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bill mueller

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,350 Member Since: 20/01/2011

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May 21 13 12:05 PM

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I always say the house sound man and monitor guy can either be your best friend or your worst nightmare. This guy was a nightmare.

The venue was the St. George Theater in Staten Island NY. The guys name is Steve. I don't know, nor am interested in his last name. I won't work with him ever again.

The show was a concert video for Steinway sponsored artist Ann Sweeten. This petite blond pianist/composer is named perfectly. Totally professional, easy to work with, a consummate performer.

Our load in/soundcheck was 2:00PM last Saturday. The minute we got into this massive, 2400 seat, gold gilded palace, the tension was thick in the air. This guy Steve clearly had a hangover and did not want to be there. The house manager was ready to pick a fight with the video crew over camera placements and with me over mic placements, even though the audience would fill less than 10% of the seats available.

I moved my mics, no problem. The video director moved his cameras, no problem. We are happy to accommodate. So then Steve started in on Ann. She needed a vocal mic to talk to the audience and by what he told her, she was worried he would forget to turn on her mic. She told me she had been as nice as possible to him, but he was being a real jerk. She didn't know what to do, between the manager giving the crew a hard time and the FOH not wanting to work with her. Now the guy had three mics, high and low piano splits and the vocal split. The only mic he had to touch during the show was the vocal. How easy could it get?

Ann gave us a sound check for a couple of hours in the late afternoon and I got my mix together and then set up the audio feeds to the cameras as the video guys were clueless about audio. During the entire afternoon, the house fool never once brought up the piano mics in the mains.

When the show started, he was getting pops and sent a stage hand to me to tell me to fix it. He was getting a passive split, nothing through my system and my mix was perfect. So I was not going to start moving cables during the show, when I knew the issue was in his snake or his PM5 console. At that point, the recording was more important than the concert anyway and I proved to his stagehand that my system was not the issue.

The show went well. Ann played beautifully. But as the curtain went down at the end, Ann who had been in a cast with a torn Achilles tendon stood up without the cast to take a bow and nearly fell over. I saw this from the wings and stood up to help her. Before I ran out on the stage, in almost a reflexive/subconscious motion, I clicked Command/S on my computer running Pro Tools.

When I came back to the side of the stage, Steve was yelling and throwing cables around, saying he was really pissed off at the camera guys for some comment they made about his mix. I then realized this this dip shit had yanked the power to my entire rig! He shut off my computer, console, monitor, speakers and interface by yanking the mains. Argggggg!

I yelled at him to plug my line back in so I could check my gear. I was not sure if I had clicked Save or not at that point and was afraid we had lost the entire recording. Luckily, I had clicked Save and nothing was lost. No thanks to Steve.

Never again Steve.

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dave harrison

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Posts: 821 Member Since:21/01/2011

#2 [url]

May 21 13 5:48 PM

I have had grips pull the mains while I was doing a "save as" in ProTools... totally corrupted the session which I had to rebuild.  Luckily, it was a live recording with no punches.  Now, I save, shut down and plug into shore power before doing anything else!

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malcolmboyce

Gold Finger

Posts: 268 Member Since:05/02/2011

#3 [url]

May 21 13 8:01 PM

Hate when I hear stories about people getting a reception like that in a seemingly proper venue.

As for power getting yanked, I'm super meticulous about checking for anything plugged into a distro still being powered up before disconnecting or dropping mains.  Common sense and courtesy where I come from.

Totally with you on the subconscious "save".

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tim halligan

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,325 Member Since:04/02/2011

#4 [url]

May 21 13 9:14 PM

Is there any point in complaining to the venue in writing?

There is no place for asshole like this in our world.

Cheers,
Tim

An analogue brain in a digital world

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malcolmboyce

Gold Finger

Posts: 268 Member Since:05/02/2011

#5 [url]

May 21 13 10:14 PM

Is there any point in complaining to the venue in writing?
There is no place for asshole like this in our world.
Cheers,
Tim

-tim_halligan

A quick look gives me the impression that this venue may be type to employ tech on short term, temp basis, as opposed to long term permanent, department heads kinda thing. 

Did you get the vibe that this individual was the "house" guy Bill or was he just the "head for the day" kind of tech?  I imagine you have a pretty good sense for that kind of thing...  :)

Not necessarily always bad, but not the best kind of arrangement IMO.

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malcolmboyce

Gold Finger

Posts: 268 Member Since:05/02/2011

#7 [url]

May 22 13 12:14 AM

Make sure you aren't eating or drinking Bill...

