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#2881798 - 09/27/17 12:39 AM Missing the smallest piece of gear --> big stress
RudyS Online   content
Platinum Member

Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 1932
Loc: Groningen, The netherlands
Sunday we did an afternoon gig. It was an important gig as a record company had promised to check us out. A few days before we did a festival gig were we had a very short change over, resulting in a bit hectic packing of our stuff.

I didn't check at home if I brought everything from the hectic gig. Of course, I didn't. I found out on the sunday gig I was missing the adapter from 30 pins apple connection to lightning. I use my Iphone 7s to switch patches with setlist maker. The midi interface has an old 30 pins connection. I have literally everything redundant in my case if I gig. Power supplys', cables, pedals. But of course not the midi inteface and adapter. ok. So bit of stress. But I had time. I walked into the city. There was a phone appliance store. The had the adapter, only not original apple. They cost 7 euro (opposed to the 35 I paid for mine). I bought two of them. Back at the venue tried them. Of course they didn't work.....

Bit of more stres.. Only option I saw was to manually switch the patches. But since setlist maker I haven't paid attention to organise patches in the boards, so they are all over the place, and I have a few really quick patch changes. I wrote down every patch change on the setlist. Don't need to tell you this was a stressy gig. But everything went quite smooth, I didn't screw up. We had one of our best gigs ever..

The guy from the record company didn't show up..... not the first time this happens....
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Stuff: Nord Electro 3, Casio PX5s, DSI Mopho keys, Nord Lead A1, Korg N5, Korg Poly 61, QSC K10 and a Shure SM58.

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#2881808 - 09/27/17 02:06 AM Re: Missing the smallest piece of gear --> big stress [Re: RudyS]
stoken6 Online   content
Platinum Member

Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 1502
I feel your pain, Rudy. I'm using Set List Maker (now migrating to BandHelper) with a 30-pin/lightning adapter and a 30-pin MIDI interface. I have a spare adapter but not a spare midi interface - I must get one (Lightning USB adapter is now iPhone compatible).

It's amazing how useful Set List Maker is, and how dependent you end up being on it!

Cheers, Mike.
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#2881854 - 09/27/17 07:42 AM Re: Missing the smallest piece of gear --> big stress [Re: stoken6]
CEB Offline
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Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 12490
It is always the smalls that kill you. In terms of setup/teardown time and in terms of misplacement.
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#2881865 - 09/27/17 08:07 AM Re: Missing the smallest piece of gear --> big stress [Re: CEB]
BurningPianoMan Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 02/02/10
Posts: 889
Loc: SE NC marsh
Spares don't work for me. Every damn little piece of two-dollar whatever is key to making the gig go smoothly. Gee, an extra keyboard is comforting, but it's that stupid USB 2.0 to USB 3 cable that makes everything work. Okay, so if I get an extra one of those, how bout an extra laptop, laptop power supply, extension cord, power cord, keyboard stand, seat, mic, mic cable, mixer, mixer wall-wart... etc. You get the idea. Every piece is unique and required.

What I do:

I ALWAYS pack my gear myself. This way I know that I've put each piece in the right place. Oh wait, I ALMOST ALWAYS do this, and when I don't... things go south.

And yet, they still do go south on occasion. hitt

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#2881890 - 09/27/17 10:17 AM Re: Missing the smallest piece of gear --> big stress [Re: BurningPianoMan]
Joe P Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 2417
Loc: Long Valley, NJ
I try to guard against this with my "Bag-o-Spares". It stays in the car, but I have all kinds of stuff in there: cables, adapters, pedals, tools etc....

But you can't always think of everything! smile

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#2881893 - 09/27/17 10:26 AM Re: Missing the smallest piece of gear --> big stress [Re: Joe P]
RudyS Online   content
Platinum Member

Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 1932
Loc: Groningen, The netherlands
Originally Posted By: Joe P
I try to guard against this with my "Bag-o-Spares". It stays in the car, but I have all kinds of stuff in there: cables, adapters, pedals, tools etc....

