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Day 302 - March 21 - Home

1"As long as expectations don't exceed experiences, everyone has a wonderful time."

Is the thought I was writing in a response and I then I started to ponder various experiences I have had in the past that made me happy or bummed and there is a clear correlation. I started to think and found that my verbal terms for the view angle of open expectation is 'big eyes,' curious and wandering. The mind set of 'anything can happen, hey come on, lets go see what it will be!' versus 'first I want this and second I want this and if this does not happen I will be so bummed.' Dating, rock shows, job interviews, and vacations all so often see humans with less than exuberant views on their outcomes when people involved don't moderate their expectations to leave room for the unexpected to occur. I have found personally that if I do the things I enjoy because I enjoy them, with big eyes and curiosity rather than pre writing the story line, that positive outcomes flow freely. And that is exactly how the blog posts unfold into existence each morning when I scan over the pile of recent thoughts, experiences and photos to see where the words I type will wander hopefully not getting too lost and ending up in the dreaded desolate forest of boring. Good morning!!

How about today we take a look at a Rat Sound analog snake splitter system?

**** Sound Nerd Speak ****

Ok for all you non nerds involved in voyeurism of the nerdy ways here is quick run down, while true audio nerds can skip this paragraph. OK, you know how there are mics on stage and they pick up the sound. Also, if you have been hanging around blog world for a while you also know that the Peppers, as most mid to large bands do, have two sound engineers. Our monitor engineer Daniel, is on the side of the stage and mixes the sound that the band hears and the Front of House engineer out front in the audience, me, mixes the sound that the audience hears. In order for the sound from the microphones on stage to get to both places, sound systems have something often called a 'splitter.' Though on the surface all it really is, is a glorified "y" cable, in actuality, they are complex, expensive and if anything goes wrong with it during a show, the outcome is not so good.

Rat Sound is currently based on a 56 channel XLR in, dual W-4 out hardwire splitter system with an external transformer W-4 input and either one or two W-4 outputs depending on the unit. Plus each splitter incorporates a triple 20 channel patchable sub snake array.

The large top box is the XLR input dual W-4 output unit with audio ground lifts on each input. The next unit down with the white blue and violet surrounded connectors allows sub snakes to be connected to the splitter system. You will notice the 60 numbered XLR cables dropped over the top, those are coming from the associated color coded sub snake connector. The cables allow the sub snakes to be patched into the splitter and stay patched over the course of a tour. The bottom box is a Rat built transformer splitter unit. When one of the main splitter W-4's is connected to the input of the transformer splitter, the transformer split provides 2 isolated W-4 outputs also creating a third split that can be used for a recording truck or other need.

The modular design that has evolved over the years with Jon Rat really doing an amazing job in developing the final result. The flexibility and capabilities of this setup makes the complex world of stage wiring fairly easy, reliable and versatile. Oh, and here is the 20 channel stage box

As far as the 6 channel and 12 channel stage boxes, they direct patch via XLR rather than multi pins like the 20 channel boxes.

**** End Sound Nerd Speak ****

I can only hope that my bloggery offerings exceed your expectations. Speaking of that, any bloggery requests? Yes, I know more roadie cards is one I need to do and am hoping to soon, what else? What do ya 'all want?

Dave Rat


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Jules Corcimiglia on :

Are you using John Cunningham/Crimson Audio Transformers in your new snake splitter system? If not what transformers are you using? I work in Rochester NY Eastman Theatre, Whirlwind Audio front panel on your snake,'right on way cool'. Great company

phil vincent on :

hello how about an interview with monitors asking how much he changes on a show by show basis? does he mix their in ears like u do a FOH show or is he pretty much just watching for their cues room to room? a tour this large with IEM's and a digital desk must make monitors easy as hell!

HowdThatTaste on :

how about a section on "Spinal Tap dejavu moment of the day". it doesn't have to match exactly, but something that could have been in the film, that happens, reluctantly, frequently.

Monique on :

"...And that is exactly how the blog posts unfold into existence each morning..." And this is exactly why I, personally, enjoy reading your blog posts. In fact, last weekend I went back and re-read some of your older posts because I find them so...I don't know...comforting maybe? To know that there's at least one other fellow blogger out there who, even with all the ups and downs, is happy for whatever experience life throws at them. My friends and family call it my "l'attitude que sera, sera". I don't care what they call it, frankly--all I know is that I'm a hell of a lot less stressed than most of them. ;) Don't get me wrong, I do like my share of organization and planning, but I don't flip out if things don't go exactly as planned. Why cause wrinkles? Wrinkles are yucky. Anyway, I read a lot of blogs Dave, and most people use their blogs to complain. I enjoy reading yours because it's always so positive, so honestly just keep doing what you're doing. I have no requests. All is good as is. Cheers! -Monique

Rob F on :

No biggie requests, I agree with Monique. But- I would love to see some pics of the racks front and back. Always looking for new cool ways to creatively wire stuff up! Thanks for the laughs and insights.

Hollis on :

Dude, awsome blog. I'm getting started in sound reinforcement myself and its been invaluable. How about some info about local crew? what do they do for your tour vs what do they normally do? do they ever help out with set changes? what do you do for set changes?

Monique on :

Hey--I do have a question though and it's a real dumb one, but I hope you humour me. Since I've never manufactured anything (well, aside from altered books) how do you get your logos on things like that 20 channel stage box? Do you build the thing and then paint it on yourself or do you send it out to be detailed? Stupid question I know...

Jay Rigby on :

Hey Dave, How about some pictures of the Rat Shop? I would love to see how you store all of your gear and any bench setups you guys have. Personally, I work in a shop where we have a ton of gear and not a ton of space. Always looking to see what other companies are doing with their shop space. I also agree with Rob F, pictures of racks front and back are always cool to check out. Keep up the awesome work! Jay

Mikey B on :

That is one sexy beast of a split. We too have WW 56 W-4. I have a couple of damaged pins. 2 in the connectors one in the box. Problem is they are old style solder cup pins. Their website says they can't be repaired. So it's either lop off the heads and redo them in crimp, or find a way to repair them. You guys have any expierience repairing the solder ones? Probably a better question for the message board. But coincidentally you have addressed this here. As far as the bloggery, it is really cool to have people willing to let you bounce things off of them. The quest for knowledge and expieriences just feels positive and constructive. You are giving this... Thanks

Rachelle on :

You are so deliciously refreshing DR - more refreshing than my giant cup of coffee that catapults me each day into a new day! Thank you for filling me, and infact all of us, with interesting thoughts, laughs and inspiration each and every day. Not that I know you, except from blog land, but you seem to have a truly beautiful spirit which shines through each and every blog. My morning routine = coffee, news, DR blog…. And always in that order - as your blog helps remove the bad taste that the news usually leaves lingering with me. Time to write a book Ratty .... =)

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