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Thread: How do I stop myself from talking back?

  1. #11
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    *realises there are a bunch of awesome replies here* thank you all for the solid advice.

    Returning here to VEEEEEEEENT (and not make another thread about the same damn subject, and it's an update of sorts.)

    Another more recent job. Performer has been a DJ for long time and he "knows all about sound" *internal screaming NO YOU DON'T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!* We worked together yesterday, it wasn't great, I let him get too involved in how I have my system set up and he started changing it around in ways I didn't like and so we argued and he got stressed out just before his show and thought I was really rude and it was just generally a bad time. Before his total freak out we had come to an agreement that the volume would come down and I wouldn't touch the EQ though and I honoured that until feedback necessitated Not honouring that (Something unique to live sound mate you DON'T KNOW THIS STUFF). It all went South during the show thought because the vocals couldn't be turned up to a good volume without feeding back. And because this guy knows SOOOOOO much about what he's doing, he had the vocals going through his equipment and I couldn't adjust them without it effecting everything else. And the tool I use to get rid of feedback, it's hard and clunky to use on this particular mixer and I wasn't game to mess with the settings mid show. At the end of the night I ventured that if I'd let him do it his way it would have been better (he wanted to use a feedback suppressor) and that if he had let me do it my way it would have been better and our two ways clashed in a detrimental way.

    Today we used his feedback suppressor. But during the show, it didn't work. So I used my channel of just vocals to reinforce the vocal volume. Pretty good for most of the show. Except during an instrumental track I turned it right down, because in my mind I'm messing with his vision and I don't want to so safer to pull it out of the mix. When the voice comes back in, it's really quiet. Because turns out my vocal only channel was doing a lot of the work. So a couple of lines of dialogue are very quiet. Then there's a mighty squeal of feedback. The amount this mic is feeding back is not normal and has something to do with it running through his equipment. And in trying to accomodate how he wants to do it, I've really crippled my ability to pull a functional live mix. Still, I want to accomodate his approach and his gear (he bought this feedback suppressor especially for this show).

    And the end of the show I go up intending to tell him we had done better but next time we should max out the reverb when we're setting the feedback suppresor. Before I can get to that, he asks "what happened in track x" Turns out he means the one where the vocals were quiet at the outset. I explain about having the second channel down at the start and he cuts me off with "You ed it up" and walks away.

    Which brings me to why I'm posting here

    I Wanted to smash things

    I wanted to argue with him

    I wanted him to see how he was ing WRONG

    But I didn't

    I slunk back to my corner. I asked the camera guy permission to do a quiet complain and was already ing crying as he said yes. (The crying ing sucks and is in no small part due to lack of sleep but god they all merge together into a ball of self loathing.

    I only let slip to one other crew person that I wasn't happy. Everyone else, staff, my client when they asked how I was got a thumbs up and a smile. Tongue bit. Exploding feelings kept to self as best I could. And I resolve to give this ING ARSEHOLE ARTIST a calm choice next time, if there is a next time. And it is thus, either he lets me do things my way, and I accept full responsibility for the outcome. Or I facilitate him doing it all his way, and he is fully responsible for the outcome (which is going to be a show with vocals you can't ing hear because you do not know what the you are doing when it comes to live sound reinforcement you ing arsehole!!!!!!!) Which maybe I should have said that from the very outset. Us trying to meet half way has been.....not a total disaster I guess, (from my perspective, it's been a compromised show because of him hobbling my ability to do my job.) But hasn't been good either.

    Not chasing the artist to argue with him is a step in the right direction. But I'm not there yet, not till I can stuff my emotions down and not cry at work. Today has sucked. Throw it in the bin.

  2. #12
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    New Jersey
    You may want to use this experience to caution future artist's that if they insist that you deviate from your proven successful methods and equipment, you cannot guarantee the results.

    Good job for not flipping out on the guy. It's helpful to remember that the one in the spotlight who's trying to perform with less than stellar sound is likely going to be too emotional to deal with rationally.

    Head high.

  3. #13
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    I am so very going to do that, there was at least experience to be gained here.

    I have an update. We have one more show together and today we all met to discuss the problems from the last show and how we will resolve them. This is how it went down

    DJ - the sound was EQed over the course of the show in such a way the words were no longer decipherable *me - nodding, acknowledging, I am the owner of a nervous smile so, smiling outwardly*

    Vocal performer carefully and extensively articulates how she had trouble hearing her cues. I listen patiently and acknowldge. When asked why I explain about the feed back and how that resulted in me turning the volume down (more likely I made the stage sound too low but this F*ck head DJ is convinced I EQ the presence out of the PA and everything that goes wrong is to do with my use of EQ, he will not hear anything to the contrary of this)

    Cafe owner - ok, so what happened there?

    Me - that was me trying to combat the feedback, what happened there? The feedback suppressor didn't work. b to get it right next time we need to test it with the maximum amount of reverb

    DJ - No, the reverb is not the problem. Why didn't you move the speakers like I asked you to?

