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Sound Advice

Touring Tips by David Norman

A final drafting of a stage plot and input list should be done during rehearsals so that you can give to your production manager and/or send to venues in advance so they’ll know what to expect with regards to your setup.

Make sure to fax this ahead of time so the local sound crew can position monitors and mic stands where you want them, before you get there. Show locations on stage of all band gear and monitors with mix numbers clearly marked. Don’t forget the location of AC drops for your band gear.

In addition to stand and microphone type (plus alternatives), each channel should indicate channel inserts. Make sure to bring any piece of equipment that is important to your show. Also, make sure the contact person’s name and phone numbers are on the stage plot itself.

Make sure to carry spares. Here’s a list of things that always seem to break down or get lost during a tour: fuses, tubes, cables, plugs, jacks, batteries, disks, cartridges, bulbs, cassettes, DAT tapes, sharpies, board labelling tape and Superglue.

Also for those outside shows, make sure to pack mosquito repellent, sun glasses, sunblock, reflective space blankets to cover your consoles, a Maglite, a warm coat and a towel. If your tour is going to take you abroad, inform promoters and production managers that you require 110 power for stage equipment. You would be surprised how often this is overlooked.
Here’s a little secret for bands that have a keyboard player that plays a Hammond B-3. If generators will power the gig, specify that they have built-in cycle converters. This is necessary in case the generator doesn’t run at the standard 60 Hz. The Hammond B-3 gets its pitch from the cycles, so it will play flat if the power cycles at 50 Hz. I’ve had two acts on the road that with doing outdoor shows we had to monitor the generators constantly.

David ‘5-1’ Norman has tour managed and/or production managed and mixed such acts as; Ani DiFranco, Aaron Neville & The Neville Brothers, Roger Daltrey, The British Rock Symphony, John Tesh, They Might Be Giants, Arrested Development, Better Than Ezra, B.B. King, The Fugees, Wyclef Jean and many others. He is currently off the road and doing freelance production work for Concert/Southern Promotions as Production Manager and has worked shows with ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic, Ratdog and Megadeth.

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