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So far leeputnam has created 14 blog entries.

Allen & Heath QU-24 Review

Allen and Heath Qu24

If you’re mixing FOH for a band with 24 inputs or less, the Allen & Health Qu24 should be the first console you reach for. The DSP built into this console is the real selling point. With dedicated EQ, compression, HPF, and gate build into each channel, you get a ton of processing without having to lug around a big rack of gear. Hate rolling out a big 24 channel snake? The on-board d-snake allows for all your inputs to be routed from your stage-box to the console via ethernet. Super convenient since shows of this size are commonly run with just one Want to mix monitors and mains from the same board? The Qu24 offers tons of different mix options utilizing the motorized faders and layers commonly featured on digital boards.

So all this stuff is great, but aren’t digital boards hard to setup? Not at all. Once you’ve found a good starting point for your routing, just save your settings into the console. This will save you a ton of time when zero-ing out the board or prepping for your next show.

In summary, I love the processing on this console and its compact design makes it easy to move around and handle even on a solo job. If you need something versatile and powerful, look no further.
Great console, limited inputs and mix capability. 4.5 stars.

QSC K10 Review

QSC K10

This little speaker is fantastic. The K10 is an active, two-way box with built-in handles to give you easy handling and movement while setting up and tearing down.  Manufactured for small venues demanding fast setup and teardown, this product does exactly what you expect it to do.

The K10 has a number of features for different applications. With a built-in mic preamp, you can have 1 mic, stereo music playback and several other combinations of sound reinforcement without the need of a mixer. This makes for a very simple PA for small crowds, meetings and conferences. Featuring a 90º conical coverage pattern, this thing is great for wider event spaces. I’ve used this speaker often as a monitor wedge, and performers love the clear sound and high SPL for a small monitor.

If you’ve worked live sound solo, you understand how nice it is to have well positioned handles on your speakers. The K10 has a great, rigid handle positioned on the top. This was taken into effect with the K10 tote (sold separately) velcro flap, that allows you to carry the speaker itself, instead of a cloth handle. Unfortunately, there is only one side handle. Normally, this wouldn’t frustrate me, but this handle is located on the bottom of the speaker, when being used as a wedge on stage. Not sure why the rubber feet weren’t just put on the other side!! Easy handling should never be overlooked and overall, I am very comfortable handling this speaker.

Though not made of solid steel, this speaker is pretty rugged. Personally, I’ve seen these speakers take the usual beating of regular load-in and teardown all in a soft case. It takes quite a bit for any kind of damage or wear to show on these boxes- they always look clean and professional! On the road mishaps can happen, speakers get dropped and knocked around. Even in the extreme cases of physical punishment, the K10 continues to produce great sound (the show must go on!). On the downside of durability, the K10 tote bag does not stand the long-term wear test. Over time these bags tear and fall apart, so if you’re transporting them regularly, I would suggest a road case.

Call us to request a price, for purchase or for rental.

All in all, I give the K10….10/10, 5 stars! Nice

Floor Monitor Placement

There is a band on stage and they want to sing everyone a song. Most likely they will be using some sort of microphone to sing into right? Maybe not, but who knows. In this section I’m going to cover basic monitor placement in reference to the microphone. This may seem silly, but I’ve seen many great engineers over look these small details.

In order to truly understand where a monitor is going to be placed, first depends on the microphone. There are many different brands,types, and styles of microphones. I like the refer to these as “spices”, because every performer has their own preference, and they all sound different. We need to start with the microphone, because we need to set the microphone up to where it is going to best capture the audio source, in this case, our singer. Lets look at well known microphone, the Shure SM58. This is a standard vocal microphone that most people are familiar with (if this is Greek to you, email me). Looking at this microphone more closely, we notice it has a “cardioid” pick up pattern. That “cardioid” pick up pattern tells the user that the microphone will pick up sounds in the front, and reject sounds coming from behind the microphone. Now that we have that information, we can best determine where the monitor should be placed in relationship to the microphone. If you guessed directly behind the microphone, you are correct!

Setting up one microphone with one monitor is pretty easy. The challenge comes when we have multiple microphones and monitors on stage. Every microphone might not have the same pick up pattern, so when placing monitors we need to account for the other microphones as well. Lets say we have a three piece band, guitar, bass, and drums. Now lets say they are on a small stage, and all have full stack guitar amps. Normally the guitarist and bass players will probably stand in front of the drummer, but on this stage they can’t, it is just too small. So they set up next to the drummer, one person per side. If the drummers monitor is laying to his/hers left, we might have an issue with which ever vocal microphone it is facing towards. We need to be cautious to help prevent feed back. Placing the monitor so it is angled slightly back, just so the outer edge of the speaker polar pattern hits the drummers ear. This way the we can help reduce bleed from the drummers monitor into the vocal microphone. Now it is possible to wrangle feed back with a graphic EQ, but why use processing to fix a problem that can be solved by simply looking at the monitor placement?

The best way to learn about proper monitor placement is practice, practice, PRACTICE.

Mobile Stage at Wibby Brewing

Just finishing teardown for another fantastic show at Wibby Brewing yesterday on July 2nd, it was the first annual Lagers and Lumber Event.. One of my favorite aspects of our production at this event was our mobile stage. Now that our crew has gotten plenty of practice setting up this panel stage for various events we are getting much faster at leveling and deploying in any environment. While setting staging inside is always easier due to having a level foundation for the stage, outdoor planning and execution has become second nature. Challenges of uneven ground and pesky curbs are no problem with our adjustable staging concepts stage legs with leveling feet.

This leveling feature works great with locking adjustable stairs. Whether you’re looking for a deck height 24”, 36” or somewhere in between, our adjustable stairs will make sure you can step on stage with confidence. Those stairs are not light. Weighing in around 150 lbs, you know these stairs are rock solid.

I am still impressed with the stability of this stage! One of the best parts of setting staging is the dance, run and jump test we always do on the mobile stage after we’ve finished. Cross bracing and panels that lock together are essential to a temporary structure such as this, and make it so the platform won’t budge an inch during our test. Performers should feel safe while on stage, so they are able to perform at their best! By the way, did I mention each of these 8×4 panels are engineered and tested for over 2,000 lbs each?? Woah.
While this mobile stage does not have a top, Wibby Brewing’s concrete pavilion houses our stage perfectly to protect artists and equipment from the elements. Often times we will provide a 20’x20’ frame tent (or larger!) to house our stage, but this particular event made things a little easier. So thankful for a great concert space!

Rockfan Mobile Stage Setup

Mobile Stage set up at Wibby Brewing