29.1.08

SIAW Day 2

Today felt weird.  Again, some good, some bad, some odd.

We started today out working out a list of what we needed to do.  We then proceeded to test the mics.  All the condensers except one worked.  So far so good.  We then went on to the wireless.  First up: sennheisser labeled "Youth Pastor's Mic".  This, of course, worked with a receiver labeled the same way.  Then, we tested the other sennheisser.  This one worked, but it went into the same box as the youth pastor's mic.  So we had to change that, but we put it off until later.  We tested red and blue Audio-Technica mics, and they worked.  But, one of the headsets was damaged. 
Then we tried for a while to get the other sennheisser to work.  After tuning it to one receiver, it didn't work, so we tuned it to another.  That didn't work either, so we had to trace the cable on it.  That didn't work. 
So we decided it was time to trace down the green A-T receiver.  We found this downstairs and had to mess with it for a while to get it to work, but it eventually did. 
Then I had the epiphany of tuning the sennheisser to the reciever that matched the one for the youth pastor's mic.  I then took a 1/4" cable and ran it from the receiver to an empty channel on the board.  And, what do you know, it worked!
So: we have 5 wireless mics, 3 headsets, and 2 lavalier mics.  Preferably, we should have 6 wireless, all headset.  Oh well.

At about this time, Mrs. H asked us when the light bulbs for the follow spots would show up.  We told her Thursday or Friday.  Her response was, I know Brunson knows a supplier in the city.  Find a supplier and get the bulbs today or tomorrow.  We said OK, ran off to do a few random tasks, and ate lunch.  After lunch I took Colton's laptop and went to Bread Co. with Mr. K to find suppliers. We found one 30 minutes away.  The cost per bulb: $18.75 each! 

So I came back armed with a telephone number and directions, and was pressed into service to raise 'the curtain'.  The curtain is a black tarp/trash bag/piece of plastic designed to help cut the light from some ill-placed windows near the stage.  We tape it to a projector screen on a pulley system in the center of stage and to two wooden rods on either side on pulleys.  Then, we have someone raise the screen while four people work the pulleys to raise the rods.  This would take all of three minutes if it weren't for Murphy's Law, which seems to always apply itself here.  It took about ten minutes to get the curtain rigged.  Then, we all pulled up.  Of course, not all at the same speed, and slowly so we didn't mess anything up. 
Amazingly, we got it within about three feet of the top before we hit real trouble.  Apparently someone had wrapped duct tape around the rope on one of the rods.  So we lowered that rod as far as we could and tried to get a hook up there so we could pull the rope down and unstick the tape.  We had to stop about fourteen feet above the stage.  Then we tried to use bailing wire formed into a hook to grab the rope.  This didn't work as the wire wasn't stiff enough.  Then Mr. C remembered the 'hook of doom': a yellow plastic hook screwed to the end of a dowel rod.  We taped this to the end of a PVC pipe and used this to grab the rope.  After unsticking the duct tape, we ran it back up and just ignored that the plastic had slid around on the rod as it was too much trouble to get it fixed. 

Then, we ran back upstairs and sent Anthony and Jacob to wire the backstage clearcoms while Colton talked with the other Mrs. H about script, and Julia and I went to try to get the rotators working.  We plugged them in, turned them on, and voila, nothing happened!  They ran through the warm up cycle fine, but we couldn't control them from the board.  So, after reading a manual and messing with settings, I decided that I had better write Brunson, the lighting wizard, for help. 

At this point we took a break and went through an explanation of how a soundboard works, in a nutshell. 

Then, Colton and Mr. B had a talk.  Julia and I meanwhile set to programming some submasters into the lightboard.  I set up a really nice mix, and tried to record it: Record, Sub, Bump.  But it didn't work.  Unfazed, I programmed it to submaster 1, assured that it would work.  No go.  At about this time Colton came and gave me a hug because I had turned out the house lights, thus starting the 'real' work period of SIAW.  Woohoo! 
Anyhow, I went on to read the manual, and having read all over the place and tried a lot of stuff it occurred to me that I was missing something basic: Settings, System Setup, #15: Board mode.  There are three settings: Two scene, one scene with subs, and one scene without subs.  Duh!  Set it to one scene with subs and everything worked again. 

Mr. B called the end of the day, made a few announcements, then dismissed us, which means that now we investigate wild tangent projects like unhooking the choir mics so we can use the snake channels they are attached to.  That will be for tomorrow as the sound tech from BBC should be in to answer our questions.

Wow!  I'm SO tired, even after eating practically all day.

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