On The Road Again

I was out on the road this past week-end. Performances Friday morning, Friday evening and Sunday morning. I am also preparing the studio for Skip and Jamie Prokop as they begin tracking basics next week. All in all, a pretty busy week-end on stage and in the studio.

TOA ConsoleThe Friday evening concert was very interesting. Three of Canada’s premier tenors in Christian Music were featured: Hiram Joseph, Kevin Pauls and Cliff Cline. Cliff’s stage band, which includes me, my son and a drummer, provided the backup music for most of the evening.

The concert was hosted in a fairly large church with an incredibly long RT-60. I clapped my hands, and I estimated a room with close to 2 seconds. Great for organs and choirs. Not so good for contemporary music.

My wife, brave soul, provided sound support. She did an amazing job. With very little experience, she was able to work her way through a discontinued and somewhat rare console: the TOA CX-164. The channel strip is at the left. The board is a 16-channel 4-bus design with pretty limited EQ and I/O. And, not an obvious ergonomic design so even experienced mixers would need a little bit of time to ramp up and make the system go.

And, because of the highly reverberant soundfield, this was not an easy set to mix. Also, the local sound support had a limiter inline the main bus that brickwalled way too early. We could get no decent level beyond that which would be suitable for speech.

I found the culprit and, with some quick adjustments, namely the bypass switch, we found a credible sound system for the evening. No SPL meter but I think we keep the overall sound level to a respectable level for the concert.

I found it really hard to get a good sound from the guitar rig in that room. I switched the PRS out for the Strat to get an edgier sound that could cut through all the slapback. Always handy to have a Strat in the back pocket for halls like this one.

The concert went really well and we ended the event with a very upbeat rendition of a popular worship song. Those tenors could really sing.

2 replies
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Richard,

    Always good to have a Strat in the back pocket! Surprised though, that the PRS didn’t make the cut. Glad to hear all went well in the end.

    It still baffles me that you were chosen to have 36 hour days rather than the 24 hour days the rest of us have to manage with! I presume you take time to sleep periodically? 🙂

    All the best, Rob

    Reply
  2. richard cleaver
    richard cleaver says:

    I think there were a number of factors at play with the PRS. The instrument is “rounder” than a Strat and I generally prefer the tone of the PRS over the Strat. However, the stage back wall was made of field rock, the slapback was like a hockey arena and the grand piano on stage was doing a great job of covering the PRS’s sweetspot. The drums were also excited by the hard back wall and negatively impacting the guitar’s tone on stage. The Strat has more bite in the upper midrange and it happened to do a better job presenting in that concert. We did close-mike all the rigs on stage and perhaps the differences would not have been as severe to the audience.

    As far as sleep goes, I was truly exhausted on the Saturday. I am definitely getting older 😉

    Reply

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