yts 2k18 - sound

jesus fuckin christ y'all i was so stressed on friday

important note: i don't wish to cast any blame or aspersions on the yts committee. they do a fantastic job running a huge weekend, everything worked out, and everybody had a great time.

months before yts, the committee and i were in touch about sound, compensation, etc. i mentioned in an email about this that i'd be happy to provide sound equipment, and nothing more was said.

i never followed up on it; neither did the committee. we've both marked it down to be more careful of in the future.

on friday, i went to my workspace and picked up the speakers i bought secondhand this summer — a B-52 matrix set, two mains run off of a subwoofer. that's right: because i don't own an independent amplifier, i brought a sub to yts.

before we go any further, it seems educational to include a list of equipment i own.

  • mackie dl1608 (and accompanying ipad)
  • 2 B-52 main speakers
  • 2 speaker stands (crappy and feel unsafe)
  • 1 B-52 subwoofer/amplifier/crossover
  • 7 standard XLR cables (one is highly questionable)
  • 2 neutrik switched XLR cables (one is about a foot long)
  • 2 Blue Encore 300 microphones (both crackle, and are out of rotation until they don't)
  • 2 LYXpro pencil condensers (these cost $70 but do the job okay, for now)
  • 1 clip microphone arm (has a c-clamp on one end)
  • 0 mic stands

this should give you an idea of why i was so nervous about the weekend. i don't own a complete sound system, but had to provide sound for a host of campers who aren't used to microphones and run a contra dance saturday night.

first night

the first night was fine. the committee held the mic, i had the amp a bit low but was able to compensate on the mixer, nobody died. success!

open mic

i borrowed a mic stand from the silent auction. it has a second boom attachment, which meant that i was all set for acts involving instruments like guitars.
i used an omnidirectional cap for the vocal mic because i knew that there were some acts that consisted of multiple singers. this involved some aggressive ringing out of the room, but there wasn't any feedback and everybody sounded through, except the people who stood Very Far Apart. nobody died.

contra dance

up front: nobody died
as is at this point traditional at yts, after the open mic on saturday night there was a contra dance to an open band. three musicians (flute, fiddle, fiddle) had clip-ons, we used julie's keyboard, and i rigged up a second mic stand[1] for a cello.

harder bit: monitors.
an important piece of information, at this point, is how the B-52s are set up. (actually this might be about what you'd expect, but if it is, bear with me)
Matrix1000V2Amplifier
you'll see that there are individual channels for the left and right speaker, gain dials for each speaker and the subwoofer, pre-gain pass-throughs, and speak-on outputs.
standard stuff. the problem is, both channels feed to the subwoofer, so i had to high-pass the monitor to avoid doubling up my bass.

my monitor. obviously, the only option here was to use one of the two speakers as a monitor — the musicans need to hear the piano, after all. i fed the right channel from aux 1, put the speaker near the piano, and it filled the stage. loud, muddy in the hall, but effective enough for a 1.5hr pickup contra dance. success. nobody died.

the mic stand

to finish off my account of sound from the weekend: i now own a mic stand, with a second boom attachment, that i got from the auction for $15. i'm looking forward to a less-stressful next sound gig.


  1. spare speaker stand, c-clamp microphone arm, mic ↩ī¸Ž

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