From the venue tech info: 

Technical Staff

The St. George Theatre is a non-union house. Technicians are top-quality, professional, non-

union stagehands.

Crew is hired on a per show basis to fit the specific needs of the production.

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bill mueller

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,350 Member Since:20/01/2011

#9 [url]

May 22 13 10:26 AM

I know the crew was a union crew because they told me they were union. They were pissed that they had to stay on site for six minutes after break down.

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bill mueller

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,350 Member Since:20/01/2011

#11 [url]

May 24 13 7:28 PM

Ann was terrific! No complaints here. And I got through without a scratch. I just wanted everybody else to know what to expect at the theater.

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duskb

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,236 Member Since:07/07/2011

#12 [url]

Jun 1 13 12:14 PM

He is a union guy.

-bill_mueller

Nuff said. 

----
Dusk Bennett
Engineering/Production/Educator
Los Angeles Ca
Award Winning Engineering
www.duskbennett.com

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malcolmboyce

Gold Finger

Posts: 268 Member Since:05/02/2011

#13 [url]

Jun 2 13 10:04 PM

He is a union guy.

-bill_mueller




Nuff said. 


-duskb


Dusk, I have to reject that generalization.  I have seen plenty of "idiots" in both union and non union camps.  Of course, experiences will vary.



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bruno2000

New Forum Friend

Posts: 2 Member Since:12/07/2013

#14 [url]

Jul 26 13 9:31 AM

There's always someone at a gig who seems to go out of his (her) way to gum up the works.  I just tell students and interns, "Don't be that guy."
Best,
Bruno2000

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RobAnderson

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Posts: 4 Member Since:17/01/2015

#16 [url]

Jan 17 15 1:57 PM

Had a stagehand pull power on me once in the middle of a file transfer on an HD24. Fortunately nothing was lost. That was the last time I didn't have a UPS with me on a gig like that.

A UPS is such an indispensable asset in this line of work. Even my cheapo office-grade TrippLite UPS has saved my assets more often than I care to admit - well worth the $35. Obviously, a more robust true sine wave UPS is better, but those suckers are rather heavy.

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duskb

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,236 Member Since:07/07/2011

#17 [url]

Apr 16 15 9:48 AM

bill mueller wrote:
He is a union guy.


I had a gig once in Poughkeepsie (I think the guys name was Steve actually) and he worked for a company called "No Show Sound" (I'm not kidding) and while I'm "mixing" FOH for a track date, my high profile artist is on stage performing to a track (and of course this one she's lip syncing because she's out of breath from all the dancing) I get to that last 15 seconds of the song and this wing nut hits EJECT on my DAT while she's doing her thing. I thought I had pushed the mains too hard and tripped the breaker on the amps. I immediately look behind me for help and "Steve" has this sheepish Look on his face. He says "oops, I'm sorry, I was cueing up the next act", puts the tape back in and pushes play while my artist is in front of 10k people looking at me waiting for the tape to load. 

 What a f-$&@!?g moron. I could have killed him. I even called to complain about him the next day and No Show just ignored my call. 

The artist tore me to shreds in the dressing room after that and it wasn't even my fault. I left live sound after that. One bad apple can ruin many a career. 

----
Dusk Bennett
Engineering/Production/Educator
Los Angeles Ca
Award Winning Engineering
www.duskbennett.com

Last Edited By: duskb Apr 16 15 9:51 AM. Edited 1 time.

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jj09

Tin Man

Posts: 22 Member Since:03/10/2015

#18 [url]

Nov 13 15 1:53 AM

Having seen stuff like this more than once or twice, I wonder how often it's not by accident.

James D. Johnston

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owlander

Gold Finger

Posts: 993 Member Since:27/01/2011

#19 [url]

Nov 23 15 6:17 PM

What a nightmare. It's during those times when you can see a storm approaching, that you know you're going to have to weather through it as best you can. Kudos for the instinct to press save!

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seth

Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,479 Member Since:26/01/2011

#20 [url]

Dec 24 15 10:10 AM

I was musical director, conductor, and bass player for a video shoot involving a thirty-odd-piece orchestra doing Phil Spector 'Wall of Sound' type music. I never saw the recording engineer in the hall during soundcheck, but I assumed (there's that word) that he would have gotten off his butt and actually come into the hall to see at least one song. He didn't, and that was clear when we got the first set of mixes and it became obvious he had no idea what the instrumentation on the stage was, or what the style of the music was. It was sloppiness to an extent I've never seen in the professional world. I was amazed he sent out copies with his name on them. I wrote him about ten pages of notes and the second set of mixes were barely acceptable - not to me, BTW, but to the producer of the TV show.

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