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2 Gigs, 2 Gear Fails!


DanL

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I had a killer weekend of gigs, but not without casualties. Friday my PF tribute "Echoes" played to a sold out house. They stopped letting people in at 850. The venue is a theater that was a World Cafe Live run operation, but they pulled out last summer and it's now run by Live Nation. They are giving some local bands who historically did well at the old venue a shot to see if the local market will support the bands. We did that in a big way, it was probably their biggest attendence yet (I was told we had more people than Cheap Trick who played there a couple weeks ago). We also smashed the bar ring. It was one of the best shows I've ever played- band was on fire, incredible crowd response.

 

Nord Lead A1 glitched on me in the 1st song- Shine On You Crazy Diamond. I'm out there all by myself, doing the intro keyboard part. The last phrase before the guitar comes in I do a pitch bend into the last note- and the pitch bend never comes back to pitch! It's stuck between 2 notes! I had to power cycle it during the song, before the 2nd synth solo came up. I don't really use a lot of bender but noticed in the encore that it wasn't bending like it should. I hooked it up yesterday and sure enough, the bender is acting all sorts of strange. Not bending at all, or when you bend sharp, the pitch drops then jumps. I looked it up on the Nord forums and sure enough, there are some people who have had similar issues, and the fix is to replace the whole bender mechanism for about 100 bucks. I sent in a service request to Nord yesterday and got a reply 1st thing this morning and the part is being shipped out- so at least the service is good!

 

Saturday night my other band was playing at a water front room that closes for the winter, and we were booked for their last band night of the year. I use a little Behringer mixer with that band, I like it because it has 2 separate stereo outs. 1 I send to the PA, and the other I send to my monitors. I hooked everything up and powered on, and the mixer was dead. I'm not sure if it was the power supply or the mixer itself. Luckily I carry a spare, a little Rolls line mixer. I took the headphone out into a splitter that my bass player had and ran that to my monitors, and gave the main outs to the PA. I'll probably just buy another Behringer, it lasted me quite a few years of abuse. It's got a small footprint so it sits on the left side of my Electro, under my FA08, and I can use all short 1' cables to hook everything up. I'd like a couple more stereo channels but the footprint of a 10 channel gets to be too big to sit on the keyboard.

 

All in all a great weekend, but the gear fails were timely for sure!

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

www.bksband.com

www.echoesrocks.com

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Ah, that A1 bender is frustrating. Always happen in the middle of a song on stage.

 

Nord tries to make name as a reliable brand. This is not helping. Do you know if specific serial number units have this issue, so I can check whether mine is bad as well?

 

Glad you got it worked out with that mixer. Good thing to keep a spare.

Rudy

 

 

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Double check your mixer to make sure it's really dead. If the FOH has phantom power switch on it can raise havoc with incoming mixers. I had a Mackie that did that--no output if it was going to another mixer with phantom power switch on. You might be aware of this issue, don't know.

Also, could easily be the power supply, which I assume to be external.

 

Busch.

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Also, could easily be the power supply, which I assume to be external.

A problem with at least some of the small Behringers is that they have proprietary power supplies which cost almost as much to replace as the entire mixer.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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When it's not gear fail but Operator Error: My Nord 5D quit on me twice during Sat. night's gig. It was my fault. Both times I had accidentally touched a button on the panel, first time it was a Live button, 2nd time it was another button. It's very disconcerting. At one point, I thought the board had died and I momentarily panicked. This has happened before when I get too enthusiastic in my playing. I've got to learn to keep my hands close to the keys and not let them stray up to the buttons.
These are only my opinions, not supported by any actual knowledge, experience, or expertise.
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Got the same issue with the pitch bender at a gig on my original Nord Stage shortly after I got it. It took some time until I figured out what was wrong, as the pitch bender only was active on some of the programs. After replacing it ( on warranty) I have had zero errors on it, but yes, there are some reports on the subject at the Nord user forums, but not that many, or on a specific model, more about key contact errors.

The A1 has a much wider bend area, and are getting some more use, so I'm excited if it can last for a long time.

 

I got an Key Largo as replacement for my small Behringer mixer. 3 times the pricetag, but what I did not expect was the amazing sound enhancement. If 3 channels + USB and zero need of EQ, If that's enough, I can highly recommend it.

/Bjørn - old gearjunkie, still with lot of GAS
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Rudy- I don't think it's particular numbers. Based on what I read at the Nord forums it's a few people who have had problems, on Stages and Leads.

 

Bjosko, I looked at the Key Largo, it's kind of overkill for my needs. Ideally I'd like a desktop type 4 stereo channel board with 2 independent stereo outputs. No XLR inputs needed, but it's hard to find that configuration.

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

www.bksband.com

www.echoesrocks.com

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Double check your mixer to make sure it's really dead. If the FOH has phantom power switch on it can raise havoc with incoming mixers. I had a Mackie that did that--no output if it was going to another mixer with phantom power switch on. You might be aware of this issue, don't know.

