Friday, February 15, 2013

Dave Rat Blog - Art, Adventure and .....

Art, Adventure and ......

I have been pondering the art of complaining. I see it in others and am dismayed when I find myself immersed in it. Complaints are often descriptions of circumstances or situations that we are trying to convince other people that somehow have happened beyond our control. While indeed many things are beyond our control, the attitudes that we embrace to face challenges, remain fully within our power.

When something goes wrong or fails to meet out expectations, somewhere inside our minds we make a choice of whether to use anger, frustration or in general 'go negative' or perhaps we find a way to laugh and joke about it and grab a hold of a way to minimize the negative impact and probability of recurrence.

Happiness is a decision, happiness is a skill. 

For some it comes naturally, for some it takes practice and others remains illusive. Regardless, happiness is not a stationary state but rather, a trajectory, a direction headed. This motion can come from inside us or an outside influence. If I find myself waking each day trudging through the realities of my life and if suddenly a phone call with a new opportunity comes, happiness follows if I am open or able to accept it. Otherwise if I am closed to the option, the opportunity may have the opposite effect and I feel even more trapped or down trodden. The passive 'wait for someone else or something else to bring happiness to me' mindset is a perfect scenario to become a chronic complainer. 

Hmmmm, what are complaints and are they actually bad? My take is that complaints are pretty much exactly as they are meant to be; a process of annoying others such that others may feel inspired to do whatever it takes to stop you complaining or join to in whinging with you. Fair enough and at times perhaps a useful process, but for the complaining process to work, the complaints need to be well directed, used in moderation and have some sort of resolvability, else they serve no purpose other than making the complainer a less desirable human.
Who would you rather hang out with? The constant complainer over every little unsolvable thing or the person that smiles and overcomes even the most traumatizing of challenges? Which would you rather have other people perceive you to be? 

People that non productively complain are just the people that have not taken control and accepted responsibility over their own happiness trajectory.

Alternately, we can make an internal decision to accomplish a task or set a goal and as we progress in the desired direction, happiness builds. With each goal and step, however slow or small, we can gain more and more control over our direction and happiness and become less of a powerless ship adrift at sea awaiting currents and wind to bring us to land.

And on to more curious things!

Yay! I bought a Makerbot Replicator 2! Ooooh, the idea of having mind pictures become real in plastic.  All I need to do now is commit to learn some 3D software. I typically use Corel Draw now for designs and such and am pretty well versed in it. I do not need perfection, just the shortest time frame between concept and rough prototype would be ideal. Suggestions? Do I really want to commit to AutoCad? CorelCad? SolidWorks? Blender?

Back in time rewind, first a bit too far, here is an old page from the legacy Rat Sound Web Site with a bunch of cool old punk rock flyers and such

And then forward to Peppers tour in Cape Town

I must say I really like it here, cool people, everything is interesting and truly look forward to returning.

Plus, people often talk about being well grounded, well I can honestly say that South American power is well well grounded. Holly crap, that is like a 50 amp ground pin on a standard wall outlet. What kind of catastrophe are they preparing for?

I did a sound seminar on show day and another super group of sound humans! Great questions and I know I keep saying it but it amazes me how universal

Awww, so cute, just a tiny little 60,000 capacity stadium, feels so small.

The show was fun in Cape Town too. Last night of tour and the roadies gather at the watering hole

 we really do have a great group and after nearly two years together the camaraderie is strong

Just for fun, I remember this growing up, my mom is the blond gal in this commercial. Crazy to see it after all these years!

I guess I should really cover some sort of sound subject.  Hmmmm, well my current ponderings are focused on expanding and refining a few of the fundamental concepts I have been exploring in the sound seminars.

1) Nowhere in nature do multiple unrelated sounds radiate from a single source, yet with audio reinforcement/reproduction we do it all the time.

2) Nowhere in nature does the exact same sound radiate from multiple sources, yet we do it all the time with audio reinforcement/reproduction.

3) When the same sound radiates from multiple sources we must address polarity, time, distance and phase issues.

I believe that these concepts hold the critical clues to solving issues and gaining control of comb filtering, sub woofer arrays, steering, sound coverage, sonic realism, power alley and the list goes on and on.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Dave Rat Blog - Home and Away

Yay, home at last and not for a second unhappy with the awesome adventures of travel. Happiness is found in contrast. Life is change and the same with non living things as well and nothing ever stands still.  Everything is either growing or dying, building or crumbling, brightening or dimming.  Nothing nowhere nohow is in a perfect state of stability.  Only the illusion of stability exists when we look at things for relatively short time frames in relation to the life span of the entity in question. If we take this concept that everything is in a constant state of flux, to heart, and apply it to our own humanly selves, we could look at it as we are faced with a decision: To grow or fade, to learn or stagnate.  To stop doing new things is to turn the corner toward fading. Without sadness we would not know what happiness is, without challenge is boredom.

Anyway, babbling ramble aside, looking forward to being home is partially what drives me to find adventures abroad. The adventures make 'away' worthwhile and home too long leaves me longing for adventures and round and round again.

On my way to Rat this morning after awesome fun surfing (but brrr 40 degree cold), I heard an interesting interview about our ability to focus

In my sound seminars, I talk about the importance of keeping the bigger picture in focus while paying attention to the details and I though this was a very interesting observation of human nature. Perhaps this explains why we as sound engineers tend to get so caught up in trying to make perfect sound while overlooking the true purpose of the live event we do sound for.

Here is a link to some more info:

and now let's travel back in time to last week in South Africa. Our current and very cool cool Monitor engineer, Mark Vanderwall lined up a crew outing to Lion Park!

And while waiting for the tour and looking at things I saw these

 The craftiness of creating with whatever tools are available is very cool. The ancient art of basket weaving but using telephone wire and creating a wide variety of colorful items. 

So once we got going, as expected we saw Zebra

And lions coming closer

And catching bits of flying meat from our caged truck

And really close, this is not a zoomed picture!

As if that was not close enough, say bye bye caged truck and hello to a purring cheetah!

And the little ones are just too cute and no where near as scary.

And here's the crew, caged truck and all

Yay! super cool and check it out if you are ever down in Jo-Burg

But tour is not all fun and games, we are out here for some serious business of making a ton of noise and gathering masses of humans together for good time.  Check out this massive 100,000 capacity venue.  It holds around 85,000 for a rock show and it was either sold out or really close to it.

And from above, actually this is a little mini model version

From the inside

And was super happy to have a good sized L-Acoustics K1 system.  Here you can see them strapping in the sub arrays as well. 32 K1, 30 V-Dosc, 32 SB28's plus dV-docs and Kara underhangs, some deck staked dV-dosc, 3 delay clusters each with 8 V-Dosc and 3 SB28 in cardioid config and a shit ton of dV-Dosc hung around the upper perimeter decks.

And just to be safe and since there were no noise restrictions, I lit that PA up and drove it hot.  Hey, it was just delivered the week before and it was a brand new K1, no better person to break 'er in than I!

Ok, I get the idea that they do not want carts parked there but the stadium also owns carts as well. 

"what? we sold all our golf carts again!, aaargh"

The band right before peppers was Die Antwoord

Flea went out and played a song with them but I did not grab a pic, was too mesmerized or in shock, not sure which, they were as interesting as catchy as disturbing

 Next up off to Cape Town, not really but this blog is already so long, I'll split it in two.  Also, I really need to get some actual work done too

Oh, and as a closing note, Robert Scovill's blog post is an interesting read I recommend

Rock on!