Report from the dark side ;)

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Starting tonight, & for the next three days, I'm running sound & lighting at a local small festival. It's a great event, with just about the best gig vibe ever. Set on a cider farm just 5 miles from my house, right in the heart of the Golden Valley, the situation couldn't be more ideal. Two stages, 26 bands, 3 days. I ran sound & lighting for the event last year too, but this year, it's grown a bit. Think audiences for each show of between 300 & 600 depending on the act. I'm running MainStage, a PA hire company is running the "acoustic" stage.

Last year, I encountered just about every type & quality of kit setup you could imagine. A lot of challenges. Being a drummer, I take good care of the drummers, irrespective of their experience, even providing spot tuning & head replacements if necessary. This year, I'm even providing tactile monitoring :)

For those interested, I'm running my own gear (about 8k FOH & 2k back), & mixing old school on a A&H 16-4-2 Mixwiz3. The acoustic live stage is running about the same power, but everything digital (I'm not a fan of digital desks in a modest level fast act changeover situation)

I thought it might be interesting to report back from the other side of the story. What I struggle with, & what really works from a live sound engineering drummer interface perspective. Trust me, I'm your dream sound engineer, so if it screws me up, or pisses me off, then it's really bad.

The empty barn main stage area as I found it yesterday, a stage shot from last year's event, & a couple of pictures of views from the festival site (quite a heat haze yesterday - 30 Celsius).
 

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JimFiore

Silver Member
Nice pics of the countryside. We really should get over to visit your fine country one of these days.

Totally agree about analog desks for such a situation. Maybe it's just decades of familiarity but I still prefer the immediate nature of it all even if it is "a lot of knobs".
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Just beautiful Andy.As I've said before,I've been to the English country side,and it's just beautiful.Those pics look like upstate NY or the Pennsylvania farm country,or maybe the rolling hills of West Virginia.Just beautiful country.

Best of luck with the show,and may the road rise my mate,:)

Steve B
 

JimFiore

Silver Member
I took a quick look on Google Earth. Looks like lots of odd shaped parcels set up for farming with hedgerows between.

Does look a little like some parts of upstate NY. I think I'd feel at home.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
From the dark side? Mister, I'll have you remember that some of us are running on both sides!

Seriously, have fun! And break BOTH legs!
 

radman

Senior Member
Beautiful location and pretty neat looking venue ... looks like good fun! (although I can imagine the toll the days will take on you ... take good care)

BTW, I found your "report" last year very informative. As a player on mostly acoustic gigs, sound systems (manned by those often odd sound guys!) are a bit of a mystery to me.

Question: What do you mean by tactile monitoring? Is that the freaky vibrating drum throne thing? Not sure I got the reference .... :)

best,
radman
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
(although I can imagine the toll the days will take on you ... take good care)
Understatement of the decade! :( Getting to bed at 2:30AM & hauling back out at 10:00AM for yet another full on day is tough on an old boy like me, but I'm enjoying it. No time now, got to go, but I'll be back here with a full update & responses to questions in the next few days. Lots of stories, lots of kits in every state imaginable.

Until then, here's a few pictures so far.

Cheers, Andy.
 

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Magenta

Platinum Member
You're not doing too badly for an old guy.

Great photos, as ever, and I look forward to hearing more about it by the time I get home!
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
Until then, here's a few pictures so far.
Woaw, I had no idea that you will provide a Guru drumset as well, it mean that some drummers were very lucky :)

Is one of the band a Led Zep tribute band by any chance? It looks like a Plant/Page lookalike on a couple of pics...

When I was in London I had the impression that Andy was bionic - powered by spicy food and beer :)
...and tobacco :)
 

spleeeeen

Platinum Member
I thought it might be interesting to report back from the other side of the story. What I struggle with, & what really works from a live sound engineering drummer interface perspective. Trust me, I'm your dream sound engineer, so if it screws me up, or pisses me off, then it's really bad.
A very thoughtful and useful thread (as usual) from you Andy. I actually just played a festival gig and was wondering about what such an event might require from an engineer. I listened to bands before and after our set and despite all kinds of differences in instrumentation and voices, everything sounded great. Since you've been on both sides of these things, I'm wondering if you might have any suggestions for drummers. What seems especially important to help insure the success of these types of performances?

Thanks!

Jason
 
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