Monday, August 28, 2006

Incoming Peeps

Continuing our series, here are some more "peeps"!

Ron Benvenisiti writes:
Great stuff, you can't make this up....

Let me add...

The Keyboard Wizard

This happened to me on a couple of occasions doing one-man-band gigs. A young "bochur" comes over and stands very close to my left side, intently viewing my left hand and making disapproving faces. Then, with a thoroughly disgusted look on his face he tries to get my attention by practically yelling, "You are playing it wrong, it's just these two notes here and these two notes here, there's no black notes in this song, look..." then he vigorously stabs his hand in the direction of my keyboard and tries to play it "correctly". I gently elbow his solar plexus. I suppose those are the right chords for the "musical idiot" fingering used in conjunction with the transpose everything to C key on his "Casio". What could I say if his Momma
likes it?

The Sound Engineer

He usually appears in one of two forms. He suddenly appears at your mixer or powered speakers and starts to turn the knobs up totally screwing with the volume, eq, or whatever his inquiring fingers grab hold of. He's an expert with the powered speakers contour buttons and volume knob, which of course are situated 50 feet away from you.

Sometimes he shows up with "Srully Reverb" or "The Famous Singer" who is a friend of the family (who brings his own mike and also sometimes brings his own "Keyboard Wizard").

He checks out your whole sound system and starts to plug in the singer's mike and make adjustments. Too bad he starts to plug in the mike into the XLR on one of your keyboard channels. You correctly re-insert the mic into an available channel and he freaks out. "I know what I'm doing". He then tests the mike and can't figure out why the sound is so low. (He doesn't
adjust the gain trim to the mikes requirement). He pushes up every fader on the board and then loudly proclaims that "Your speaker's blown", despite the fact you can now hear my keyboards in Canada. I try to get him away from my mixer but the singer is now in "prima-donna" mode looking at his watch and nudging "The Sound Engineer". I offer a brand new Shure SM-58 mike and cable right out of the original boxes and insert it into the correct channel, adjust the trim and faders, add the expected reverb and still nothing. So now I'm baffled! Everything else works great. This is a brand new mike and cable, my trusty Mackie Mixer. I plug it into another channel. Nada. My keyboards are fine. I start to think this is min hashamayim on these guys because no matter what I do no mike will work for this guy. Naturally the people at the affair are getting frustrated, and it all seems to be my fault, of course. Really, at this point I am baffled. I launch into one of the singer's famous tunes that everyone's waiting for and he starts to sing, but without the mike and reverb, it's just not the same. After the chorus (or in Yeshivah language, the "high part"), there is a signature instrumental section that is pretty involved to play, but I play it and the crowd loves it, as they hum along. The "Keyboard Wizard" looks at me in astonishment and screams, "That's not the way we do it live, we don't do the intro horns and instrumental parts", you're screwing him up". I picture him with the Casio manual looking up how to play dominant chords with two fingers. So now I look like I totally sandbagged "Mr. Famous Singer" which is of course not true. After finishing and striking my rig I notice that the "Break Switch" on my mixer is engaged. This is the switch that globally turns off all the mikes during breaks or when "The Sound Engineer" adjusts your volume on those speakers 50 feet away or when "Srully Reverb" stands right in front of your speaker causing intense feedback and freezes like a deer in headlights.

"The Sound Engineer" pressed it as he stabbed his stubby fingers all over my mixer. I cleaned the mixer with antibacterial spray.
E. writes:
The guy with the mp3 player and chord to plug into the system for that new track that the chosson wants because all his friends love it but the band hasn't heard of ... yet