Traveling Light

I sure do love avoiding the tour bus.  In fact I love everything about self navigating the world and just showing up for the rock show even if it complicates life. I used to jump in cars and stay at houses of people I just met trading show tickets for a ride to the next gig. I love navigating the unknown and to make getting to the next gig an adventure.

Last night’s mini adventure was to hop a ride from Munich to Berlin with super cool merch human and Brompton fan, Clint. It’s been a while since I’ve done an overnight ride in van and it was a refreshing change. 

Here is a pic with Leif, Clint and I atop a steep Barcelona hill, credits to Clint for the pic and pose

In Berlin now and spent the rainy day sleeping late and catching up on work in the tiny box of a hotel room I booked out near the gig. 

So for today’s tech tidbit here is something we are doing to improve the clarity and sound quality of the vocal inputs. We were having some issues with line noise on the vocal inputs. Partially due to the very low output level of the Audio om7s but also just the amount of gain needed to get the vocal mics on top of the mix makes them overly susceptible to hums and rizz and such.

So in an effort to correct the issue we added the Grace on stage to boost the mics 20db before sending into the snake system. We chose 20 db because that is the same as the input pads on the midas console.  If the Grace were to fail, we could bypass it, take out the input pad and the vocal level will stay gain correct.

The top shiny silver unit is a Grace m801 mic preamp. One of the wonderful advantage of adding the mic pre was an audible improvement in clarity and fidelity. When we tested it, we Y’ed the vocal into two snake channels, one with the Grace, the other direct patched. Then each of the three engineers, me at FOH, Mark on mons and Jason on recording, all listened independently to the Grace and non Grace channels. Unanimously it was apparent the pre-amped vocal was superior sounding.

We have discussed adding a kick, bass and guit line to the open three channels and give a listen. Perhaps when we gear up for the US legs in January.

And because words are just filler between beautiful pictures for all but a few…

My daughter Maddie for Halloween 

Every morning for years when at home I take the same photo of Ventura C-street, someday I will but them all together.

Me in full glory of travel mode how I get to and from the gigs, train stations and airports when the distances are less than excessive

Upfront I have 3 days of clothes, 2 laptops and all I need to be a businessy, designy and relatively presentable human. On the back I have the bag the bike fits inside so I can check it into flight luggage, on top I have my humanly middle aged questionably fit body. And below the foldy Brompton bike that radiates happiness in its engineering and usefulness. 

Ok, 3 for 3 blog posts and the challenge continues for me against me to carry on




Author: Dave Rat

Sound consultant, sound system designer, curious human