    Me - I didn't think we would need to, I made a mistake.

    DJ - Yes, you did

    Cafe owner - So, how do we resolve this?

    Me - I think we need to sound check with the maximum reverb for best chance of success and personally I would feel better if I had the vocals separate from the music

    DJ - No, I have been DJing for 25 years, it's not the reverb, you need to leave the EQ alone and move the speakers like I suggested, I know what I'm doing

    Me (at this point starting to put my hand up waiting to speak because this DJ monologues his opinions on what has happened and never gives room to speak) - moving the speakers will probably help but you'll also need to EQ, that's what live sound is

    DJ (no longer addressing me) - I believe 1a1a is a liar

    Me - if you feel like that why did you come?

    I think maybe the cafe owner or the poet did some kind of mediating reply at this point, I never got a satisfactory answer from the DJ who by now had changed the subject to 1a1a's attitude makes me so angry, I can't work with her, I'm leaving.

    He's talked into staying. While he's cooling off the poet, cafe owner and I conclude the best way to proceed will be to try his way before the show and trouble shoot problems as they arise.

    He returns, and says that he will not speak to me again, he'll do the show if I'm hear but if any communication needs to be exchanged it will have to go through someone else. I am still at the table, still smiling outwardly, I cannot believe the sheer lunacy of what I am hearing. Somehow the discussion of how to mitigate feedback continues. A question is asked about what to do, I restate that we should use the feedback buster with the maximum amount of reverb, am told by this absolute garbage human being of a DJ that I need to "not mess with the sound and just do my job" at which point I am no longer to patiently sit and listen, I burst out over the top of him that 'MY JOB IS LITERALLY TO GET VOCAL MICS UP AND RUNNING AND EQ OUT FEED BACK, I'VE BEEN DOING THIS 12 YEARS AND THAT IS WHAT I HAVE LEARNED, AND THAT ADDING IN REVERB INCREASES THE CHANCES OF FEEDBACK. I CAN'T DO MY JOB WHEN YOU ARE TELLING ME NOT TO DO MY JOB. YOU WANT NO FEEDBACK, LET ME DO MY JOB, I'M SORRY NOW I'M UPSET TOO I HAVE TO LEAVE AND CALM DOWN"

    I left and texted the cafe owner that DJ and I shouldn't work together while he feels about me like he does and spent the next hour trying to get my hysterics under control, somewhere else, not there. We had to cross paths when I returned but, like his inspired idea to not talk to me anymore because he believes I am a liar with a bad attitude, we did not speak. He thinks I speak badly to him?!!! What a f*cking garbage human being. He never apologised for the weekend, he told me to my face he think's I'm a liar. Who knows why. I haven't lied to him, I don't lie in general. What the do you say back to that. He actually said out loud that if we were to continue working together he wouldn't speak to me. WHAT THE EVER LOVING F*CK?! ARE YOU FOUR?!!! IS THAT A DISCREDIT TO FOUR YEAR OLDS?!

    I found out after the fact that his printed off list of things he wanted to address at this meeting went something like

    valid point
    snipe at 1a1a
    valid point
    snipe at 1a1a
    valid point
    snipe at 1a1a

    (it was about half a page long). This is no longer someone upset in the heat of the moment, that was some premediated complete ARSEHOLERY. WHY DID YOU WASTE ALL OF OUR TIME YOU COMPLETE AND UTTER ING MONSTER?!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Apparently he's a nice guy

    I sure doing see it

    Kindness is how you treat people you don't like I think.

    And the conclusion of that whole ing **** show, I don't have to work their last show, thank **** Cafe owner felt so bad after I left she cried too, was very apologetic, so was the poet. The poet seems like a good soul and she has a powerful show, that takes a lot of spoons for her to put on, so I hope for her sake it goes well. But I also want ****face DJ to do it all his way and crash and burn in the most spectacular fashion, because DJing for 25 years doesn't count one single ****ing iota towards being a good live sound tech. If it did, you be less ignorant and less of an arsehole. They have booked another tech for this show. I am told this human being can be very blunt. I also hope when DJ pulls his "I've been doing this for 25 years and I know what I'm doing and I need you to not take out the frequency of 4K because without it you can't hear the snare" (you what mate? You think the entire harmonic content of the snare is in one narrow frequency? If this was true it would sound like a ****ing sine wave, you ****ing MORON!!!!!!!!), the blunt replacement tech comes back with "I've been doing this for 30 years and if you want me to mix this I need x and y (where x and y are the vocals and everything else, on separate channels, with the freedom to EQ as needed) and I will walk out if you don't oblige me"

    ****face DJ will be going to the Melbourne arts festival with the poet after Fringe. I hope he has that argument with every tech he meets and gets it into his stupid brain that he is wrong! I know he'll never apologise to me. I don't want him to, he's a garbage human who can kindly **** off as far as I'm concerned. I'm glad we won't work together again. I wish I'd walked out before getting hysterical but in terms of not argueing back, I think today went as ok as it possibly could of considering how much of a ****ing trap it was.

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