Owning a Tesla 4 months 10000 miles 

Edging on 4 months of cruising the new car and since everyone loves to ask – “How do you like the Tesla?” , figured I’d kick out an update.

If you have not already done so, maybe give a read to my last blog post after 10 days of driving the car.

I have been taking notes and it is a long list because of course I over analyze everything, so I will break this up into several posts, so here goes part 1:

1) Since I never put gas in the new car and wake up with a full tank everyday, it is really easy to lose track of how much I drive. Heck, I drive everywhere now, all the time. It not only feels free and environmentally impactlless, it feels like a waste of car not to!

2) I forgot to mention in the last post that the car stereo volume goes to 11, a wonderful ode to Spinaltap. But why stop there? The air conditioning / heater fan speed also goes to 11. These are important details that the designer side of me greatly appeciates. I put hidden connections in nearly all my speaker system designs.

3) Autopilot has different concept of optimum lane position than I do. For me, it swings wide on turns and is equally comfortable next to a car as a semi. Also it is not overly concerned about driving in someone’s blind spot. It has a ways to go before being a hands off nap taking adventure. It is more like having a pall hold the wheel for a bit that will slam on the brakes if you get distracted.

4) Most fast flashy cars are all about “vroom, hey everyone looking at me, I go fast, vroom vroom, hey, me fast look over here!”

The Tesla is more like “Hey, have you heard the new Portugal the Man album? Oh wait a sec, need to say bye bye to a big noisey muscle car, ziiiiing, hello cute little muscle car in the rear view mirror, so yeah their new album awesome

5) It’s a big car! wide and roomy, I went from an Infiniti EX 35 small SUV to a Tesla model S sedan and I have way more room in every direction. Plus, the Ex35 got a pathetic 20 miles to the gallon. I feel years of mileage wasted regret.

6) Tire pressure matters, in fact everything that would matter to you on a self pedal bicycle on a long ride, probably matters to some degree. If you obsess on trying to get maximum miles per charge, speed, how fast you accelerate, tire pressure, anything on the roof, hills, headwinds, they all matter. Thankfully, compared to gas electricity is either free or super cheap and costs around $10 to $12 for 250 to 300 miles.

6) Backing into the garage does not make the house smell like exhaust.

7) Bluetooth transition from car to phone is super awkward. With a normal car, turning off the car mid phone call, auto switch to handset, all good. With Tesla, you don’t really turn off the car, so park, open door, stereo volume drops making person you are talking to inaudible, get out, close door, person gets loud again but is still inside car and can’t hear you. Walk away, lock car and handset starts working. It really messes me up when I am on the phone at work and go get something from the car.

8) I had to drive my 2008 Infiniti and wow, how easily I became unadapted. It was like switching back to a flip phone where texting required me to press each key multiple time to find the right letter. Most odd was the lack of regenerative braking made it feel like it was trying to crash me into things when I let off the accelerator. It just keeps rolling and going and then I have to actually use the brakes! In a Tesla, brakes are only for emergencies and to stop from rolling after you are nearly stopped.

9) With few exceptions, with a Model S, the car you are replacing is slower, noisier, dumber, smaller or all of the above.

10) Gas cars grunt like they are doing heavy lifting when you gas them, an electric car doesn’t complain, it just effortlessly debits your energy reserve

Cool cool,

Dave Rat

DR Blog – Vienna and Home

Last show of euro arena leg 4 and the wrestling matches have rejuvenated a bit of the old comraderie from years past. I have been spending more time around the dressing room the last few days with my long time friends. I tend to run fairly isolated from the tour and the Trump election had pushed me further into being a hermit.

It’s now 2 am and just back at the hotel with 5 hours to my plane takes off, it’s all about being really good at setting alarms and timing finesse.

We said goodbye to Deerhoof and pick up Babymetal as the new opener on the next run early December.

