Author Topic: Gear nightmares  (Read 3564 times)

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Offline E.S.

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Gear nightmares
« on: January 26, 2013, 01:01:05 PM »
Good morning, afternoon, evening, night, whatever fits your time zone or planet.

I was about to tweet, but I tweet too much already, and I couldn't fit it into a 140 character message anyway, so...

Last night I was out, gigging with the "day job" for the first time this year. Soundcheck ok, everything is top notch and sounding brilliant.
In the second set I noticed a noise similar to what you heard when you tried to connect to the internet in the 90's, mixed with the Imperial code heard on planet Hoth. Very far from the lush pad and e-piano sample I expected to hear when I hit the low E on my trusty old Fantom G.
Of course that wasn't clear at that point, it was more panic and looking over at the sound engineer, expecting to see him wee on the mixer and sparks flying.

I use a lot of samples, and it turns out every single one of them were corrupted.

No problem, I do have a backup USB stick in case anything should happen to one of them, so I turned the Fantom off during the break and plugged in the USB, then turned it back on again.

It wouldn't load up.

"Check Ram" or something similar in white letters on a blue screen. Yes, keyboards have BSOD now.

10 minutes to set 3, and I'm supposed to open with a big synth of doom playing the famous riff from 'Jump' by Sir Edwards Van Halensville.

So, run around to find a screwdriver, open the panel, rip the RAM out, looks intact, put it back in, turn it on, AND it did load just in time for me to play the intro.

Worst case scenario (excluding the apocalypse) I would have to load it up without the RAM and no USB, then it would at least load the default settings and get some kind of sound so I could play. None of my massive patches and intricate setups, but some sound to finish the gig.

I did manage to fix it in the end, but it was so close to being a complete disaster. Made my heart beat a lot faster. Fiddling with screwdrivers, memory devices and things I know little about doesn't help a lot to make me keep calm and Monotron.


So that's my story. Now share yours. :)

Offline D S

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Re: Gear nightmares
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2013, 01:40:15 PM »
That sounds a little close for comfort ES!
I still have nightmares about the last gig a band I was in the late 80s ever played. We were playing a 45 minute set in a nightclub, before the late night 'cattle market' really got going. Although the gig was all agreed with the owner, the staff claimed not to know about us playing and they wouldn't let us set up or sound check until the boss arrived and OK'd it. He didn't arrive until after the doors were open and punters were coming in. Once we were allowed to set up, our PA decided it was going to play up. I still have a photo of 2 of the band looking at the thing with torches - you could subtitle it 'work, you b;&@?rd!' We did get it working just before we were due on but we had no chance for a sound check! To make things more interesting, we hadn't actually played together for 3 months (although we'd been practicing the set individually) and we were kicking off with a new song we'd never actually played together (Michael Sembello's Maniac). We'd been relying on the sound check to try it out!  :shock: That song actually went OK considering but another few songs in, I saw the keyboard player chucking a borrowed Kawai synth off his stand as it had stopped working! Sadly, the DJ cut us off before our our last song, by coincidence, also Van Halen's Jump.
I've mainly stuck to writing & recording since! :lol:
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Offline Rook

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Re: Gear nightmares
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2013, 09:17:47 PM »
Quote from: "E.S."
Worst case scenario (excluding the apocalypse) I would have to load it up without the RAM and no USB, then it would at least load the default settings and get some kind of sound so I could play.


You know what you need? A Prophet 12

Offline Mikey

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Re: Gear nightmares
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2013, 10:49:36 PM »
Quote from: "Rook"
You know what you need? A Prophet 12
12 Prophets???
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Offline JakeWorrell

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Re: Gear nightmares
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2013, 12:58:48 AM »
Mine is quite simple

We don't have a keyboard/sampleist so I have a sampler with backing tracks (music left channel, click right channel) that I trigger for each song.

One night we were setting up for one of the very few gigs we actually did. I found one of the RCA cables for the sampler but the other one was nowhere to be found. The guy organising the gig was the same chap that ran the rehearsal rooms and he came over to ask what was up "we can't find out jack to rca cable"... "OH! I found one of those at the practice studio's, it's still there"

I nearly died, generally people don't need RCA's to jacks for rock gigs so I thought we were screwed or at very least playing without a click for the drummer which would have been worse than not playing at all probably. Luckily the sound guy managed to find a short RCA cable and I was able to set my stuff up close to the desk at the side of the stage.

Phew!
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Offline Fogeyspasm

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Re: Gear nightmares
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2013, 03:53:08 PM »
Mines not an equipment disaster but just a bizarre gig.
In my lot younger days, i had long hair as it was that long ago, i was in a "Prog" band with three other school mates. Bear in mind the keyboard player was rather talented and the rest of us were not so. The rest of us had only been playing a year or so but saying that our stuff sounded more complicated than it was. Lots of huge guitar, Ricky bass, String synth, Clavinet and Roland SH101 (Which had just come out).
To come to the crux we had played about four gigs when we were asked to do a gig on the back of a truck at a Motorcycle Dealership. All to coincide with a new range of bikes being released.
We played our full set which at the time was about 50 minutes long. Mostly our own stuff but a few covers.
There was a 30 min break then we were back on.
What to do?
I set my echo to repeat back on itself like Pink Floyds Echoes and we jammed for 40 minutes in D.
It sounded just like Floyd and we had more people watching us than previously despite the fact we hadn't a clue what we were doing. I know we got some Genesis keyboard riffs in it somewhere.
So no equipment horrors but a genius 40 minute jam.
Only other horror was years later playing a festival at Hull City Hall. Think they were testing the smoke machine on us as during the first number not only could we not hear each other as the monitors were not balanced but we couldn't see each other either.
Highlight of the gig was a cheer from the back of the hall when we started our Rush medley. (The Sphere-Trees-Spirit Of Radio-Temples of Syrinx) Luckily our singer Heidi was equiped to sing Opera and could hit all the high stuff with ease.
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Offline Drarok

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Re: Gear nightmares
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2013, 10:42:47 PM »
Oh, dear, E.S.! I do hope you were careful when you took it out. RAM is finicky stuff. Bit of static and it's a goner!

Offline E.S.

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Re: Gear nightmares
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2013, 12:58:04 AM »
Always careful, I build my own computers and haven't messed anything up yet. :)

Offline Mikey

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Re: Gear nightmares
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2013, 05:45:46 AM »
Quote from: "E.S."
Always careful, I build my own computers and haven't messed anything up yet. :)
Is there an end to this man's talents  ;)
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Offline lyn

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Re: Gear nightmares
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2013, 10:46:29 PM »
Mot a music gig but a real gear nightmare... I was part of the running team for a big conference once and a car ran off the road, into the venue via the glass entrance foyer... plan for that, huh!  Needed more than a patch!
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