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Selective Listening

Hey, if you are thinking of heading to AES in San Francisco, I am the lunch time keynote speaker on Friday Nov 5th

Also I will be on two panels as well:

Fill Speakers in Live Reinforcement where will be discussing aspects of the additional non-main system loudspeakers, placement and such

And Subwoofer Directionality which should be interesting as that has been something I have been doing quite a bit of messing around with in real world large scale applications

Here is the full calendar:

As I think of them, I have been Tweeting SoundTips and have compiled the latest since blog post:

**** Sound ips ****

1) Carry a fml-fml-ml xlr Y & if talkback turned on is forgotten, Y TB mic into lead vox snake line for check & you'll be heard!

2) If you are a FOH eng, work out a hand signal line check plan with backline techs so you don't rely on a talkback mic. Easy, fast & efficient

3) For EQ'ing a system, I 1st set analyzer mic near me to calibrate my ears to what I see, I then move it to audience ear level

4) For dynamic bands, "Y" the drums to both gated and non gated inputs with a VCA for each. Now u can easily slide between open and gated sounds

5) When mixing, listen think, adjust, don't fiddle! Imagine a camera on u & u will be made to justify every knob and fader change

6) Creep some reverb into pre-show music before your band to create the illusion that your show comes up extra clean and tight.

7) In highly reverberant venues using more compression reduces the decay from louder peaks from stepping on the rest of the mix

8) Technology is important and useful but never ever forget that the final judge of the quality of your work is the human ear

9) If you are ever thinking a rock show is too loud, try going to some top fuel drag races or an air show and be humbled.

10) Why mix from a riser? Oh ya, so u can hear what the audience doesn't. I mix from the ground or 1' max whenever possible.

11) When using 2 kick mics, high pass the vent mic with the internal mic full range for a tight sound, do the reverse for a loose sound

12) If sending effects post fader, don't assign the efx return ch to same VCA as the send ch or the efx return level will be magnified 2:1 

13) Never use overeasy/softknee limiters for system protection, all they do is ruin the sound before letting speakers blow anyway.

14) Never mix from 2/3s back in a room with solid back wall. 2/3s is exactly 1/2 way. Sound travels 2/3ds to you, 1/3 to the wall and 1/3 back to you.

15) Mixing is like driving a car, turn off interior lights keep eyes on the road & glance, don't stare at the speedo and gauges

16) I mix with no light so I pull the 2.5K and 250 knobs off my 1/3oct EQ so I can EQ by feel, very 3rd knob is 1/2 or double freq

17) Never tape the grill of Shure SM57 back on by taping around the mic, the gap between grill and body is a sound port & it'll kill lows

18) In the time sound passes thru a digi console with 2.5ms latency sound travels 250miles in copper wire READ #FB

19) Condenser mics have lower mass diaphragms than dynamic mics, are more sensitive to detail, wind & feedback and 'faster'

20) Ever wonder why flown PA sounds better? The steeper angle of incidence allows sound to penetrate the human heat thermal layer and reduces sound blockage by the human heads in front of you

Soundgarden did a gig at a mock CBGB's built on Paramount Studios back lot.

Hanging with Donnie from Ncompass at the bar, It's crazy how the life size club photo's on the wall look in pics. This is us in front of a flat photo.

A combo of real stuff and the wall pictures form the CBGB's production office.

Louise and Robert have lots of old CBGB's stuff and worked there for years.

An old console from the club

CBGB's mix position with Justin

Getting ready to sound check Soundgarden

Sideways mix

May as well dive into the mic'ing I used. This is Chris' rig with 57 on one amp, and a Royer 122 and 57 panned stereo on the other

Same setup for Kim with the panning reversed.

For Ben I ran a Beta98 and and a DI

98 on the toms and HH, all clamps, no stands

98's on the toms and a mic I really like that is beat to crap, an AKG C5600 on underhead.

I am not to picky and like to use a mish mash of mics, I had a U89 so I put it on ride.

Audix D6 in the hole and Beta91 inside

Two MicroWedge 15's and 2 MicroWedge 15's for Matt's drumfill

MicroWedge 12's for frontline wedges

The Show

And went to Muse with my daughter Maddie. Check out MC's mix position! All good, low racks, mixes from the floor and all about being able to see everything with full control. All he need to do is loose the lights. Ha! MC you rock!

All the amps for 1/2 the PA. One rack per side, all the fly cables drop into the top, awesome setup and if it was an L' Acoustics rig, it would be 1/2 the size.

360 degree D&B J Rig

And some gratuitous band pics

OK, ever mix on a 5D? Ever glance to the side and see trails? Ever notice that dose not happen on most other boards or at least not as much? Yamaha, please, please soften the flash rate so your consoles are not so darn annoying!

So I usually try and offer some sort of life observation in my posts to counterbalance audio nerdery and the world of rock, so I'll give it a shot. A happy change in my recent life has been boycotting the corporate news machine. I realized it while in Europe with Blink and it dawned on me that there is a total disconnect between the world I live in and the worlds as presented by the corporations whose survival depends on parasiting human nature's infatuation with train wrecks, car crashes, dire futures and disregard for reality. In the course of trying to be responsible and aware, I was dedicating a portion of each day to staying on top of happenings of the world. While finding that simultaneously their negativity feels like being hooked on a fisherman's line and being methodically towed into the useless illusion.

It's a quandary. On one hand I discovered the world I live in and love by following music with disregard. On the other, things have grown to a point where if I do not embrace the bigger picture, stagnation will set in and those with whom my life is interlocked will pay the price of me not carrying my weight and unraveling my piece of the puzzle. Everything in in life is either growing or dying and since extended periods of motionless is either dead or never alive, to change, grow and thrive is to be alive. While to grow with too much veracity is to become a mindless predator. Balance. Life balance. Personal happiness, family, friends and the enjoyment of the adventures of exploring new ground, new heights.

So how do I be a part of guiding my Rat family upward without embracing the cactus and yet still being aware enough to avoid the pot holes? Hmmm, don't know but am going to start with remembering that controlled exposure is wise, whether I am dealing with the warmth of a campfire, abrupt velocity changes or pretending I am a businessman.

And pondering back to some useful news, this 2001 satire was about the most accurate thing in memory:,464/

And just as the ship was swirled into a whirlpool of greed and violence, the dread I felt back then has now been replaced by positive momentum. This year was better and next looks to be better yet. I smile at the gun shy still grasping life preservers rather than swimming to shore to build a new boat. Timid is boring, smiles are magnetic and pessimists get the outcome they deserve.

Dave Rat