Skip to content

Day 315 - April 3rd Fly Fly Away Today

Four hours to go till lift off, bags are packed, I feel reasonably sure I have everything and I am watching some old tour footage I took on Sonic Youth's Dirty tour that I am copying to DVD. At some point I will try and put up some bits on Youtube.

On another note, i know I have been slacking on the roadie cards but I do have one I made a while ago and speaking of Sonic Youth, I present you Jimmy V, who I have toured with many times including Sonic Youth and Beck tours.

Bye bye home, bye bye dead plants, bye bye mess I hid in the closet, bye bye car, bye bye bed, bye bye little people. Hello airplanes and vans and rock shows and beaches and unknown adventure and wondering what will happen next. See you all from far away.

Dave Rat

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

Day 251 - Jan 29 - Orlando Day Off

Hello Gnarls Barkley! I finally got around to taking a full band shot

And our friend Josh Klinghoffer who is well loved in the Peppers camp and worth checking out anything that he is involved with.

**** Roadie Research Segmnet ****

Roadies are very friendly and giving creatures by nature. Their overwhelming desire to immerse themselves in selfless generosity at times can saturates the roadie so thoroughly that no option other than to act upon that desire remains. Roadie Leif is no exception.

In fact roadie Leif is a prime example of how truly kind and thoughtful a roadie can be. Most recently, as hard as it is to believe, roadie Leif was out shopping on his day off and out of the pure goodness of his heart, the realization came that roadie Lee worked long hard hours show after show and often had nowhere to sit to rest his weary legs. That is when brilliance struck Leif like a falling cotton ball. It was not long till gloriously Leif parades into the gig proudly displaying his heroic purchase that will surely bring happiness and joy to fellow roadie and comrade in rock, roadie Lee. Here we can see roadie Lee basking in the euphoria as he enjoys a gift chair so caringly given

It just warms my heart to roadies looking out for each other, but it really should be no surprise as roadies would never have made it this far up the evolutionary chain if it was not for their keen sense of survival and preservation of the roadie herd.

**** Roadie Research Segmnet ****

**** Begin Dear Ratty ****

Guitar rig, Bass Rig, Monitor Rig

Monitor Danni

Hey, great nerd speak on this one, rigging is fascinating!!! I can't wait to see your nerd speak on the monitor system!!!!


Monitor Danni

Thank you and we have a monitor Danny as well! I will do the mon setup soon but first I have to go figure out what it is they do over in monitor world.

What about the trading card?
Hey what ever happened with those?

Got swag?

Thank you for the reminder, I have not forgotten Roadie Cards and have stats on a few more roadies. I just need to carve out a chunk of time. What is really pressing is finishing up our end of the eBay auction!!

Posted by 18wheeler - January 28, 2007 11:24AM
hello dave
good blog, as always. that's the beauty of ya blogs, gives us, the fans a great chance too see the behind the scenes things, that are so vital too making those 2 hours in each town, so special, I remember the versa tubes especially, as they were what i carried on the 2nd euro leg up the ramp, down the ramp, making sure local crew were not too heavy handed with the carts, so as anything got damaged. Should be fun getting all the gear too Japan, sea containers I presume???? Not much fun too load that's my job here in england at the mo, moving sea containers all over the uk with my truck, chick peas 1 day chicken the next, its sooooo rock n

Hey hey, Hope you are taking care. The transport of gear is pretty complex. Some will be sea container, some will be replicated and hired locally, some will go air freight and some will change to alter the show. It really depends on timing, distance, where we go next and how big the gigs are. I think that all that I am bringing audio wise is the FOH drive and console plus Daniel will have the full monitor rig.

User Name: Miguel Pacheco
User Email:
User Homepage:

Hey Dave what's up? I will be in the Tampa show tonight and then I will go to the Orlando and Miami show. I am pretty excited about rocking out. I just wanted to say I love this web site and the whole idea. I was wondering could you show a cool pic of Fruciante's guitar pedals please and also his guitar rack, I would luv to see that. Thank you so much.

How about this?

I will try to remember to grab a shot of his guitars at some point for ya.

User Name: Steve
Hi Dave,

I've been following your blog world-tour since the beginning and will try to get to FOH to meet you at the Tampa show.

This might interest you with regards to Apple Computers: They are continuously ranked near to, and now at the very bottom of, the list as far as green manufacturing and recycling processes. There manufacturing processes use the most toxic chemicals and produce the most damaging byproducts.

Here is but one source:

Take care on the road,

Interesting, I would never have guessed. I naturally would have assumed that Apple would take more of a pro environment stance, especially considering the high percentage of artistic and music related humans that support their products. Thanks Steve! Well, maybe with a bit of pressure they will bump their game up a notch.

Oh, and to answer another request, here is bass world featuring roadie Tracy

User Name: Sander
Hi Dave, really love you blog! Been checking it everyday since I found it :-)

Would be cool if you could go into detail about the drum mic'ing, as a semi-professional i'm experimenting with it for a while now myself and are very curious how you guys did this for this great band!

Hey Sander,

I did some photo's of the Peppers drum mic'ing a while back, check out Day 23. As far as a more in depth look into it, well, my approach is pretty simple. I put the mics very close to the drums in order to minimize background noise, reduce feedback issues and gain control over the individual drums. I mic the cymbals in 'regions' to reduce the quantity of mics and pay close attention to placing the mics physically so they give me the proper balance when they mic more than a single cymbal or percussive thingy. I use dependable mics that sound good, do the job and do not get in the way of the drummer's playing or sight lines. I avoid getting all excited about expensive 'boutique' mics live, I leave that adventure up to the studio humans. I try to use as few mic stands as possible and rely on clamps because stands are a pain to set up, always move and are in the way. I use two mics to get the kick and snare sound because it sucks if one stops working and I don't have a spare up there. I can make it through a song if any of the other drum mics fail.

-- Ratty

Ok, that completes another Dear Ratty segment. I will do these occasionally as good questions build up.

**** End Dear Ratty ****

Counting down the hours, two more shows till home!

Dave Rat

Day 185 - Nov 24 - Hamburg Show

**** Extra! Extra! ****

In effort to keep boring, at bay. I bring you the first world wide launch of something, I know most of the humans wake up in the morning missing, their minds, wondering why, another day has passed, yet unfulfilled, till now what has was, only dreamed, enters reality. Yes, you guessed it, today is none other than the world wide micro-launch of something you have never known that you were missing, ladies and gentlemen and the bulk of you whom are neither, welcome please ...Roadie Cards!

First, in a blitz of shameless self roadie promotion I present my very own self depicted in Roadie Card format

And the reverse

Next we have the Honorable Lampi Scott

And on the reverse please notice the icons in the corners indicate the roadie's gig, the white glove refers to his minimal physical work load

More roadie cars to come and soon you can collect and trade your favorite roadie's!

Do ya like 'em? Should I continue onward with the Roadie Card Project? Curious to read your comments and let me know!

**** End Extra Extra ****

So new tour leg brings new things. We got new bus.

For all ye lovers of land ships, feast yer eyes upon these Euro style road schooners

And our own ship will build to strike terror into the hearts of that gaze upon us

While the captains gather and in preparation for for battle

As we do as all roadie pirates must do and gaze about for booty

The loving new adventures,

Dave Rat - Aaarhg!