But you can't always think of everything! smile


As I said, I have this bag of spares as well, but this one was about the only thing not in the bag!
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Rudy

Stuff: Nord Electro 3, Casio PX5s, DSI Mopho keys, Nord Lead A1, Korg N5, Korg Poly 61, QSC K10 and a Shure SM58.

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#2881896 - 09/27/17 10:48 AM Re: Missing the smallest piece of gear --> big stress [Re: BurningPianoMan]
AnotherScott Offline
10k Club

Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 11109
Originally Posted By: PianoMan51
Spares don't work for me...Every piece is unique and required.

There is definitely a limit to what can be solved with spares. To the extent that you can handle some potential problems with pieces that are small and cheap, it's worth doing. There's no reason to have only the exact number of guitar cables that you need. But when it comes to the big stuff, rather than look at spares, I look at functional redundancy. I may have two boards on stage... but if one went south, could I get the *core* sounds sufficient to get me through a gig out of either one of them? Or from an app on my iPad?

I look at the whole band this way, and it has been necessary. For example, if the PA mixer fails, we can plug the singers' mics directly into the PA cabs (turning around one of the stage monitors for another if need be). No EQ, no reverb, but they can sing and people will hear them.

Originally Posted By: PianoMan51
I ALWAYS pack my gear myself.

I wish I had the choice not to! ;-)
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#2881906 - 09/27/17 11:50 AM Re: Missing the smallest piece of gear --> big stress [Re: AnotherScott]
Stokely Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 12/15/12
Posts: 1580
Loc: Florida
This kind of thing is one reason I've been hesitant about moving into either IOS or laptops for live use. There tend to be more small pieces--and "unique pieces" as was mentioned--and to make it worse they tend to be useful at home (where I use laptops for music)...at the least I'd have to make a rule for myself that live stuff stays in the live bag.

This is also one reason I like keyboards/mixers/etc with built-in power supplies that can use standard power supplies. Wall warts are *really* easy to leave behind if you are tweaking some patches before the next show. I don't need to remove my power cords from my live "gear tubs" since I have the same cables inside.

I've had problems with things like mic stands too, and I was always forgetting a shelf I made for my two-tier stand that let me put a mixer on it. Basically, I am ok with the "big items" but if it doesn't fit into a case it's at risk. Right now my mic is at risk, since I have one that is better than my backup...so I want to use it live, and want to use it while recording smile Worst case, my backup will be in a tub for the gig, so I use it I guess.

Always good to have a fallback option for absolutely as much as possible, as Scott says. Multiple guitars, amps (direct rigs in our case), keyboards etc. If I was good enough on guitar I could let that be my backup and only bring one keyboard, but alas! (we play almost all guitar-oriented rock).

Once I went to "everything in the big cases" approach, my biggest issue was a burning need to go through them *just to make sure*. Now I have the trust, I just load the cases and go. This does mean I can't get sloppy about packing things away at night's end...no grabbing the mic when I go to get the car, and having it end up in the car somewhere...nope, has to go in the case.


Edited by Stokely (09/27/17 11:54 AM)

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#2881908 - 09/27/17 11:52 AM Re: Missing the smallest piece of gear --> big stress [Re: AnotherScott]
hipogrito Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/13/11
Posts: 35
Loc: East Northport,NY
When I was carrying 3 keyboards + racks + stuff to gigs the best way for me was to actually do a checklist and mark everything as I was packing it to go to the gig and to come back home as well.

Fran

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#2881913 - 09/27/17 12:40 PM Re: Missing the smallest piece of gear --> big stress [Re: hipogrito]
richforman Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 1075
Loc: Long Island, NY
At the very least - for specialized/"wall-wart" AC cords, you need to own at least three of each - one that stays plugged in at home; and TWO that stay in your car or cases/bags that will be there at a gig so you have a back-up if one disappears or fails.
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#2881915 - 09/27/17 12:59 PM Re: Missing the smallest piece of gear --> big stress [Re: hipogrito]
CEB Offline
10k Club

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 12490
My approach is to try implement all gear in a way where most of it is never tore down and eliminate as many loose smalls as possible.

