Check this sexy machine out! My favorite tour necessity.
As innocent as it looks, this baby cruises at 17 miles per hour has two 21 cell, 25 volt 5000 mAh NiMh battery packs hidden in the belly, each good for 10 miles on flat ground and the brushless motor offers almost zero rolling resistance, folds up and weighs in a mere 28 pounds! The Xootr EX3. Heck, back before 9/11 I used to ride to the airport from old house and carry it and a backpack on the plane for short trips. Unfortunately I am sad to say these are long discontinued. But if you ever can get your hands on one, you will not regret it.
Like everything though, things break. Especially if they are my things.
The most recent repair was a battery issue where a connection between calls broke. It's a bit of a pain to fix but at $175 bucks a pack, it is well worth the effort. By poking small holes in the shrink wrap I located where the bad connection was. Then cut away the shrink and carefully bend out the cell. The issue is trying to resolder the cell back in without dissembling the whole pack. But, since NiMh cells use the outer can as the negative, there is a workaround. If you solder a thin metal tab to the positive of the cell in the pack then slide the cell you bent out, back place:
You can cut away the shrink wrap and solder the tab to the outside of the can. It is a bit hard to see but if you look carefully, its there.
And back on track! And hey, look what I found!
An honor indeed! Thank you Travis, Mark and Tom for inviting me on this incredible adventure.
Ok and on to:
**** Sound Nerd Speak ****
Ok, so one of the wonderful realities of our world as traveling sound humans is that everyday is a new adventure. So now that the Vortex (Orgasmatrons), Slotfire and V-Fire setups are running smooth and predictable, we can now start upping the anti a bit. We learned from Jones Beach shows that the Diagonal Vortex was effective for venues that require a narrower coverage. Remember that Vortex was designed to cover up to 135 degrees off axis but in a field or shed that is too wide. So rotating them 45 degrees does well for narrower coverage patterns.
But as anyone who has toured knows, we have to deal with a wide variety of setup spaces, restrictions and issues. So here are a few more setup variations for y'all to ponder.
Vortex two dimensional control. Offers rejection behind the subs and on stage. Needs space around them. Offers very wide coverage. Steerable. Occupies an 8 by 8 footprint.
Slotfire single dimension control. Coverage is symmetrical in front and behind. Works best when against a wall to block rear energy. Steerable width. Offers rejection center stage and somewhat behind. Controllable front compression alters sub tuning/tonality. Requires 13 by 4 footprint.
V-Fire single dimension control. Coverage is focused forward and reduced behind. Does nor require a rear wall. Steerable width. Offers rejection center stage and somewhat behind. The V is less than optimum and slightly downgrades the tonality. Requires 13 by 4 footprint.
But what to do in this venue in Birmingham? We had a fairly open space. The barrier to the right in the photo is audience side and just a blow through scrim. Unfortunately there was not enough room for a vortex without jamming up monitor world . Plus the vortex would have to be diagonal to be aimed right and there was no way. So here is a Smooshed Vortex setup.
The math works well and coverage should be good with excellent rejection behind and on stage. But wait? Really? Am I going to point a 3 stack of double 18"s at our monitor guy?
Well, it made me nervous enough that we setup one side with the middle speakers pointing toward the audience but the math was not a good.
and the other side as the calculations told me would be superior
And we fired it up and sure enough, we spun the other side and ran with double 18"s pointed right at a happy Steve!
And how about one more setup that may com in handy and is super easy. This is basically the setup we used at coachella and works on the same principle as the Slotfire
Two stacks of 6 subs per side. Space at 8.5 feet center to center. Lay in a 3ms delay to the outside stacks and bingo. Simple clean 180 degree 45 hz-ish center frequency cancellation towards center stage and focal points like 20 or 30 degrees off center. Longer delay widens and shorter will narrow. Though the side effect of other delay times is that your cancellation area moves around.
**** End Sound Nerd Speak ****
Two of these belong to me!
And off to watch Fall Out Boy!