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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Your first sound tech gig

Contributing Member

Whitehorse Canada

I don't get out much
Dec 1st, 2017 01:12 AM   Edit   Profile  

Mine was sitting in front of the TV and cranking the volume when The Rifleman intro got to the part where Connors shot off several rounds.
Not a popular event in the household.
It wasn't a paid position, but I was the tech.
May have been 10 at the time....who knew?

Got any stories?

Tony Wright
Contributing Member

Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Dec 2nd, 2017 12:10 AM   Edit   Profile  

I believe it was the summer of '65...we were going to play for our friends at some rented hall. At rehearsals we simply plugged into the second channel on our Silvertone "Twin Twelve" for vocals. But we had a "singer" who did not play so he needed a PA...since I had a job, I had to be the guy to rent the PA from the local "rental company".

Now you could get anything at the rental company...as long as you had low expectations. They mostly rented drills, saws, trailers, tables and chairs...and they had ONE PA system.

It was a single channel Bogen tube amp/mixer. It was old enough, it did not have a 1/4 inch input. Instead it had a screw on connector with a blob of solder in the middle. The mic was a Shure "green bullet" commonly used these days for harmonica. The speakers were two "no name" home made wooden boxes with a single 12 inch speaker in each wooden box.

The speaker cable was 25feet long "lamp" or "zip line" like on a budget extension cord. with bare connectors on both ends which attached via wrapping the bare wire around two screws on the back of the Bogen or the home made speaker cabinets.

That "screeching" feedback was simply expected since no one knew how to run a PA in those days.

Around '67 I started playing with a band where "the dad" bought the gear. We all had matching Rickenbacker guitars/bass and a Vox Continental keyboard all played thru matching Vox Super Beatle amps with a Vox Churchill PA powered mixer and two Vox 4x12 cabinets....

When I stopped playing in late '71, I did not keep up with any personal skills nor did I keep up with gear. But when my oldest son decided to start playing, well....the gear lust started to grown.

I ended up with a decent, but well used, old and heavy PA. I set it up for a Christian rock band that my oldest son was friends with. Ran sound for them a couple of times as I recall.

Years later, that band morphed a little and changed its name from "Kids Eat Free" to...

The All American Rejects. Occasionally, I run into Nick Wheeler from All Amercian Rejects (and Kids Eat Free) at one of the local shops. He still remembers me and asks about my son. Nice enough guy.

So, take your pick on "First" between "first ever" or "first time to run sound for someone destined to: make it big".

Neither story is as cool as sound effects for The Rifleman...even if it was just in the living room at home as a kid. But, the above is all I could think of.

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member

Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
Dec 5th, 2017 06:39 AM   Edit   Profile  

Back when I was a teenager we ran everything through our guitar amps since it was all we had. One day my friends dad shows up with some rig he bought at an auction that looked like it was a PA at a swimming pool or something. It had those metal horn speakers a 1 channel amp and a Shure 55S. It sounded like crap, but we weren't singing through guitar amps anymore.

I wonder what ever happened to that 55S? We always referred to it as the "Dick Clark" mic.

Tony Wright
Contributing Member

Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Dec 5th, 2017 09:56 PM   Edit   Profile  

We called it the "Elvis mic"...still in production along with the 55SH model II which is cardioid pattern and the Super 55 which is super cardioid polar pattern.

Good mics for lounge acts, retro acts, rockabilly, blues, and a singer backed by a band where the singer stands at the mic stand.

If they want to play Roger Daltrey, the 55 is the WRONG TOOL.

edited for clarity...

(This message was last edited by Tony Wright at 11:57 PM, Dec 5th, 2017)

Contributing Member

Whitehorse Canada

I don't get out much
Dec 5th, 2017 11:46 PM   Edit   Profile  

Juice Nichols

I remember those dreadful horn thingies.
We stole a couple from a swimming pool.
Hooked them up to my brown Super.....that only lasted seconds....Christ they were awful.
Doubt they wen't down much below 1K.

Then there's the issue of load on the output transformer.
The Brownie survived.

Tony Wright
Far too much mass for the Daltrey trick.


Juice Nichols
Contributing Member

Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
Dec 6th, 2017 07:41 AM   Edit   Profile  

And monitors? What were those??? We lived on muscle memory!

Those horn speakers were pretty good if you were going after that "metal garbage can" sound! LOL

Tony, I remember we decided to call it the "Dick Clark" mic in our quest to be different than other people who called it the "Elvis Mic". LOL



Earn while you learn
Dec 7th, 2017 07:27 AM   Edit   Profile  

My first "real" sound tech gig was a jazz concert featuring a locally well-known jazz singer http://rebeccaparris.com/ backed up by a 16 piece swing band in a packed auditorium.
I think that was around 1998.

I used two Bose 802's for FOH and Bose 402's for monitors, Studiomaster Trilogy mixer, Alesis midiverb efx unit, one Crown K2 for FOH and a Microtech 1200 for monitors.

One wireless vocal mic plus four sm58's for horn solos.

I bit off quite a bit taking this gig but it went well and got me in with a local orchestra doing production.

my small sound company

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Dec 12th, 2017 12:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

My first memories are of the Shure Vocalmaster dimming as it tried to power two Voice of the Theaters circa 1972. A bit later we got a power amp. Phase linear 400 I think. We thought we were Pink Floyd with all that gear. Everything was Hi-Z and noise was always a problem yet we got it done. What are monitors anyway? We moved it drums amps and all with a '68 Chevy Impala wagon, my Dad's 70 Impala and the bass players Olds.

If you haven't done so read, "The Black Strat", the story of David Gilmour's guitar. Boasts of a 4000 watt Pink Floyd PA systems were made. Geeze, I have more than that in two little amp racks today. Times have sure (Shure) changed.

Fast Lane Pablo


Apr 4th, 2018 04:40 PM   Edit   Profile  

Other then my own bands, I mixed for a friend's band. For this gig, we had two identical Peavey Standard 130 mixer heads, each four channel, and four Peavey 4 x 10 column speakers. The mixers were on the edge of the stage. It was at the Jr. High School I went to, but years later. My former English teacher was still there.

I think that was the first time I did that. I ended up being both a house and touring sound-dude later in life.

FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Your first sound tech gig

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