Thursday, February 2, 2012


At pretty much every level of this business, if you want the best performance you will be bringing your own gear. The difference being that at the classier places you bring gear because you are used to your own stuff and can work more efficiently with it; at the mid-range places you bring your own gear because the house doesn't have quite the same quality in all categories; and at the lowest levels you bring your own gear because the house doesn't have any at all.

Pretty much goes with this equation that this is a cost out of pocket. Few houses will reimburse for the use, or the ordinary wear and tear, of all the mics and headphones you bring. (I bring my own CABLE most places -- because the house cable is rarely stowed correctly and doesn't get tested quite so often, and load-in is too short and too hectic to deal with untangling some-one else's mess only to end up with the crackle of a bad connection.)

There is a bit of horse-trading going on too, but the problem is, from the middle on down everyone is shy of horses. You might have an extra cart to trade at one place, and extra hay at another, but EVERYONE needs that extra horse and no-one has one to spare.

And that's where I am right now. Two of the most complex shows of the season opening simultaneously in different venues. Where normally I'd have a bunch of powered monitors, a small selection of mics and stands, my venerable Mackie mixer, Lexie processor, and of course multiple channels of wireless mics to dedicate to one, this month I am facing a situation where two (or, rather, THREE) different venues all need the stuff.

And not a one of the venues can afford to pay rent for the gear they'd normally get from me for free. And of course since all three productions are simultaneous, none of these places can afford to lend to another one, either.

So I'm working through paperwork now trying to stretch four circuits to cover eight instruments, 19 wireless mics to cover a cast of 32...and also looking at trying to use some old Yamaha speakers as floor monitors (to replace the nice monitors I'll be using in a pit elsewhere), and in true trickle-down fashion, finding a really, really big hiding place to get the old house speakers re-installed with whatever amp I can scrounge so as to replace the missing effects speakers...which in turn are going to try to be a half-assed front fill.

Well, back to the paperwork. I've been at it for nearly twenty hours now, and have gone through six different attempts to graphically abstract the data so as to detect possible patterns. I think, seriously, before the next time this comes up I'm going to take a little time to crank out a software program to do this for me!

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