Also, could easily be the power supply, which I assume to be external.

 

Busch.

 

Definitely dead. I run 1/4" to the PA, it sits right next to me with the drummer, so no way phantom power could be doing anything. We don't have anything with phantom power so it's all turned off on the PA mixer.

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

www.bksband.com

www.echoesrocks.com

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For me, gig gear fails tend to come in waves. No problems for months (or years!) at a time, and then the gremlins attack.

 

Pure trauma when it happens. Never had a keyboard malfunction on me yet at a gig, thankfully. Everything else has: mixer, cables, pedal, stand, throne.

 

Maybe it's because I have enough redundancy between the two boards. But I know if I ever play with a single board hoping for the best, that's going to be the night it happens.

Life is too short to be playing bad music.

 

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I once (25+ years ago) played gig with a damper pedal made from a spare patch cable, Duck tape, some aluminium foil, some cardboard, and my show. Now I always carry at least one spare pedal. Usually two - Roland and Yamaha. These days I also carry a spare expression pedal; M-audio with a switch.

 

I've had Leslies glitch at gigs, that's never good, but it's always something stupid and usually fixable on site. I pack a vent as a backup now anyhow. My vent plugs into a Leslie 760 socket, so it's pretty seamless.

 

Stands, too...my 18880 lost a screw once and becames useless...now there is always an X-stand in the van.

 

Never had a board or a mixer malfunction, though. Knock on wood. I had a monitor fail in October this year (broken magnet). Luckily, there is some redundancy there; my rig has six powered speakers where only 5 are really necessary.

 

My VR09 is also omnipresent even if not on stage. If I get totally screwed, I could limp through the night with a VR09, X-stand, bar stool, and backup pedals. Assuming house sound.

 

I guess this is what happens when your day job involves high-availability computing. I can't do anything without looking for single points of failure anymore.

Hammond: L111, M100, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, D152, C3, B3

Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 22H, 31H

Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85, DX9

Roland: VR-09, RD-800

 

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The Real MC - I have actually stopped my van on the way to a show to make sure I didn't forget something important.

Hammond: L111, M100, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, D152, C3, B3

Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 22H, 31H

Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85, DX9

Roland: VR-09, RD-800

 

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If it's the little Behringer mixer I'm thinking of. Well...

I've grown to hate that thing. If the power jack gets pulled out when the mixer is powered up the line outputs jump to the internal PS rails and it outputs a loud "speaker busting" thump.

Eventually it developed an open right at the power supply connector and appears dead now.

I'm done with it. It prompted me to buy a Ui16 ( I know overkill for your purposes ) But I would look for something else.

BTW impressive PF trib video. Always liked the Animals album. :like:

 

 

 

MPCX, RD-800, Vsynth, Matrix 12
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You know, sometimes you meet people here that are almost your doppleganger? WesG is one of the closest candidates.

 

Successful IT guy. Starting to dig the Dead. Super paranoid about gear failures. Into investing in his current band. Plays for fun, not $$$ or fame. Into gear, natch. Willing to spend for sound.

 

Small world. I just have to get him into blogging, and then we'd be a perfect T.

Life is too short to be playing bad music.

 

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Chuck - the scary part is .. I'm a late bloomer, too. LOL. I suppose that's probably a common pattern with folks in IT. I was literally working 4000+ hours a year in my early/mid 20s to get a startup off the ground. 3000 or so for a good hunk of my 30s. Down to 2200 or so now. So I have time for music.

 

Hey, we're working up Dark Star tonight. I am *so excited*. We are planning to participate in a global live stream of Dark Star performances on Dec 8 to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Assuming we learn it tonight, we'll likely be the only Canadian group participating in the live stream.

 

Wes

Hammond: L111, M100, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, D152, C3, B3

Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 22H, 31H

Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85, DX9

Roland: VR-09, RD-800

 

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I'm pretty sure it's the same bender mechanism in all of the Nords. If it's set to a whole step or a fifth or an octave, you still have to bend it the same distance.

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

www.bksband.com

www.echoesrocks.com

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Yesterday I got my volt meter out and tested the Behringer power supply, it is apparently what is dead. Ordered a replacement off of Amazon, 10 bucks plus 5 bucks shipping.

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

www.bksband.com

www.echoesrocks.com

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  • 4 weeks later...
Chuck - the scary part is .. I'm a late bloomer, too. LOL. I suppose that's probably a common pattern with folks in IT. I was literally working 4000+ hours a year in my early/mid 20s to get a startup off the ground. 3000 or so for a good hunk of my 30s. Down to 2200 or so now. So I have time for music.

 

Hey, we're working up Dark Star tonight. I am *so excited*. We are planning to participate in a global live stream of Dark Star performances on Dec 8 to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Assuming we learn it tonight, we'll likely be the only Canadian group participating in the live stream.

 

Wes

 

So how did the Dark Star thing go? I've never even attempted it.

Life is too short to be playing bad music.

 

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