You know you're not going to enjoy the evening when you get told before sound-check "make sure I'm very quiet in the mix, because I'm out of practice".
That was a few days ago. Today:
Our keyboard output stopped working between soundcheck and performance. We didn't know until there just was no sound as the musician hit her cue *after* the soloist started singing. We couldn't do anything in time, eventually we managed to get it working for about half the piece, and they carried on very professionally, but it died again. She left the stage in tears. That really makes you feel crap as a sound-guy.
We then got a SM58 microphone and clamped it to the top of the keyboard's built in speakers. That worked well enough for the rest of the show.
I hate stuff like that.
It's fun, showing up at venues, and having comments like "Oh yes, well, all the tweeters are blown, that's why it sounds bad. We haven't replaced them yet". (Well. Thanks for telling us the same day we need them!)
I spent about an hour today trying to figure out the wiring for the venue on shore, it was "broken". everything held together with tape, wires coming out of the wall without labels. I managed to get some working, and watching the little blue sparks flying around was quite amusing when I was trying to find which speakers were attached to which wires, and which amplifers actually worked... I gave up eventually and just used our own speakers.
I screwed up a lot today. It could have been a much better performance. I didn't manage to get the compressors hooked up into the system in time, even. And the MC and translator were all over the place with their level. Crying out for compression. Painful, even.
If someone feels like randomly donating something expensive to me/Doulos, I really wouldn't mind about 4 or 5 of these: http://www.amazon.com/DBX-1046-Quad-Compressor-Limiter/dp/B0002H0QHI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=musical-instruments&qid=1241888411&sr=1-1 ...
I really need to start playing worst-case-scenario with my people more. I can generally problem solve and get something working "well enough" fast, but they can't (yet), and I could do so much more, and better, if I could a few arrange things ahead of time, and think in advance, and not do everything by the seat of my pants.
*sigh* So much to work on. So much to do.