I'm finally got the current rig in pretty good shape.

Usually I carry 2 boards and those two boards sit on a stand. underneath the stand is a anvil style pedal case. All pedal and power cabling are in the pedal case. I carry a rack with pretty much every else mounted and wired up. In a side compartment is the snake that runs from the boards to the rack. The only loose smalls left are the IEM beltpack, two sets of buds and 25' extension cable for the buds incase the transmitter fails. This all goes into a repurposed pistol case. The only remaining stuff a tablet and a suction cup mount and some USB cable and power adapters that are in an anvil brief case. The suction cup tablet holder is a weak spot I hand one fail and had to sit the tablet on the Kronos but I finally got everything cleaned up to the point where I am not sitting loose items on top of my boards.

It sure speeds things up... Put the boards on the stand, run the snake, hook up the in ears and stick the tablet on the FA and I'm done.



Edited by CEB (09/27/17 01:03 PM)
_________________________
"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!
So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

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#2881968 - 09/27/17 05:54 PM Re: Missing the smallest piece of gear --> big stress [Re: RudyS]
Cower, Boy! NQ Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 597
Loc: Adelaide, Australia
Originally Posted By: RudyS
Don't need to tell you this was a stressy gig. But everything went quite smooth, I didn't screw up. We had one of our best gigs ever..

Well done on handling the situation Rudy!

I'm a big believer in having as many redundancy options as possible - and DEFINITELY in Rich Forman's philosophy of spare AC adaptors. To badly paraphrase Jesse Ventura in Predator, if one of those goes down on you mid or pre-gig, you're in a world of hurt.

A singer I used to work with about four years ago couldn't remember lyrics, so set up a LCD monitor on the floor of the stage that he would operate via a laptop and Bluetooth footswitch. One gig he realised he'd forgotten the footswitch. A mad dash to the computer shop ensued, resulting in his return with a mouse. He attached the mouse to his acoustic guitar and used that to advance his monitor screens.

Innovative, although it meant he had to wear his guitar around his neck for the entire 3 hour show, whether he was playing or not. And I'm guessing the first and only time I'll see a guitarist using a mouse on stage!

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#2884708 - 10/12/17 07:39 PM Re: Missing the smallest piece of gear --> big stress [Re: Cower, Boy! NQ]
Synthaholic Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 04/18/05
Posts: 1356
Loc: Where the wild things are
Played a wedding last Saturday and realized I only had one sustain pedal for two synths. More of a minor annoyance. I keep a spare of everything I use in my rig, so I'm usually covered, but my main pedal broke last week and I forgot to replace it in my spare box.
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#2884711 - 10/12/17 07:51 PM Re: Missing the smallest piece of gear --> big stress [Re: Synthaholic]
waygetter Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/11/07
Posts: 339
Loc: Sausalito, CA
This fits the profile... $2 item, small piece of gear, missing this can cause some stress

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#2884732 - 10/12/17 11:19 PM Re: Missing the smallest piece of gear --> big stress [Re: waygetter]
OB Grave Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 04/25/09
Posts: 904
Loc: San Diego CA, US
I'm with you on packing my own stuff. It's actually stressful when people want to help me load in or out. I'd rather do it myself, but do my best to accept the gesture in the spirit it was given.

I also keep a small duffel bag of spares that I leave in the car behind the driver's seat. The bag is not large at all - maybe a foot by 8" by 8"

What's in it?
  • a pair of 6550 power tubes, because once one fell out and broke as I was unloading the lil Leslie
  • a 12AX7 tube because why not, and it's small
  • spare mic cable
  • a couple instrument cables
  • an IEC-3 (computer style) power cable
  • a figure-8 power cable
  • a ground lift
  • earplugs
  • my Ventilator & its power supply. I guess in case the OC3 tube falls out and breaks, as I don't have a spare one of those
  • a pack of guitar strings

It's zero burden for me to carry this stuff around, and once in awhile it's a life saver. Now that I have the Mojo I don't need to carry the Ventilator around anymore.

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