So here I lay not as tired as I wish I was with my ears slightly ringing as they do. . Plus I have the added bonus of a bunch of new aches from wrestling.  I must admit I kind of enjoy the feeling of being human and taking some hits from exposure. Otherwise things would get boring much quicker.

Speaking of ears ringing, many people ask me how I deal with ear protection.

My strategy has evolved over the years from reckless bombardment to moderating. Years ago when mixing Rage Against the Machine, my ears hurt and I had not yet developed a strategy to hold a mix together and reduce my exposure at high volumes. 

As wisdom grows worked out a strategy wherein I triangulate the tonal balance of the sound. I use the RTA for a visual reference, the knob settings as a mechanical reference my ears as an auditory reference for the first few songs and a few other times during the show. The rest of the time I use some 20db soft silicon ear plugs I got custom molded from JH Audio that work really well for me. I put them in, let my ears adjust to the lower level and mix most of the show that way.

Ok, should try and sleep. good night


Oh, found the boiler room

DR blog – Festhalle Frankfurt

Just to give you an idea of what what kind of audio challenges we sometimes face, give a listen to this cable ramp drop

cable ramp drop

Today is the day of the Peppers wrestling match, they brought in a mat, set it up in the middle of the venue, multiple cameras and up on the big screens. 

Match 1 was two of our fabulous caterers Tanya and Vicky

Match 2 was band photog Dave vs guitar tech Ian

Match 3 Lampi Scott vs me, Dave Rat

And match 4 tour Manager assist and guest bass player Sammy vs Flea

Must admit I was nervous but it truly was great fun, here is a clip from Flea’s match on Instagram 

flea vs sammy

And here is a shot of Scott and I

Cool cool, moving on to the bigger picture.

On November 26th 2006 I was in this same room with this same band pondering the same worldly things but from a much safer distance of time and residency.

And it was a bit eerie reading what I wrote a decade ago given the current realities

Roadies in the Midst Blog, Frankfurt, Nov 27 2006.

And may as well take the same pic I did back then.

On the sound front, the new Rat SDS30 SuperSubs are moving through production and the first batch should be landing at the rat shop in a few weeks. 30″ cone, 10,000 watts self powered and should be quite impressive to hear a whole array of them.

This enough for now, time to wander as I am now in Vienna


New blog adventure 

LAX tarmac headed to Munich and admiring the closed widow shades, relaxed demeanor of the flight staff and am not being treated like a misbehaving school child.

It must be my 12th transatlantic flight this year and I never cease to be annoyed when airlines scold the passengers as if they are idiots for expecting the plane could possibly navigate a takeoff with even one closed window shade. Yes we already know a seat back tilted makes a plane unflyable.

Probably more importantly I am just being sensitive and annoyed at leaving behind my wife and daughters and little four legged pals all gathering for a Halloween party without me.

Fly away to make invisible sounds and immerse in the energy of giant rock shows. Over 25 years of my life spent traveling the world with so many friends I truly love and respect, torn from one world to the next. 

Going to take a shot at ramping back up on some blog posts as I adventure about. Really looking to consolidate the info I post into a single feed rather than a splattering of disconnected Facebook and Twitter posts. Historically I have had a positive response to my blogs but I have never been fully happy with the format. 

I really need to be able to post from my phone rather than laptop, just cause I move around so much so fast. Also the comments on Facebook posts have always been more active and dynamic than comments on the blogs, so now it should work where comments on the blog are done through Facebook. So, thanks to Dave Knepper at Rat, going to give this a shot.

And arriving in London now and

Let the games begin.  Oh, fun Halloween show at the Fonda Theater on Friday. Finally got a chance to mix on and did a visit of a tuneup on the V-Dosc/Rat Sub rig in there and it was awesome fun.

Forgot to take a PA pic but here are a few other pics from the show

Okey dokey, let’s see how this works and if all goes well, we will have an interactive flow of info where I can post and also answer questions or tailor a bit to requests 

Cool cool,