Changing my Tune………

For anyone that knows me, they know full well, that I have never been a fan of digital mixing consoles for many reasons…….(i.e. the time it takes to set them up, and the time it takes to navagate them to the correct screens, etc, and not to mention that to me they ALL just sound thin……..no analog warmth). Since the inception of Digital Mixing Consoles, I always felt that for sonic quality and speed, NOTHING beats a Big Quality Analog Desk like a good Midas Desk……..and until last night I would have remained steadfast in my opinion and belief…….But last night I got my hands on the Future of Digital Mixing Cousoles in the Form of the New Digidesign VENUE SC48 and at the same time witnessed the death of thin sounding, hard to manage Digital Desks like the Yamaha M7CL and the Yamaha PM5D……What I saw last night and trained on at the Digidesign Venue SC48 training session at The Pearl Theatre at The Palms Casino here in Las Vegas, has me now changing my tune……..

Now, do not get me wrong here……..Digital Mixing console have always had their place in certain applications, but until last night they all suffered from various flaws in many areas……

Examples:

1) The Digico 8 cannot assign and configure the Aux sends to send signal pre EQ making the desk impossible or frustrating as shit to have to mix FOH and Monitors from the same desk……(Hello Digico…..is anyone at home?)…….Plus it’s way Too Expensive!

2) The Soundcraft/Studer VI6 is a Very cool Console that no one can afford………….this is also the case with the Midas XL8 and Pro6……plus they are just too large….they take up way too much real estate with a huge footprint…….

3) Then of course there are the Yamaha Digital Consoles……….Yamaha has just recently discontinued the PM1D (it was way too Big and way too expensive and had too many outboard pieces)…….The M7CL is a cool little budget desk, but it is just terrible sounding…..Thin, Thin, Thin……very little warmth from the mic pre’s and AD to DA converters………and then of course there is the PM5D…….in my opinion the worse digital desk ever…….slow and dificult to set up, a user interface that was designed buy people that were either too stoned or not stoned enough with page after page of terrible navagation……..terrible sounding, and too expensive for the complete chaos that is this board……some people love, it, but it has always been beyond me why……for me, there is NOTHING to like about a PM5D……..

Well let me tell you……..Last Night at The Digidesign Venue SC48 Training Seminar, it was clear that this new Digidesign desk spelled the death blow for all the previous mentioned consoles as it suffers from none of the other desks problems………it was in a word…..Amazing!!!

Here is why……….

The New Digidesign VENUE SC48…..

1) TINY………Smaller than an M7CL…..

2) Easy as shit to set up and navigate……

3) Does EVERYTHING a PM5D will do and MUCH more…..

4) You can almost buy 3 of the VENUE SC48 consoles for the cost of a PM5D……So start selling your PM5D’s now before everyone figures this out…….

5) One word………PROTOOLS…….

6) Can Mount a Mini MAC computer behind the Console keyboard in the keyboard tray with Protocols on it and do true Protools multi-track recording or playback via firewire at the same time you are mixing the live show on the same console……

7) All of the Digidesign consoles (D-Show/Profile/Venue) all work off the same software/firmware, so no matter what Digidesign console you are using when you save your show files onto your USB thumbdrive, you can then load your saved show files into ANY model of the Digidesign consoles……..as long as all the consoles have the same updated firmware of course…..THIS IS A DREAM COME TRUE……..

And Finally………..GREAT SOUNDING MIC PRE’S AND CONVERTERS………

AND THESE ARE JUST SOME OF THE AMAZING FEATURES OF THIS CONSOLE……..

SO……OFFICIALLY………here it is……..from the guy that has always been all about the sonic quality of analog desks over digital desks………….I, Blake Norris, am officially endorsing my first digital console!……The New Digidesign Venue SC48……!!!!!

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My Up and Coming Weekend with Vanessa Williams…

This Friday and Saturday, I will be in Primm NV at The Star of The Desert Arena (Friday) and at The Greek Theatre in Hollywood, CA (Saturday) doing Stage Work and Monitors for Vanessa Williams. I am very excited and really looking forward to these two dates. I really love Vaness’s Voice and her music as well as her various roles in her movies and on TV. It will also be Great to be working once again with my good friend Greg Delancy……..He is Vanessa’s Front of House engineer……

Setting Up John Legend……..

Last Friday, I spent the Morning setting up a nice little rig out by the pool at The Red Rock Casino here in Vegas for the John Legend Performance……It was the small Adamson Line Array cabinets for the Main Hangs and the Massively Large Adamson dual 21″ Kevlar Sub Cabinets……Three of the cabinets per side…..these are without a doubt the largest sub boxes out there right now and man oh man do they weight a ton……..but they push a ton of air also………..they sounded good…….both consoles at FOH and Monitor world were the rocking little Digidesign Profile Consoles…….Here is a picture of the stage…….

