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Day 94 - Oakland Show 2

The US is a great country built by many amazing and brilliant people. Unfortunately the most adamant flag waivers are more likely to fall into the categories of unhealthy, lethargic, self righteous followers whose bragging rights are based on the plot of dirt they were born. Hmmmm, the beauty of clinging on the accomplishments of others, versus creating them of their own. And when ever I remember to I ask myself "What can I do that is unique, different, amazing and special, today or any day? And how well am I treating my my mind, my body, the critters around me (humans included) and the planet I reside?" I find I am most deeply happy, as that is when my world is balanced and I am pursuing new adventures. That is of course not the same as when I have the most fun, which lays more in the realms of playfully devious or the seeking of thrill.

And thrill seeking we did. Here you can see roadies Chris Warren and Scott the Lampi very seriously rocking out on Guitar Hero:

PJ PA System, Boston

For those of you confused enough to think that Guitar Hero is just a silly Playstation game where you rock out on a toy guitar to hit songs, well you're right, but it is embarrassingly fun. Personally, I am not much for video games, as they time sponge away my world. Furthermore I am odd in that I don't watch any TV either. So when Nick the Fly's brother, Sailing Joe, dropped me off a Guitar Hero game last year (Joe works for the G. H. company), I must admit, I made an exception and spent some time rocking the toy guitar. Thank you E, D and G for hanging out and a great time!

**** Begin SoundNerdSpeak ****

Subwoofers on an Auxiliary Send

Most sound systems are made up of speakers that vary in size depending on the frequencies they reproduce. Smaller speakers for the higher notes and bigger speakers for the lower notes. At home for your computer you most likely have a pair of roundish speakers mounted in plastic boxes. For your living room there may be a big speaker a mid sized and a smaller one mounted in some wooden boxes. Also home systems typically have one stereo amplifier and there are some electronic parts inside the speaker box that divide the music to send low notes to the big speakers and highs to the little ones.

On large scale sound systems there is pretty much the same thing except the sound is divided the sound up before the amplifiers. That means there is a separate amplifier for the lows, another amplifier for the midrange and yet another amplifier for the highs. On the Peppers we are carrying with us, there are fourteen 2000 watt stereo amps just for the sub woofers alone and many more amps for lows, mids and highs.

I do everything in my power to assure that the sound systems I use are configured such that there is a separate control over the signal sent to the sub-low speakers (sub woofers). For me that is extremely important. The technical term is 'subwoofers on an auxiliary send' or 'subs on an aux.' Subs on an Aux is what gives me the delicious control over that syrupy low frequency ooze that wraps around you and connects your body to the lowest of bass notes and thump of the kick drum. Unfortunately, I am often denied this control when using alien (not Peppers touring) sound systems. Today, once again I am appreciating how awesome it is to have subs on an aux and 'our' PA!

**** End SoundNerdSpeak ****

And then there were these guys, of course:

PJ PA System, Boston

PJ PA System, Boston

PJ PA System, Boston

And finally just to make you smile, check out the picture at the bottom of this web page:

Clearly I was planning on being very thirsty and not very hungry. Oh, and if you are curious about the punk rock scene in the early 80's, you should take a look around Michelle Flipside's site. You know the Ramones movie "Rock and Roll High School?" That was Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, CA where I met Michelle in my tenth grade english class.

The not quite so thirsty,

Dave Rat



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Douglas R. Allen on :

In regards to running a system with no Aux fed setup. When I am faced with this I sometimes do this. I use mostly an 01V96 desk and this is how I add a little depth and punch to Bass Drums and Bass Guitar in live settings. As the V's Busses have both 4 band parametric with fully adjustable high cut and built in compressor this is what I do. In the case of a bass guitar I assign it alone to a Buss and set the compressor up for some hard compression running on average of 6db's. In the EQ section I use type One eq. Filters set as below. 90hz LPF H-Mid Q.56 Freq-1.8k Gain -18 L-Mid Q1.4 Freq-530hz Gain -18 Low Q1.6 Freq 63hz Gain +1.4 This gives an Aprox 24db L/R lowpass crossover alignment. This does give an aprox 6ms of group delay that sometimes works in favor. I even try running more delay in the buss sometimes and it has an interesting effect on the sound as well. I layer this on top of the Bass guitar channel as needed for effect. I would guess if you had a spare crossover/eq/compressor at FOH you could bus or post fade Aux send to the crossover,eq/compressor and return to the desk for the same basic setup. The crossover freq you select say 80hz for the lowpass would add bottom and feel like a cranked aux send on an aux fed sub with a system that doesn't have it so configured. Works for me. Kindest Regards Douglas R. Allen

Dave Rat on :

Hello Douglas, Cool thinking and creative. Great to be able to do it internally on a digi board as well. As far as carrying an x-over etc.. that is exactly what I do. I carry an EQ (KT DN 410), a compressor (Symetrix 501) and a crossover (BSS FDS 310). I use this signal string to process my sub send before it goes to the subwoofer regardless of whatever the local company has. When there is no subs on an aux, I emulate them as you describe and run it back into a point of the signal chain post L and R high pass. The annoying thing is that systems are still being put out on large scale events without having subs on an aux as an option and the emulation is always inferior to doing it properly. Dave Rat

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