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Heavy Gear

Heavy Gear

So getting ready to tour with Soundgarden and the gear left on trucks today. I cool K1 rig and lots of toys. Jamie and the rest of the shop Rats have spent the last week or so building up the ,complex kluge of gear for the run and it should be cool. Here is snap of the FOH racks as I will start the tour. I have some fun new things going on with subs that I am hoping will pan out as planned. A newer cleaner setup to replace the vortex, though not quite as sexy looking plus some new control features I am pretty psyched about. I am planning on setting up sideways again with the console controlled by my right hand as I face forward towards the band. In front and off to the right will be the racks shown below. The goal is to have a wide open space between the band and I with no gear between while being able to clearly see the RTA, system EQ's and the rack gear. Stepping back will allow a full scan of everything going on with the system.

The Dorroughs meters are new and I am hoping the average versus peak simultaneous metering will do a good job of giving a clear visual on how well the subgroup compression technique I use is working. For more info on that, check out the youtube video I did on the subject.

Cool cool, excited to get out and about have some fun getting this rig dialled in for some epic gigs with a super cool heavy band!

-Dave Rat


Here We Go

Here comes summer sunshine and time to jump back in to making the world a louder place to live in. Red Hot Chili Peppers have a new album coming out at the end of August directly followed by a world tour schedule that keeps rolling through 2013. Bye bye home. well, not really as Peppers tend to travel a 3 week on, 2 week off pattern so I wont totally disconnect from the world I currently live in. Plus with my daughters now 15, I am planning to have them take turns coming out to visit on and get in some travels and adventures. Oh, and the first gig is in Hong Kong, never been so its always cool to go to a new city.

But before all that kicks in, I will be out for all of July mixing Soundgarden for a one month North America run. It just all comes at once. Unfortunately I could not take the upcoming Blink 182 tour as it overlaps both Soundgarden and Peppers, but at least two of the three bands I mix have schedules that fit well enough.

Whenever I head out on the road for a major full production tour, I try and formulate some sort of useful or memorable adventure to attach to the travels. On Rage Against the Machine tour in 1996, I decided I would learn HTML and build a web site, back when it was not a point and click process. Unfortunately "Way Back Machine" did not capture the images of the old Rat Site but here is a link to the archive.

And if you are not familiar with Way Back Machine, it archives the internet so you can see web sites as they were, way back when.

Google beta site 1998

Enron from start to collapse

The very first Twitter Web Page

I find it both interesting and useful. I use it to look up old specification on audio gear that is no longer made and with a bit of digging there is all kinds of seemingly long lost info that is still around.

Speaking of way back, way back in April Rat Sound provided the gear for our 11th Coachella Festival and our 5th year supporting Stagecoach Festival, except this time there were three weekends instead of two and a the Big 4 show with Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth kept us in the desert for three weekends with 7 semi trucks of gear.

Oh, so back to useful and memorable, one tour I learned to weld and had a 200 amp welder shipped to my hotel and made an electric gocart, another tour I learned to scuba dive during a week off in Bali, but mainly I try and focus on the fact that I have a giant sound system at me disposal and try and figure out some sort of new or improved way of presenting large scale audio.

So, for these tours, so far, I have four things on my plate:

1) I have a new sub setup that appears to be an improvement over the Vortex/Orgasmatron configuration

2) I have worked out a sub woofer processing method that should reduce if not eliminate the two primary nulls realized from two spaced sub sources. I did some youtube vids on subs setups and I look forward to testing the new processing.

3) As the sound world clamours deeper into the layered menus of digital control, the amount of information involved with mixing is growing exponentially while the amount of useful information we have access to becomes buried and diluted. Maybe it is all my punk rock anti follow the flow tendencies or perhaps I just want a simple clean controllable environment to mix in. Either way, I am excited about adding big giant VU meters to my setup. There is more to this than just a having a big meters as these provide some valuable insight into the sound being reproduced directly in line with my mixing strategy.

4) And more down that line, I had a great time mixing Paul Van Dyk in the Sahara Tent at Coachella this year. Two inputs, both Left and Right. I made a point of running the audio in a direct super clean path and used some Tonelux Mic pre's, EQ's and went directly into the amps from there. The sound quality difference over the more complex audio path from the normal setup was audible and preferable So, I am going to do some work on cleaning up and reducing the complexity of the audio path to get a cleaner sound to the speakers.

Ok, that's it for now, except one more thing. I officially declare the recession over. Just as it took a year for the realities of the recession to penetrate deeply enough into the depths of our economy for all to agree that it actually existed, the recovery will be denied by those late in the healing process until long after positive momentum is firmly entrenched and and driving the powerful core economic direction in a positive direction. Unfortunately the late healers involve employment figures and housing prices, so bemoan if you wish but the reality is that now, right now is the time that point that 5 years from now you will look back and go "man, I should have blah blah blah'ed back then because the people that did are on top of the world."

Ok, that's it for now, I will try and get some regular pattern for blogging again now that I am getting back into touring mode. In the mean time to fill the spaces between the blog posts that actually require me to sit down at a computer, I will continue doing updates and such via twitter and Facebook as well as posting links to stuff on Cool cool and see ya'all soon!

Dave Rat