Study Hall

Supported By

The Last Two Shows: Patching & Scratching As A Tour Long Ago Came To A Close

Winding down a 2-month western tour of Canada, an hour from the designated load-in time for the final gigs, and that’s when things started to go south...

We found out very quickly that the Moose were completely uninterested in allowing us to access the main electrical room, so the conversation shifted to the people from the Hockey Association. The band leader helpfully suggested that I climb a hydro pole and tie directly into a transformer. (This was something that one of my predecessors, the band’s “sainted sound tech” – see sidebar – had famously done with some other band in some little town in the middle of nowhere.)

Fortunately, before I started the climb, one of the hockey players said, “Bad idea.” He then relayed a story about a guy he knew who had done that to hook up a welder – there was more to the story but all I remember is that it ended with – “blew one hand off at the wrist and the other arm off at the elbow!”

So the only recourse was a generator. By now it was late on Saturday afternoon and there was a lot of frantic phoning around to try to track down a unit. Eventually someone got through to another brother-in-law who worked at a rental place… there was some-back-and-forth about what size was needed (I really had no idea).

A short while later, a pickup truck arrived, carrying a generator. It was probably a 15 kW and it was A) diesel powered, and B) did not have a fuel tank (just a hose). Well, that was easily dealt with. I had the driver move the pick-up as close as he could to our truck, and then plopped the hose into our fuel tank.

“We found out very quickly that the Moose were completely uninterested in allowing us to access the main electrical room”

Sound & Noise

Next came my first ever generator tie-in, something I marvel at today – especially now that I know that there really should be a separate ground wire run…to the ground, something that wasn’t happening with a rubber-tired pickup truck. In any case, we started up the generator and it all worked.

We rushed through sound check for the second night in a row and off we went. The gig was just fine. I knew that we had 24 kW of lighting and so made a point of going easy on the lights – did I mention that my duties, besides driving the truck, were sound, lights, and changing the odd guitar string (at front of house!) in between sound and lighting cues?

When I did bring up a lot of lights for the “big finish” at the end of songs, I could actually hear the generator start to lug down over the noise of the band, outside the hall. Using that sound from the generator as my “overload indicator,” I got through the show (and the tour) without any problems.

Over the next two days we made our way back to Toronto, where, about five blocks from my apartment, we started hearing some ominous clunking sounds from the transmission. Which was fine, because A) I wasn’t driving, and B) the truck needed to go in the shop for the fuel system to be fixed anyway!

Read More
d&b audiotechnik Americas Adds Three New Team Members

Supported By

Celebrating over 50 years of audio excellence worldwide, Audio-Technica is a leading innovator in transducer technology, renowned for the design and manufacture of microphones, wireless microphones, headphones, mixers, and electronics for the audio industry.