimmyP1955

    TimmyP1955 Active Member

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    Don't get the drums and guitars sounding great, then try to get the vocals over the top of the din. Get the drums and guitars sounding great, then turn them all the way down. Get the vocals sounding great, then ease everything else up only as needed to get a nice mix at a sensible volume.

    Don't let the bottom end roar. Most systems need a 6dB (or more) cut at 80Hz. (One can often then turn the subs up a bit for some semblance of real bottom end).

    Don't let the vocals be muddy. Use the channel EQ to compensate for the proximity effect of the mics.

    Don't let the un-muddied vocals be bright. Use the EQ to take the bite out of the top end.


    TP Audio's Mixing Primer

    PSW Sound Reinforcement Forums: LAB Lounge => Introduction to Mixing-Through Part 9 - Latest Update 09-08
     
  6. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    And most importantly, don't forget to make sure the Suck knob is turned down. :)
     
  7. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    Using the "solo" button with headphones is a must to make sure that all of your inputs are working properly.
     
  8. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    1) Don't get involved in the theatre.

    2) Find a profitable job with reasonable hours.

    3) Live a happy stress free life.
     
  9. Pip

    Pip Active Member

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    Hahahaha aren't you clever? :mrgreen::mrgreen:
     
  10. ScottT

    ScottT Lighting Programmer

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    If you're on CB its probably too late for you...
     
  11. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Whatever you do Don't cross the streams!

    Don't,
    .. blow into a mic to see if it's on.
    .. wrap cables around your elbow and hand.
    .. don't stat your sound check while the Head carp is talking to his crew.
    .. don't play obnoxious music for your sound check. < yeah right >
    .. forget to turn on the Phantom power.
    .. begin to think you're God's gift to audio 'cause you mixed for a band, once.
    .. tap on a mic to se if it's on.

    and most importantly never say the word "syllabants" into a microphone. :mrgreen:
     
  12. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Did Van mean sibilance?

    What not to do? Expect that you will earn a decent income whilst starting out...
     
  13. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    See that's why they won't let me emmigrate to Australia.:(
     
  14. howlingwolf487

    howlingwolf487 Active Member

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    Don't think you know it all.
    Don't try to force a connector into a jack - if it's meant to go, it'll go easily.
    Don't let people step all over you - you're not a doormat.
    Don't be lazy in your work.
    Don't play around when it comes to electricity - it can and will kill you if you allow it to.

    Other than that...

    Learn what proper gain structure (in the console and throughout the system) entails and how you can achieve it. Also, learn what clipping is, what it sounds like, and how to avoid it.

    Read everything you can from here and buy the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook - it'll be your bible for audio until you graduate to more complex things.

    Some good places for definitions:

    Rane
    Harada-Sound

    One more thing: keep in mind that this is a service industry - you'll be dealing with everyone from performers to their parents, so learn people skills.

    Best of luck!
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2008
  15. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Best booth reference this week.
     
  16. DaveySimps

    DaveySimps CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    The OP is in 8th grade. I think he may not get the reference. And with that, I am feeling old.

    ~Dave
     
  17. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Me? I'm frightened beyond the capacity for rational thought.
     
  18. superuser2

    superuser2 Member

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    Ghostbusters was a little before my time. (And yes, I did have to Google it.)

    Anyway, great responses. Thanks everyone. Any other wisdom is, of course, appreciated.
     
  19. DaveySimps

    DaveySimps CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I really wish you hadn't said that. Now I feel even older. Oh, Rick Moranis, what ever happened to you???

    ~Dave
     
  20. mnfreelancer

    mnfreelancer Active Member

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    They should really make a sequel to "Strange Brew" ya hosers...
     

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