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Time Sponges and Mind Sparkles

Seven months home and the rhythms of tour are as clear in my recollection as the food I ate 7 weeks ago tuesday and even if I mind-smunch my brain deep enough to retrace my steps, I could not possibly recall more than rudimentary guesses as the sensations and aromas have long ago drifted into oblivion. Where does my time go? And why do I let running around in daily circles sponge my life away into gas receipts. How is that important? Yet the desire to get there or here can seem so desirable and crucial and looking back all I see are tail lights and patches and broken things and a few smiles at the moments when I broke free of the pattern. Oh to look forward to a magnetic future that pulls happiness from the monotony. A single phone call holds the power to shift drudgery into closed-eye bliss or to obliterate euphoria into a slap-stinging reality of the past haunts I've created. Run away! but I wont as I have chosen to stay. I have stepped off the moving ship that allowed me to live in the disconnected reality of motion. Sir Isaac Newton, the falling apple on the head guy, once said "an object in motion will stay in motion till acted upon by an outside force and an object at rest is bored." Or something like that. Do we watch the movie or do we strive to be actors? Ooooh! The beauty of disconnected observation. And ooooh, the temptation of jumping into the limelight of celebrity attention. Each with their downfalls both so alluring depending on the moment. Claps and cheers for those who ramp up and are willing to crawl out of their defeats on the way to success. Boos and hisses for those that crawl shifty behind deception to force their greedy goals. Am I wrong to remember gas was $1.50 a gallon when "we" (in the soft and broad unfortunate form) elected that slurring annoyance? Ah, but is it so wrong that the spiraling bumblefuck around us is reinforcing we humans into getting our shit together and bumping up our minimization of crapping on the earth about us? Ah the "Barney Syndrome," the purple dinosaur so bent on happy-cheery and perfect it invigorates resentment in even the most kind hearted observer. A peon propped into power so bent on ass kissing his indebtedness away to the string-pullers that all he touches begins to decay, creates the Barney syndrome in reverse. Here we sit at a hopefully a zero crossing upward as the natural oscillation from dark to light, fight to fun and falling to climbing enters the next stage. Speaking of the cycles and competitions of life, check this out. I would like to say nothing makes me cry but I have spent too many plane flights with sunglasses on watching sappy movies to say that with any integrity, anyway, this video made me smile with watery eyes so I figured I would subject you 'all to it as well:

And out of the ramble and into midst lets go for a wander to see what we can find in the world of France. Meet Christian Heil, the big kahuna creator of the modern line-array sound system configuration. For those of you outside the audio realm and maybe some within, in the mid to late 90's a PA created by a French company called L' Acoustics began gaining considerable traction on large tours with a system called V-Dosc. Immediately all the major players in the speaker building industry started coming up with reasons the line-array systems do not work and are inferior. Then they realized that there profits were in jeopardy so they all copied it. Today, with only three manufacturers that I know of,

TurboSound, Danley and Function One, who have not jumped on the copy Christian bandwagon, the current landscape of pro audio tours is only a choice of "which line array do you prefer" or would you rather have one of the two big, heavy, over two decade old "vintage system" from the largest PA provider on earth.

Live sound has seen many innovations. John Meyer brought the "black box processor" into the main stream, Clair Brothers, was the first to use a chain hoist to fly speakers, the basics of Jim Lansing's driver design nearly 80 years ago is still is valid today and his history is a good read for the audio nerdery types. Anyway, right now, the newest most dramatic revolution on the speaker box side was put into play by this friendly and warm hearted French guy. Jon Monson and I are out here because he has made a new toy! But first we must also meet well endowed Bob.

And now to see and hear the next generation large scale concert touring box released from the ones that started it all:

**** Begin Sound Nerd Speak ****

It is exactly the same dimensions as the V-Dosc, same weight yet louder and clearer sounding and the high frequency coverage is smoother and more consistent than V-Dosc which already was, in my humble opinion, the smoothest and most predictable in the industry. Oh, plus there is now fully contained captive rigging that is second to none, amp racks can fly on top of the bumpers, you can now fly 24 boxes deep and there is a new flyable dual 15" low box for LF steering and increased punch. Good stuff, it has been a while since I have heard a system that I am impressed with.

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

Enough of that for now and more to come at some future date. So while in France and pondering gear I found myself filled with the desire to do as one may logically do when one is I and I headed south to see and surf. From the room at night

turns into day

and surf I did! Thank you Takuji for the cool line up and amazing friends, thank you Umesh for taking us to killer surf spots and and fixing the board I dinged. Thank you Herve for the most wonderful lunch, ooops, sorry about the board but I am told it has been fixed to better than before. Thank you Alain for hanging out and awesome food and Robert, you rock and tell those super cool short friends "cowboy!" and "spider!" So fun!

and hey look, I even made it to the local papers by indirect association!

and as a farewell note wrapping the worlds of innovation, surfing and the avoidance-of-crapping-on-our-planet into a single entity, click on the pic below to see some cool creations from yet another human thinking outside the box.


Or thinking with the box as the case may be.

And speaking of thinking, I thinks I am off to see what is next to be found.

Dave Rat


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Greg Cameron on :

the new VDOSC sounds interesting. Sounds like the competition is going to have an even tougher time competing than before. No doubt Rat will be one of the partners that gets to test and tune ;-) From my new digs in Grass Valley/Nevada City Greg

yespa on :

wonderful video. but "sound nerd speak" was so short... we want more informations. from the sunny italy (near france ;) ) y.

Thomas Lange on :

Hm, I think you can take Turbo out of the list of "non-believers", since they introduced the Flexarray which should work as a Line Array as well as a Point Source, but still... I know of some big german companys who did switch their PA-manufacturer from L'Acoustics to others like Meyer or Adamson, because of the lack of "improvements" in the system in the last 15 years. C. Heil recently announced, that the new system is "on the way" but will need "o gain road acceptance on its own. I think he said, it would be two years until the system "really" gets on the road. I think the Rats will be one of the mentioned beta-test-companys? Regards, Thomas

Mikey B on :

Just so happens those young ladies won the "Best Sports Moment" at the ESPY's. Beating out, the personal highlights of some great pro atheletes. The VDosc looks great, and with a new rigging system, nice. Also nice to bump into you guys last week, at the Shed of no LF. Kind of a bummer there, as I recall the holy pounding that place used to provide back in the day.

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