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Al Krow

Mid-gig gear disasters

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3 hours ago, Happy Jack said:

2:10 into this video:

 

Hah! So you had to check a lead connection which you did and sorted everyting, in like 5 secs. That hardly qualifies as a 'major mid-gig disaster', more a plug for additional views for your band! :D

Edited by Al Krow

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1 hour ago, gapiro said:

...Mid Elvis tribute gig, and Behringer desk and/or snake just crashes - PA puts out full volume white noise whilst sound man in theatre desperately trying to get it fixed. It was loud. I had ear plugs in and it was seriously loud.

Great story but did you just say you were using 'high end' Behringer gear and it broke down on you?! Ok I'm feeling a bit cheeky, but...:D

Edited by Al Krow
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I've been lucky because in 30 yrs I had a head go in soundcheck and beyond that it's been a bass slip off the strap only a couple of times and one string break back in the 90s. I hope I'm not tempting fate. 

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My EBS head cut out during the first song on a dep gig last weekend, coaxed it back to life but irritating given that Bernie at GB tried to repair it earlier this year but couldn't replicate the fault. Assumed it was a thermal cut-out and a general clean up of the head would sort it out, unfortunately the fault seems to have come back.

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21 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Hah! So you had to check a lead connection which you did and sorted everyting, in like 5 secs. That hardly qualifies as a 'major mid-gig disaster', more a plug for additional views for your band! :D

"Check a lead connection"?

Hardly, old chap. My wireless unit failed, and in less than 10 seconds mid-song I diagnosed the problem, unplugged the wireless unit at both ends, plugged in a lead at both ends, and rejoined the song.

Actually, I'm actually quite proud of that. Actually.

B|

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20 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Great story but did you just say you were using 'high end' Behringer gear and it broke down on you?! Ok I'm feeling a cheeky, but...:D

Hired sound company, they were using X32 with the CAT5e snake (whatever that is called)

The Mixers aren't half bad nowadays!

 

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1 minute ago, gapiro said:

Hired sound company, they were using X32 with the CAT5e snake (whatever that is called)

The Mixers aren't half bad nowadays!

 

Fair do's and I should 'fess that we've been using a Behringer B205D as a mini monitor (for vocals and acoustic - it's pretty useless for bass), so I defo need to come off my high horse on this! :D

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13 minutes ago, Happy Jack said:

"Check a lead connection"?

Hardly, old chap. My wireless unit failed, and in less than 10 seconds mid-song I diagnosed the problem, unplugged the wireless unit at both ends, plugged in a lead at both ends, and rejoined the song.

Actually, I'm actually quite proud of that. Actually.

B|

Ok that's impressive  - still not a major mid-gig disaster, I guess 'cos you prevented it! And your wireless unit was - I'm hoping you're not going to say Smoothhound ('cos I love mine!) ?

Edited by Al Krow

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I've had a coupole of experiences as a player.  I had a string go on me very early in my playing 'Career', so off course no spare set and no spare bass.  Luckily it was only about half a mile form my house, so carrie on until the break and then legged it home for the spare.

My TC head decided to go bang mid gig, only way around that was DI into the desk (luckily I had my B3 with me).  From that day forward I've carried a spare head, in fact being a sensible bass player I carry spares of everything...just in case.

My most athletic exploit was while engineering at a local venue.  The band used wireless mics, and mid gig they started cracking up something rotten.  I tried everything to put it right but to no avail, when it suddenly struck me that the stage snake had looked a tad dodgy while I was setting up.  Of I dash across the venue, up onto the stage and pulled the XLR board off the wall.  Where the board had been fixed, the snake was bent at a rather unfortunate angle buggering up the cables inside.  Everytime the lead singer jumped up and down the snake was bending (where it was resting on the floor) and 'breaking' the cable.  With the board put safely out of the way the break ups stopped....I did get some funny looks from the band though.

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I've had three equipment failures in my gigging career. 1 broken string, 1 battery box in active bass, and 1 total wireless system failure. The last two were rather more serious than the first!

My guitarist has regular amp failures, he just patches it up the next day. He's a Yorkshireman and is therefore allergic to spending money; the idea of buying a new amp sends him into a cold sweat. 

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My bass once stopped working at the end of the last song in the set, turned out to be a dodgy pot, hence why I always take a backup bass. You never know when a solder-joint may break or whatever. Another time, again at the end of the set, the strap-button on my bass just came out, no warning at all, my bass just dived headstock first to the floor. So not exactly mid-gig, but enough to convince me that backups are worthwhile taking to all gigs, but especially ones where you`re the only band playing.

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Wasn’t at gig but in rehearsal and the amp went pop and no bass. 

It was a 60w combo. Old thing. Cranked. I’m surprised it went on for as long as it did ha!

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Worst for me was probably battery issues with my first Fender P-Lyte . Hint of distortion for maybe 5 seconds...

and then nothing. Not the easiest instrument to swap batteries on quickly, but taught me to change them regularly.

Not happened since.

When I played guitar years ago, my Vox AC30 caught fire in a workingman's club. Crowd thought it was pyros!

 

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4 minutes ago, casapete said:

...When I played guitar years ago, my Vox AC30 caught fire in a workingman's club. Crowd thought it was pyros!

