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Rat Newsletter June 1998

I would like to start off by saying that this has been an amazing year for us at Rat.  It seems that the industry trend toward compact high density sound systems is bringing more recognition and acceptance to what we have been doing all along.  A stadium rig in a single truck is the way of the future and we have that capability right now.  It is exciting to know that a relatively small company can not only survive, but thrive, with proprietary box designs.  I have updated the web page a bit.  Mainly in the "equipment lists" page including the current rigging plot for the current Pearl Jam US tour.

We have some new contact #s
Dave cel phone 818 652 2130
Brian cel phone 818 652 2131
Jon cel phone    805 432 3334

You can send E-mail direct to our phones but keep it brief because we only get the first 80 characters.

We are very happy to have a system out with Sonic Youth again.  In 1990, Sonic Youth was the first band to give Rat Sound a shot at a full production tour since the Black Flag tours of the mid 80's.  The "Goo" tour gave us the credibility and experience we needed to begin the transformation to a "touring" sound company, from a "regional" sound company.  Smitty is out as our PA tech, Luc is Sonic's monitor engineer and Deanne is mixing house. They have a 28 box system and are out from early May to mid June.

  • Ben Harper had FOH drive and monitor augment for another US leg and will take some outboard gear for the upcoming Horde Tour.
  • Stabbing Westward is taking out a 16 box system on their co headline tour with God Lives Under Water.
  • Foo Fighters had a Rat dual 18" sub and 2 triamped wedges to form a 4000 watt triamped 4 way drumfill with the sub on a separate send out in May
  • Beck did a 2 week tour with a 72 box system.  They had our PM 4000 and WRS X1 out front and the PM 4000M on stage.
  • Rat Sound and Industrial Sound have been working together referring shows back and forth and a cooperative sound system install in the El Rey theater.
  • The Glass House  main room sound installation is complete and we have started working on a system for the small room.
  • Offspring's drummer Ron, is having a custom triamped drumfill built for his home studio.  It will consist of 2 dual 15"/dual 10"/2" triamped Rat Drum Fills.
  • We built an all new 400 amp main power distro.  Minicams will replace all Hubbel twistlock connectors.  The distro will run on either single phase or three phase power and maintain a balanced load on all power legs in both configurations.  It will power an entire stadium system and is only 19"x17.5"x12" (10 rack spaces) which is microscopic as far as conventional distro systems go.
Where are the Rats?
  • Tommy Rat - working hard on both Rat business and doing local shows with a small PA company he runs called "Magnum Sound."  He flew out to Montana to help with pre production for the start of the Pearl Jam tour.
  • Brian Rat - prepping tours, heading up the Glass House install, working local shows and with Rancid as house engineer.
  • Dave Rat - booking the tours and installs, doing a few engineering gigs, designing the Rat Cube system and other new equipment.
  • Karrie - running the office, invoicing, personnel, equipment scheduling and is Pearl Jam's monitor engineer
  • Smitty - PA tech for Sonic Youth and will go straight into stage tech for Pearl Jam.
  • Jon - Prepping systems, scheduling gear, working one offs, and will be house PA tech on the Beck and straight into house tech for the Pearl Jam tour.
  • George - Monitor eng for Rancid
  • Jim - House eng for Space Hogs and Phunk Junkies
  • Tim - House eng L7, monitor eng for The Specials
  • Tommy LBC - our shop tech, doing one offs and helping with the start of PJ.
We have designed new sliding hinges for the fly bars that hang the speakers.  The current pin hinge is designed to release if excessive stress occurs from motor speed imbalance but requires replacement if this occurs.  The new hinge will offer a predetermined resistance, then slips out.  It will be faster to setup and add even more safety to our super safe fly system.  The current Rat fly system has a 9 to 1 safety factor, uses nylon for load support and steel backups.  Any two points can fail, and the system will still stay in the air.

Some of the new equipment we purchased since the last newsletter:

  • TC 2290
  • TC M2000
  • Yamaha PM4000M
  • SPX 990
  • 2 Aphex tubessence comps
  • 4 Rat ultra long throw horn packs
  • 24 TAD 2" drivers
  • BSS DN 310 X-over
  • BSS FCS 960 EQs
  • 2 Aphex mic preamps
  • Audio Technica 4050's
We have new dealerships with Aphex, Aura, Audio Technica, K & M and Littlelite.

In May we did a show in Las Vegas that went really well.  Lots of great bands on two alternating stage.  Only bad thing was that someone stole the PSU rack to the Ramsa WRS X1 on the small stage.  What were they thinking?  Its not like the PSU's are useful without the console.  Anyway, if you hear of some Ramsa WU PS100's or Ramsa WU PS80's for sale, let us know.  It would not be a bummer to get them back.  They were in an Ascot 10 space ATA style shock mounted case, black carpeted panels with aluminum extrusion.

The Rat Cube system is progressing and it is going to take "compact" and "high density" to a whole level beyond our existing systems.  Looks like we will be able to reach the goal of mechanical time alignment of the components with no fidelity compromises.  Unlike most systems, the Rat Cube system will not require a system processor to be flat, time aligned and accurate.  It will be 18% smaller, 20% lighter and offer the same volume and will be optimized for the "tweeters on an aux. send" configurations we are now running.

That is it for now.  Take care.
Dave Rat


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