New Year's Eve with Steve!!!! - Gearspace.com
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New Year's Eve with Steve!!!!
Old 4th January 2003
Gear Head
kfledman's Avatar
🎧 15 years
New Year's Eve with Steve!!!!

So, I had the pleasure of meeting Steve Remote on a gig this past New Year's Eve and he asked me to write a little something about it. Here goes......[This may be boring as nothing really went wrong while I was there; maybe if there were any surprises that I didn't hear about, Steve will fill in the details....]

I am the occasional substitue live sound guy at the fabulous Blue Note Jazz Club in NYC and this New Year's Eve they were doing a radio broadcast of the show [which was Chick Corea and his New Trio and Gary Burton joining them on vibes as well as an opening act.
I was called in by the production manager of the club to be the club's sound guy for set up in the AM before the club's sound guy du jour [Jack] would be showing up to do the actual gig. It took a few phone calls and emails back and forth between Steve, Jack and me to determine what time I was to be there [11 AM].
So, the night before the gig I am at another show in another club where I see one of the owner's of the Blue Note and mention that I'll see him over there in the AM. He informs me that there may be a slight problem with an extra piano being on stage due to a small mix up with the previous day's show's artist. For Chick's show, they bring in a 9' Yamaha grand; the club usually has a Steinway B [I think} which is more like a 6' 11" piano. Anyway, this possible extra piano on stage is weighing on my mind as I finish the previous night's work and get home at 3AM. Ain't club sound life grand??

So, after the alarm goes off, I shower and head down to the club. I see Steve is talking to someone from the club and go introduce myself before heading in. I walk into the club and there is an extra piano that has already been taken off stage. Yippee!!!! And, the folks from Yamaha were onstage putting together the 9' Yamaha. So, since I couldn't do much with out a piano ready, I checked in with Steve and went around the corner to grab a bagel and a tea [this would be my only meal until around 5 that afternoon so I am very grateful that Steve was mellow about me ducking out....]

Upon returning to the club, I saw they were still putting the piano together. Steve came over to chat while I ate my bagel. He brought out his well organized input list with an area for me to write in whatever crosspatches were necessary to get the mics showing up for the house sound system in the appropriate channels. [Sadly, I was a little slow on coming up with my actual inputs partly because of lack of sleep and partly cause I am always overcautious and tend to think through and make sure I am thinking the way the other person down the line wants things.....I think it would've been easier if I was just writing in where I wanted stuff to show up; but that's life....]

On Steve's list, there were some mic conflicts from what the club sound guy[Jack] wanted. The remote was only happening on NYE, but Chick Corea was playing the whole week at the club and there was no plan for sound checks after the first day. So, Jack wanted to have the mics he would be using the whole week be up regardless of whether they were being used for the remote broadcast. Fortunately, Steve and Jim Anderson [who was the mixer on the truck] were mellow about going with the club's mics for the piano, vibes and bass. Otherwise, the stage would've look cluttered. The main switches were using the clubs 414s on vibes rather than some Neumanns from the truck and using an RE-20 rather than a Senn 421. Chick Corea travels with his own mics for the piano [a pair of 414s]. The drum mics were all provided by Aurasonic, as the drums are barely put into the house since it is a small room; the change of those mics wouldn't have a significant change on the house sound [I don't even know what they placed on the kit for the rest of the week's shows....]

While I was setting up and labeling cables on stage, Steve's crew was running a snake and a splitter in from the truck. They also set up a video camera so they could see what was happening on stage, as well as communication between the truck and stage area. And, they set up some mics around the club hanging from the ceiling. I'd be curious to know how much of those mics were used in the actual broadcast and how much was the close mics on stage.....

Hmmmm, setting up went a hair slower than either Steve or I wanted, but I think this was due to the drum kit and vibes not showing up til within a half hour of sound check time more than anything else.

When I left at 3:30 PM, I had checked to see if I was actually getting the mics from stage. I was. There may have been hums and buzzes that got corrected as the day went by, but by that time I was already at another gig.

