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Checking In, Checking Out

June 17, 2009

I used a rehearsal room/studio for the first time in maybe 20 years this evening.

Last time I used one I was a keyboard player at the back of a rock/blues combo trying to find gigs and playing some classic rock & blues tracks. It seems like an eternity ago.

Tonight I wanted to see how my songs would sound through a PA system. I already know how my acoustic + vocal songs sound and I’m pretty comfortable with them. However my more ambitious songs using the laptop are a different matter entirely.

The first problem I encountered was that the PA system didn’t appear to be stereo. Now normally for bands this would not be a problem but for me it was a huge problem. My tracks sounded awful: phase problems and with no depth of field. A quick trip home (the rehearsal facility is a convenient 10 minute drive away) to get some different cables didn’t fix the problem.

That was frustrating because I really wanted to use the session to rebalance the mixes to ensure nothing horrible was happening. The balance between my vocal, the guitar and the laptop was not nice, not one little bit.

The session was not a complete waste. I figured out that my arrangement of ‘Dive’ worked but there is one chorus too many, the folktronica version of ‘Be Alright’ was just too heavy. I muted one of the tracks and voila it was fixed. Much much better. ‘Interference’ was going to use my electric guitar. In my home studio I struggled a little and in rehearsal it didn’t improve. Running out of time I decided to give my acoustic a try and it was much better. Luckily the other song (a cover version) that will use the electric will work just fine on acoustic.
So that’s one less case to carry into the gig. Me 1 – Circumstance 0.

My Taylor acoustic refused to give a signal to the PA or the tuner. Hopefully it’s just the battery. Hopefully. I really don’t fancy dismantling the pickup circuitry or replacing the socket.

Next week I’ve got 2 sessions booked. I’ll bring along my own PA amp (definitely stereo) and will leave 1 guitar at home.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 18, 2009 11:56 am

    Sounds like a pain in the hole, but a worthwhile pain in the hole…See you next week. Do you need me to bring up the van?Regards,djp

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  2. June 18, 2009 12:01 pm

    Aye, it was a bit disappointing but a good example of why tech rehearsals are important. Nah. Don't worry about the van, it'll all fit in my car. Even easier with 1 less guitar case.

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  3. June 18, 2009 10:25 pm

    It was a battery. Just a battery. Fortunately. I don't think I could have faced a repair. (and I'm letting someone use the guitar at a wedding reception we're going to on Monday)

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  4. June 18, 2009 11:07 pm

    I paid €75 the other day for Sky to tell me that the reason my Sky+ box was crashing out was because the Sky remote was changing the channel on my TV everytime I pressed "SELECT". Battery? Count yourself lucky…:-)

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  5. June 22, 2009 7:03 am

    Hey man thanks for dropping over to the blog. I saw you at the international last time. Really liked your song about your teenage daughter that night.

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