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Home from six weeks away and this time rather than acclimate I am enjoying maintaining the pace. Bring it on, hit the ground running with morning jogs, surfing anything remotely resembling waves and full steam ahead in work world. I finally have wrapped my head around embracing the business side of things by reframing it from a chore to a challenge.

Oh, I just got asked by Jonathan Novick to be a noon time Keynote speaker at AES in San Francisco on friday November 5th as well as to be on a panel with Tom Young discussing fill speakers for live concerts. I have been pondering what to speak about putting together an outline and am thinking I will start with a bit about the allure and challenges of the road life. I want to also cover understanding some fundamental differences between live and recording worlds hopefully from a fresh angle followed by some technical of the live sound challenges that would be beneficial to overcome. Finally talking about how the brilliant AES audio minds could help push live audio to the next level.

Since it is important that I am on track with covering aspects that wants to heard, I though I would ask. If you you are going to be attending AES and have subjects or suggestions you feel would be interesting that may fit, send me message or post a comment and I will try and cover it. Plus this will hopefully give me a better understanding of the direction to take it.

And while we are rocking social networking for the betterment and fun of all involved, it took me a while to find but I stumbled on an angle with twitter that seems to be going well. The random twitter updates without some substance never felt quite right to me so I started intermixing "Sound Tips." What I found was that not only was I getting a positive response but also it acts as a simple 'thought storage space' to hold concepts I feel worth remembering. So here is a consolidation of the Sound Tips so far and if you want further expansion on the concepts, there are some great response threads on my Facebook page!/1drat

**** Sound ips ****

1) Spaced apart subs create a power alley. Use this instead of stacked behind for drumfill to get less lows washing the stage

2) Be sure to actually listen to your reference RTA or smaart mic before trusting it. A lot of those mics distort at higher volumes

3) Find the room resonance and kill it. Typically 200 hz for 2k cap dropping to 125 hz for 20000 cap

4) Ears want to hear a smooth response over time, disregard short term peaks, use 10 seconds averaging minimum on Smaart/RTA

5) For line checks in headphones PFL the L&R, turn all channels on/up to hear post fader actual relative levels rather than solo

6) The closer u mic the more instrument u get & the less background noise. Downside? Extra low end but lows are easy to EQ out!

7) Point the guitar rig on stage slightly outward or upward so it does not blast you at FOH a few inches makes a big difference

8) If you have hum and you can't fix or no time, try polarity reversing some channels like backing vox to force cancel it out

9) The whole 'phantom from foh OR mons is silly. Phantom from both is all good and gives redundancy and won't hurt anything

10) Why use boomy mics on boomy instruments? Try small dia condensers for clear sound, Use boomy Lg dia mics on thin instruments

11) Sound Tip: Engineers that mix with blasting kick are like 'learning to drive drivers.' Gas it on green & slam breaks on reds. Pro's r balanced.

**** End Sound ips ****

Oh, also I have been trying to centralize all the info on which streams my blog, twitter, Rat Forum and has links to many of the articles I have written.

Ok, here are some more pics

Mark Hoppus, Blink 182

Monster Magnet

Paris from the Eiffel Tower

The Arch!

Mel, Robert, Daniel and I hanging in Vienna. Daniel took us on an awesome tour of the city, thank you!

Ahh the ramp push

Uh oh!


Travis says hello to Daniel

Pretty Sure this was Vienna and I think we have all felt this at one point or another

Cool cool, and off to rock some homework with one of my shorties,

Dave Rat


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Jon Bannan on :

Great tips Dave! Thanks! Is there a recommended spacing between subs? I always feel like the stage L and stage R leaves a large area in the front of the stage without low end. Do you recommend a Left/Center/Right config of subbage? And does this introduce any phase issues?

Dave Rat on :

I usually run center subs with some delay like 2 or 3 ms at a reduced volume to fill in the center and help with the power alleys and to reduce power alley a bit

Sam Razr on :

Great Tips! Especially #9 is interesting. Had a discussion with a monitor-guy on a job two weeks ago. He said, I should do phantom power only from FOH, so I did. When I came across the monitor section, I saw, he turned it on too. Nothing happend, but I don't really know why... Do you have the theoretically background to this one? Next time you're in Germany, send me an email, I'll show you some interesting places in the Cologne, Munich or Frankfurt!

Dave Rat on :

When you phantom power it supplies 48 volts on pin 2 and separate 48 volts on pin 3, both with respect to pin one. The current is just a few milliamps which is enough to power phantom mics by design. If you phantom from both, the 48 volts stays the same but you double the available current. For mics that are on the high high end of current draw, the dual phantom source actually helps. For mics that draw less, it makes no difference. Basically all you are doing is putting the two phantom sources in parallel.

Moritz on :

You took some HDR-photos? You make it with your phone or your camera? :-) Looking great. Especially the Arc de Triomphe! greeting from Germany

Dave Rat on :

I took those with my Nikon D70 and used Photomatix to create them

Josip on :

Hi Dave. Don't you think that there can be problem with difference of tension ? (if monitor and FOH consoles are from different brands, or long multicore can occasion loss of voltage, etc.). Difference may be a little, for instance 0.5V, but this cause that current start flow from one to another console.

Dave Rat on :

If you are referring to dual phantom power source, basically since you are just paralleling the two 48 volt supplies, any deficiency in one will be helped by the other. That said, with 48 volts and only a few milliamps of current, the line loss to wire is so low it is of no concern. No need to over complicate. Phantom from one, the other or both, no biggie.

Dan on :

Hey, I like tip 11. I used to mix my drums a little loud as I was a drummer. I especially like a nice big kick but I have learnt the balancing act!

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