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What Goes Around …..Follow Up……

So the Greek Isles Star Theatre (formerly the Debbie Reynolds Showroom) is once again thrashed….I did this comedy show in there as I had stated in the previous post and man was it scary……..the only thing that was a pleasure, was once again the perfect acoustics in the old classic Vegas showroom……..But the once classic showroom with its perfect acoustics, is again dirty, leaking, and had even flooded as I was told after I had discovered that only the Subs on one side of the sound system were working……..I was told that one of the Crown 5002 amps had been submerged in the flood and was blown up……NICE huh?………Needless to say, just thinking about this place and its problems and lack of money or people that know how to run and take care of a room like this, just gives me a headache……so obviously I just got through the gig and got out as fast as possible and tried to forget the whole deal………MOVING ON……

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What Goes Around……Comes Back Around……

Several years back, Myself and Sonny Maupin from New World Audio here in Vegas, were tasked with the refurbishing of the Old Debbie Reynolds Star Theatre at the Old Debbie Reynolds hotel and casino (now The Greek Isles Hotel) here in Las Vegas. In it’s day this was one of the classiest old school venues in town complete with its own recording studio and TV post production studio and broadcast center as well as the super deluxe theatre.

At that time the building had been owned by the WWE (World Wrestling Federation) and they had not used the theatre and had let it go to hell and back. It was full of trash and someone had went and cut all the audio and lighting and television wiring throughout the theatre and stolen most of the old gear and equipment. We spent months painting, and sending tone down all the wiring, soldering ends, and replaced all the audio and lighting equipment, including the refurb on the old Barco projectors and bought a new 20′ x 20′ Daylite rear screen projection screen that was the entire rear of the stage………we got the entire theatre show ready……and I swear, this old theatre with is recording studio and it’s television studio and post production studio, had bar none the BEST acoustics in town…..No Lie……

Then once they started doing shows, The Chaos and Dumb that is the hotel industry here in Vegas in many of the ways they approach Entertainment reared it ugly head like never before in this old theatre…….The clueless GM at the hotel at that time, wanted to do 3 to 5 different shows a night in the venue……..The hotel had cannibalized the heating units off the roof of the theatre for the hotel thus there was no heat in the theatre during that winter to the point where the audience and the performers could see their breath…….one night during some Country music tribute show during the Garth Brooks segment, its actually started to rain on stage during the “Thunder Rolls” song thru an unknown hole in the roof from the rain storm outside……..NO LIE……..then there was the “Dinner Show” where the dinner being served was part of the show and they could not get the dinner to come out to be served on cue, and then once they finally solved that problem, the dinners would come out completely cold…….and then I saw that there were putting folded over bed sheets on the dinner table tops because they could not afford there linen account bill (can anyone say Health Code Violation)……….then one day the “Dinner Show” producer came to me about needing some extra PAR 64 bulbs and Gaff Tape and when I asked the Hotel GM to get these things for me, he told me those were “luxuary items” and would not get them for me……well that was it…..I was out of there……….too much Vegas Hotel dumb and stupid for me…….a week later I got some call from some new guy and he asked me what was needed to be done if they ripped the rear screen projection screen……I just laughed…..

So here it is years later………..and today I was asked to go over there to mix some show this coming Friday and Saturday in the evening……….LOL…….well I took the gig………not only for the work or the money……but more so because I am curious as to what state of disaster this old classic theatre has been subjected too……..I cannot wait to see what sort of nightmare state this place might be in…….I will indeed post an update…….stay tuned…….

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Cough, Cough……

We are currently on day 4 here in The Las Vegas valley of being smoked out by the Los Angeles Forest Fires……..I am sort of Concerned about the fires around Mt. Wilson North of Hollywood…….I have a gig with Vanessa Williams on September 26th at The Greek Theater on the side of Mt. Wilson…..it would be nice if the historic theater survives so we have a place to play the gig at…….

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Sad News From Topeka, Kansas……

Kerry Livgren (Founding member of the Rock band Kansas) had a stroke Tuesday (yesterday morning)………hang in there brother Kerry………We are all pulling for you!!

http://cjonline.com/news/local/2009-09-01/kerry_livgren_falls_ill

http://cjonline.com/news/local/2009-09-02/livgren_family_encouraged

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The World’s Greatest Concert Rider…….

It’s no surprise that the world’s greatest concert rider comes from Iggy Pop & The Stooges…….This is the actual concert rider that gets sent to the venues before an Iggy Pop Show………I urge you to read all 18 pages……do try not to wet your pants from laughing too hard…….

Find it at The link Below……

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/1004061iggypop1.html

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