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Re: Reznor's Folly

At 5:58 AM -0700 8/9/99, Todd Madson wrote:

>Trent thinks he's a techno gearhead nerd, and this may indeed be the
>case but he was kind of trying to kill an ant with a sledgehammer here -
>why do you need two eight track digital recorders onstage with you to
>play backing tracks and ambiences?  It's asking for disaster in a hot
>outdoor scenario like that.  And those pieces of gear were designed
>for studio use, not rugged outdoor usage.
>Anyway, Trent could have saved himself a lot of trouble - instead of
>bring fragile DA88 digital equipment along to play the impossible to
>duplicate backing ambiences and such, he could have had custom burned
>CD-Rs of backing tracks brought along and had them played on a disc
>player through the PA and played along.  We know he's doing this anyway,
>but two DA88's in 103 temperatures is tantamount to saying "I'm asking
>for trouble doing this, I'm DUMB!"  He could have had two track DAT's
>as a backup.

In addition to the point about what technology was actually available in
1991, consider that you could also be asking for disaster by trying to mix
16 tracks down to 2 ahead of time in the studio without knowing anything
about the audio characteristics of the venues and sound systems where you
will be playing. With everything on separate tracks, the sound man will
have a much easier time mixing things live so it actually sounds ok at the
different venues being played.

I don't know if NIN ever did this then, but a lot of groups like to
actively manipulate the prerecorded tracks while on stage, a la The Orb. In
that case the multi-tracks would be key to the performance.

Also, a cd player or 2-track DAT could just as easily have died in the heat
and poor power conditions. His error was in not anticipating the
environment. He should have had a way to keep his gear cool, and provide it
cleaner power to be really safe. (or, I guess his manager should have...:-)

>Then again, sometimes certain types of equipment just don't lend
>themselves to outdoor concerts.  I remember reading an interview
>about Jeff Beck and why he never got another guitar-synth after
>his Roland GR-500 "melted" after being onstage in 100 degree temps
>for four or five hours before the show began and all sorts of
>things were happening inside it (such as cooking and things).

You run a big risk in that kind of situation with any electronics.
Especially if its in a black metal box sitting in the sun during a July
heat wave. The temperature inside the box can easily exceed the thermal
ratings for many of the parts inside. Always a good idea to keep things
shaded or put fans on them at least. In addition to avoiding catastrophic
failures, your gear will last longer too.


Kim Flint                   | Looper's Delight
kflint@annihilist.com       | http://www.annihilist.com/loop/loop.html
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