Mike Birney - Staging & Lights, Randy Hart - LD, Ken Carey - HE, Gus - BE
John Carey - FOH, Ken Carey - LD
It's been a hard year and I really needed recharging. Being an audio entrepreneur has it up and downs and I have just survived a trusted partner running off with a 30 year accumulation of gear (and my dreams of retirement). A little bit of advice to the next generation of SoundMen. If what drives you is pushing buttons and making noise, then keep it simple. Buy only what you can afford and can handle by yourself. The bigger your company gets the less likely it will be that you get to use anything you worked so hard buy. I have owned $100,000 dollar consoles that I never got to actually use. Believe it or not SoundMan does have other interests and from time to time he does allow himself time off.
One the hardest things in taking time away from my obsessive techie compulsion to turing knobs, push buttons and amplifying sound and a busy schedule of commitments is to find either a block of time long enough to eventually forget about his hectic daily existence or find a place that so completely overwhelms my mind that I can truly decompress and relax. So short of a paid sabbatical or extended leave of absence I tend to look for a destination that can distract me for long enough to relax a little. My first choice is always the desert southwest in general and the wonders of southern Utah in particular. I crave the power of the scorching dry heat of the red rock. Put me in the middle of the majesty of the hoodoo's, needles and arches that make up this region and instantly all visions of flashing lights and moving faders disappear, But unfortunately Utah is not exactly next door and this SoundMans pay grade makes jet-setting a rare indulgence so I have to be content with less ambitious get-a-way destinations. My local hideaway is the NC mountains and thats where I found myself this last weekend looking for a little solitude.
I started off my
weekend with a little work, after all I am a
SoundMan first and foremost and I had to pay for
the gas somehow. My show was in Asheville and at
least it was in the right direction. My thinking
was sound. Drive separately and hitch up the
LittleGuy (my portable home away from home) so I
can slip away to the hills when my duties were
complete, so off I went.
We had agreed to help the band load-in, sure, why not. What's a few extra pieces of band gear going to hurt, besides we were getting a few extra buck for the trouble. Oops! God I hate surprises on show day.
I'm a proud, Boy Scout trained SoundMan and I take very seriously that sacred Boy Scout creed - Be Prepaired. I've honed my facility scouting reports with years of experience with all manner of difficult and dangerous load-in's and I asked all of the right, well rehearsed, litany of questions. Does the load-in involve any of the following: small doors, carpet, inclines, more than 50' to the stage, unlevel truck, freight or personnel elevators, no ramps or dock plates. You would think that with a barrage of questions of that nature that they would get the idea you took this whole safe load-in thing seriously and would then inform you of any additional issues specific to their venue. Darn - stupid me - I forgot all about this being a don't ask don't tell kind of society now, so I see I'm going to have to add the following to my list: frightened grounds keepers, marble statues and precious limestone stairs & terraces, bathrooms a half mile away, fighting for the loading steps with other vendors, and the real deal breaker - over 200' of deep pea gravel. And would it seem like I'm just bitching now if I mention the fact that we arrived on time only to find that the south-of -the-border crew putting up the stage were just getting around to starting when we arrived.
That was when I got my first pleasant surprise. Everybody that got off of the bus was as old as I was. These guys knew what it is like to work for a living and there wasn't a sour whinny face on the buss - they came to perform and it was a pleasure to work with them. I'm not exactly known for my fondness of country music so my next pleasant surprise was wonderful. This band was great. There is something to be said for, shall we say, such a mature group (this was no geezer tour, i.e. a bunch of old guys that have lost their chops still pretending that they are fifty)- years of practice perfecting your art. And I got to mix to boot. All in all another successful day.
When I finally emerged from my peaceful slumber I headed over to the Cellar on Cherry Street for some shrimp and grits. It was Sunday brunch time and they had a guy playing solo acoustic guitar for tips. Nice touch. Good food, pleasant surroundings, a little light music. It's the kind a place that fills it's walls with paintings for sale by local artists. They had a $450 painting in the mens bathroom. Does anybody actually buy the art displayed in the bathroom? I always try to buy the musicians CD. It helps them out with expenses and I think it says I appreciate the talent better just a tip and besides, sometimes the CD is actually as good as they are live and not butchered by overproduction. But this time I saw only a tip jar so I gave him the same respect I get when I perform well - I like to call it the SoundMan tip - I left without complaining to him that it was too loud.
O.K. - back to work - I've got knobs to turn.
Thanks for indulging me - SoundMan
With all of the excitement of an archeological dig, we descend into the depths of the CareySound catacombs. A real Indiana Jones kind of experience. Epic adventure and all that. Never knowing what technological oddity lays around the next dark corner we continue deeper. What did I just run into. It's too dark down here. We need to bring it to the surface.
This is an interesting find. One wouldn't normally expect to find a lighting artifact in a soundman excavation. I guess we will have to speculate that this first generation Moto-Light moving light fixture had just too much robotic geek creed going for it to resist. Either that or SoundMan is really a closet lighting puke. Say it isn't so SoundMan. Please, say it isn't so.
In the North Carolina mountains, against the backdrop of lush gardens, marble statues and the palatial estate that is The Biltmore, the soulful music of country superstar John Anderson filled the unseasonably cool night air. The private event was held on the terrace next to the mansion. Once again the Dynacord Cobra System proved to be the perfect audio solution for what can be a tricky acoustical environment. The 60' by 120' tent used for the event posed no contest for CareySound Productions Cobra System.
Tommy Martin (HE), Randy Hart (ME), Ken Carey (LD)
Dear SoundMan - I have a pair of ancient Bozeman Speakers (15 inch). Is there a secret or formula (that you can devulge) to building a good cabinet with deep bass resonance. Help me Oh Master Sound Man, you are my only hope! - Sincerely, Roodytunes
So let me see if I have this right. You think SoundMan is OLD enough to know something about a pair of "ANCIENT Boseman speakers". Now be careful. It's not polite to reveal a SoundMan's age. I've got an image of ageless wisdom to preserve.
But seriously though - ARE YOU KIDDING ME. it's been years since I've heard of anybody trying to build their on speaker cabinets. You trying to put a poor Chinese guy out of a job of something? For heavens sake, those speakers weren't worth cutting down a tree for when they were new. Send those poor ancient Bosemans to the landfill where they can rest in peace. Get with the program, help fuel the new global economy by buying a pair of a pair a speakers that were made in this century. If your heart is still set on playing Frankenstein, I just got 376,000 hits on Google with the key words loudspeaker cabinet design.
Thanks for blowing my cover Butch. Just remember - you were my college roommate and GRADUATED BEFORE I DID.
Sincerely - SoundMan