Steve, in case I didn't say it the other day, Happy New Year.....

--Ken F
Old 5th January 2003
Super Moderator
Remoteness's Avatar
🎧 15 years

Happy "Old" Year to you too!

Well done my man! Thanks for the cool words and description. Your attention to detail and the great job you provided us on the date will not be forgotten.

Ken, the pleasure was all mine. I love when you set things up, patch them in and everything works the way you wanted it to... Taking the time to do it right in the first place is the key to this possibility. Very strong!

I think it may very well be kind of boring, because nothing really went wrong throughout the day. Well, there were a few things, but I will bring them up in a bit.

The fabulous Blue Note Jazz Club in NYC had Chick Corea and his New Trio with Gary Burton doing three sets, plus we had Miri Ben-Ari Quartet opening up for all of the New Trio's sets. That was six sets of music starting from 7:00PM and ended way passed 3:30AM. Ouch... Yeah, we go out of there around 5:45AM.

The extra piano that was placed in the audience area when we got there was not much of a problem. They came by and picked it up just after Ken left for his other gig and before our sound check officially started.

It was gonna be a long day for all of us. You got to get your nourishment! We had plenty to do before we got into mic'ing and the serious stuff. It was the perfect time for Ken to go around the corner to grab his bagel and tea. He wouldn't have been too helpful if he passed out or got a splitting headache from not eating something before we got serious about the set up.

For the betterment of the show and since Jack O'hara wanted to use the mics he would be using during the rest of the week, Jim Anderson and I agreed to go with the club's mic selection. Ken's correct, the stage would have looked too cluttered, especially with an opening act to deal with. We wanted to place two C414TLII's in Chick's piano but since he travels with his own C414BULS mics we went with that. Jim asked for an M88 on the kick, SM57 on the snare and a KM84 for the hihats. The toms got SM98s and C414BULSs were use overhead.

While Jon D'Uva and Rob Carvell were running the main snake and splitter in from the truck, I set up the remote PTZ Canon camera. Our first problem of the day was with our pan, tilt, zoom cable's connector. I believe the housing for the jack needs to be changed because it doesn't fit into the camera's socket deep enough. You got to press harder then normal to fully connect.

We had two communication systems for this date. Our Chaos Audio comm system handled Rob's private conversations to/from the truck. A second Clearcom system (provided by our client) was used to connect our Field Producer, Josh Jackson; Technical Director, Brian McCabe; Host, Rhonda Hamilton; Stage Manager, Ave Carrillo and Audio Truck. Their Clearcom system's channel one interfaces perfectly to our RTS system's channel two. The RTS system in the truck is our second comm system and is primarily used for the various teleproduction work we do.

The room mics were not mixed in with the close mics. Anderson built room tone for the instruments via four of the six digital reverbs we have standard in the truck. He had two Klark Teknik DN780s, one Lexicon 300 and a Yamaha Rev7 patched to the mix desk. The hanging C460BULS room mics were used for audience response only.

Our second technical problem was a false alarm. Jim though the stage left overhead was bad, so we changed it out. When Jon and Rob replaced the C414 with another one, I noticed the same hi end sound Jim heard. I looked at the desk and found that the hi freq eq setting for the two overheads were set at the same frequency, but the SL OH hi freq level was different. It was max'd out at plus 16. I set the level back to the plus 3 level he had for the SR OH and everything was everything. I never mentioned it to Jim, I think he still thinks it was the mic.

All the mics and DIs were patch correctly and working perfectly. There were no hums, buzzes or noise on the line. But a strange thing happened when we patched our Distressors from tape to the console. They seem to have loaded down the desk and/or DA78HR's. It never happened with our DA88's, DA98HR's and/or two inch machines. They did not like the DA78HR's.

I still have not addressed this problem, but I believe it may be a phase reversal issue with the DA78HR's... We must get in there and evaluate the problem.