 

Ah a second hand slightly battered Vox AC 30. That brings back memories(!) and in my case a Gibson SG, both of which are lovingly (and gratefully) still owned by a mate who's moved to Singapore and to whom I must have sold both when we were like 19...

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There have been various threads about the pros and cons of taking back-up gear to gigs
Much of it is just down to personal experience and preference.....
If I was only taking one bass to a gig, I definitely take along some spare strings
Usually, I keep an old set from a recent string change - that way a replacement string should be pre-stretched, and not overly bright compared to your other strings

That said, it has been a while since I broke a string mid gig. It used to happen more often, but I don't play with a pick as much as I used to

My spare bass is usually my tiny Tanglewood Elfin - it's a super short scale (about 25" I think) so it's compact and very very lightweight ( I could carry it with one finger)
I do sometimes carry a spare amp head - but this is also really tiny. It's a Euphonic Audio (EA) 550W dual channel head, and you wouldn't believe how small & light it is....
It weighs less than most effects pedals - I kid you not!

It's definitely not "overkill" if you've ever had a disaster (or spot of bother) and there's just something satisfying, knowing you're covered with a backup
Carrying spares / backups depends on the gigs. If it's a big payer or a venue / organiser we really want to impress, I'll carry a full scale backup bass
Otherwise, I carry the super short scale.... For open mics or folk club / jam nights, I usually just bring my bass, and possibly an amp

Edited by Marc S

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6 hours ago, Happy Jack said:

2:10 into this video:

 

Looks like a nice Pub.

Great hearing a band playing what sounds like The Vanilla Fudge version of 'You Keep Me Hanging On"

Blue

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Only ever had one pink torpedo up  <------  nice swear filter

We were setting up for a gig.  Everyone had got to the point where it was time to make a noise / soundcheck

I had nothing - zilch, zero, nowt, nada.

Swore at the amp, checked fuse, checked guitar cable, borrowed a guitar cable, checked speaker cable, borrowed one off the landlord,

Swapped amp outputs,  ..this all took 30 mins and we were kicking off in another 30 seconds.  I had to go direct to PA without a D.I. and no backline

I was guessing most of the notes were ok, as i couldnt hear myself.  I guess  rehearsals really pay off !

Turned out it was a dodgy speakon socket on the cab. Amp detected a problem and shut down.  Bar steward socket

Edited by fleabag

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I had my Line 6 wireless transmitter do an HJ on me once, I managed to do the same thing in roughly the same amount of time.  Battery indicators on those seem to work in a different time continuum.  Start of gig, 6hrs battery life left.  1hr 30 mins into gig, oops... Lesson learnt - use new batteries each gig.

More recently a newly acquired Mesa Boogie Prodigy Four:88 suddenly made a loud distorted noise accompanied by the very expensive smell of burning electrics.  Luckily at the sound check, if you can say any aspect of an expensive amp blowing up is lucky.  Went to the boot, got my back up amp, not a problem.  Well, except my nose was spot on - cost me £250 to have some innards replaced.  My main thought at receiving that news was 'I could have got a new Trace Elliot head for less than that'. 

 

Edited by Paul S

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Had an Ashdown speaker (15” blue one) just stop working and start smelling, an Orange Terror 500 blow a capacitor on the power board, a fairly cheap power conditioner go bad and take out a rack of outboard, and a cheap-ish Warrior PA amp that was running monitors just release one last howl and pack in. All new and well looked-after kit that was working fine when checked... and then suddenly wasn’t! Had spares and/or managed to patch round the problem and keep going, but I now expect issues and leave pleasantly surprised if they don’t transpire.

My bandmates have had various all-valve rack power amp issues along the way, too, so along with the usual bass spares, I pack a little 250w Bose PA power amp module which might one day get me or either guitarist out of trouble and even power a monitor, top or sub if it had to.

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2 hours ago, Bluewine said:

Looks like a nice Pub.

Great hearing a band playing what sounds like The Vanilla Fudge version of 'You Keep Me Hanging On"

Blue

Unfortunately it has long changed hands and stopped hosting music. It's still a nice gastropub in leafy West London, though. Yours truly was behind the camera, marveling at the speed of Jack's disaster recovery action!

@Al Krow I'm reasonably sure the wireless system wasn't a Smoothhound - that one came later, Jack was using a different one at the time, IIRC :)

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10 minutes ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

Unfortunately it has long changed hands and stopped hosting music. It's still a nice gastropub in leafy West London, though. Yours truly was behind the camera, marveling at the speed of Jack's disaster recovery action!

@Al Krow I'm reasonably sure the wireless system wasn't a Smoothhound - that one came later, Jack was using a different one at the time, IIRC :)

It happened to me this past Saturday night. My Line 6 wireless failed, fortunately it was during the sound check.

I'm still not sure what the problem was because the receiver was getting the signal but it wasn't making it's way through my pedal train to my amp.

Blue

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Had a festival this summer. 

Quick turnaround time to get on. 

Had all my stuff ready to go..

Plugged everything in - no sound. Nada. Nothing.

5 mins panicking and then...

 

..realised I'd plugged into a different amp that wasn't even mine. Oh, you didn't mean that sort of disaster tho huh? 

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