Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dave Rat Blog Ukraine

Hanging out in Kiev before a plane trip to Warsaw and some free time pondering.

HanGo PJB100 Personal Jukebox.jpg
Hey, check this out, it was my first MP3 player.  I was out with Rage Against the Machine and soon to start back up on Chili Peppers' Californication tour.  A full two years before Apple grabbed and packed them for the mass consumer market there was the Hango PJB! I remember how excited I was to not carry the huge foldout of CD's for playback music, that I inevitably and crushingly so often left behind when doing one-offs.  How nice it was to not get the radio calls from production that house music stopped while I was eating dinner? How nice was it to not have a constantly dwindling music collection! At the time it was revolutionary, now it is just the predecessor to another thing we take take for granted.

So on to more modern times, the gig in Kiev saw sunshine and it was refreshing to actually start a show after nightfall for the time this run.  Daylight really takes the edge off of the impact of show start and subdues the excitement. It was actually quite a nice modern stadium.

Though maybe a bit too modern. Once we fired up the sound system, a high pitched warble sound shows up everywhere in the sound signal chain.  Yikes. We have touring stage gear and FOH on a giant transformer, Euro vendor Highlight sound gear on their own distro, a euro powered recording rig and a pretty much an audio ground cluster-fuck that can usually be sorted.  So some unplugging and wandering slowly leads me back to the amp racks under the stage and eventually to the main distro room. Holly shit! a whole room that the exact sound is blasting audible loud and what? The entire sound and light systems are run off of batter backup units? Wow!

And that s when I met the Galaxy 7000's. Up to 500 KVA battery backup units and there was at least 2, maybe 3 or more in there.  The entire rock show was run on battery backup UPS units. 

Maybe that is good for power drops but casing out the inverter noise was a like herding cats. Turns out the units were running run full time charging the batteries, full time the entire audio rig was running off the AC inverters and in itself, that is manageable as long as the inverter noise is not pumping down the ground lines.  At that point I stepped away and attended other adventures.  I was informed a bit later that they made some changes to how audio was grounded to solve it.  I would try and know more but even without the language barriers, getting a solid explanation of multiple people resolved it would be tough. It worked, noise gone, move on.

I promised a pic of the sub fan setups so:

and the booty shot:

Ya know it is just so sketchy to see riggers climbing without safety clips. Makes me nervous to watch, but hey, I used to do stuff like that all the time and be fearless.  Now I reserve my risks for adventures that have the potential for more thrill when successful. Oh and check out this Russian tin drum, kind of cool.  May go and try and buy it if I can remember where I saw it.

Mid wander dinner

And out and about I head.  Next stop Warsaw.


  1. My buddy Elizabeth who was bassist for 7 Year Bitch remembers touring with Rage and the Peppers and you! We were talking about it not too long ago - small world isn't it?! Can't believe..but then again I can..that u still have your first MP3! Mine died long ago...;) Take care.

  2. DAVE! Ive been reading your blog for the last 2 years and I never thought you'd come and visit Warsaw! Cheers mate, have fun in our capital! How long are you staying there? I'd love to come by and say hi!