As you may already know, NPR's Toast of the nation coast to coast was live from three locations. NYC; Chicago with the Count Basie orchestra; and Oakland with Taj Mahal.

All and all the show went off perfectly. Jim Anderson did an incredible job mixing the NYC portion of the show. From what I heard on air, Duke Markos and Phil Edwards did a great job mixing their parts of the broadcast.

It aired on WBGO in the NY/NJ area and was broadcast live across the nation via NPR. Did anyone hear any of the broadcast?
Old 12th January 2003
Gear Head
kfledman's Avatar
🎧 15 years
a few more things on the NYE gig.......

Just a follow up on the NYE w/ Steve gig.....

I did get a chance to check out Steve's truck during the day. It was very well designed and put together. Lots of good toys in the racks.....
One of the cool things I saw [and maybe it doesn't qualify as cool for most] was that he had a couple of hunter's chair/cooler things, which allowed for additional seating in the truck [or anywhere you needed, cause they were portable] while also serving as additional storage. Great idea I never would've thought of myself. I guess that's what experience gets you--very effective solutions.

Also, while setting up a Senn 441, which is a mic I've had over a decade's experience with and thought I knew as much as there was to 'em, I learned something new. Apparently, when you put the mic into the clip, there's a part that you can slide into a clicked/locked position so that the mic is securely in the clip. Who knew?

Anyway, I just wanted to mention that Steve is indeed a wealth of knowledge, a true pro and a nice guy too.

Incidentally, while the folks at Blue Note got out of the club at around 5:45 AM, I was working over at BB King's Blues Club where the show was just rapping up. I didn't get out of my gig til 8:30 AM [but I was home by 8:35 AM as that club is 3 blocks from my apartment....]. I slept well that day.....
Old 13th January 2003
Lives for gear
wildplum's Avatar
🎧 15 years
The DA-78 are very touchy about balanced inputs. They overload easily when being fed pseudo balanced (eg "impedance balanced") inputs. I have not used a distressor, so I am not sure that this was the problem, but the pseudo balanced problem was discussed at length on the tascam site's forum. It also has a problem with unbalanced +4 inputs (as on some micpres). The DA-78s unbalanced inputs are -10 and balanced inputs treat the unbalanced lines in the same way they do pseudo balanced lines.

Here's a link to Tascam's explanation of the issue:
Old 13th January 2003
Super Moderator
Remoteness's Avatar
🎧 15 years

Thank you for the hyper link to the Tascam forum thread. It was very informative.

Our dilemma had to do with the output of the DA78HR, into the Distressor, then into the Otari Status 18R. When Jon patched the Distressor, the loading accurred. Our patch bay's multitrack outputs into the console inputs are wired as half normal, meaning the multitrack output still feeds the desk inputs when you patch from the multitrack out and disconnects, only when you patch into the console inputs. When Jon and Jim heard the distortion, Jon pulled the input patch and still heard the problem. The distortion went away when he pulled the output feed to the Distressor. The DA78HR didn't like it when the Distressor was hanging on the output of the DA78HR.

I've been busy and still have not addressed this issue. I do think about it a lot and cannot wait until I get a chance to investigate and test the situation.
Old 13th January 2003
Super Moderator
Remoteness's Avatar
🎧 15 years

Thank you for the kind words.

Yeah, those "cool" hunter's chair/cooler seats are very cool indeed. I've seen it in the Sportmen's Guide Catalog a long, long time ago and purchased one. After having it in use for a while, I realized I should get more of them. It worked out very well on our portable gigs and fit just right in the truck. When I went back to the SG to order more of them, they were sold out and they didn't know if they were going to get any new ones in again. Man, this goes back about five years ago. I've been looking for them for quite a while. Last month the Sportmen's Guide had them back in the catalog and I picked up a bunch more... Boy, I'm a happy camper again. heh

I thought we had a long day; 8:30AM is way over the top. Thank goodness you only had a 5 minute walk to your apartment. Imagine if you had an hour drive. yuktyy
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