Last weekend was another day of work experience, and when I say “day” I mean nearly the full capacity of the word. It was a 14 and half hour brute of a day, but it was fun and challenging, it put my skills and problem solving abilities to the test. There multiple times throughout the day where I found myself under pressure, whether it was my own or from Richard (running the sound and lighting for Aisle 6). I feel like I copped ok with it, however there was the odd occasion where I needed to be succinctly pointed in the right direction, as I was unsure or hesitant.
Most of the day was about labour, putting up multiple trusses, rigging all of the lighting, mics and PA needed, running comms around the building and just general heavy lifting from A to B. The sound gear consisted of all the schools gear, until just before the show kicked off, when there was a sudden delivery from BCL (Brisbane Concert Lighting), of a load of PA speakers that needed to be set up in less than no time at all. There was a main stage and a B stage for the student musician to perform on. Being only a school event it seemed a little superfluous to mic up the entire drum kits, so we used a Shure Beta 52 as the kick mic and an Audio Technica pencil condenser as an overhead, Shure sm57’s on the electric guitars, and DI’s for the Bass and Keyboards, for both stage set ups. Fairly basic setup overall.
Running comms headsets around the venue was a first for me, and a pretty tricky task. I had to find an efficient way of running 6 sets of comms around the venue from the 4 outputs on the clearcoms box. Luckily I was able to piggy the boxes to each other with XLR cables where needed. I needed 2 at the desk for the guy running visuals and the lighting guy, 1 on each back corner for camera men, 1 at the front of the upstair balcony for another camera man, and another right up the back of the balcony for a light spotter. So I had to run a cable upstairs to the spotter and then around the back to the other camera man. I piggy-backed the 2 at the desk together and used the last 2 outputs on the comms box for the camera men on the ground. Im stoked that the comms managed to function faultlessly throughout the night.
The main thing i’ve learnt from this event, is just how much pressure were are under as sound/lighting guys. There is always a great many things that can go wrong, like if a mic signal cuts or the PA blows or the curtain drop doesn’t happen or something, it’s down to you to figure it out and resolve the issue ASAP. It makes the job far more terrifying, although I think rewarding at the same time, when you know what you’re doing, hopefully that will be me soon.
Apologies for not getting more photo’s of the gear, as I was often so busy running around, it just never entered my mind. My next gig is in mid august, I will be back with another update shortly after!