Mostly fixed…

November 27th, 2009

Hey gang, after lots of “life getting in the way”, I managed to fix all the broken links and formatting in all the posts. There are still some errant / marks in the post titles, but I’ll deal with that later :-)

It’ll still be a bit until I have a pretty layout back up, and regular posting, but OFTR isn’t dead yet!


Bare with us!

August 13th, 2009

Sorry for the ugly appearance, guys. OFTR got hacked, so I’m in the midst of upgrading the WordPress software running the site, which meant tossing the template it uses, and sorting through lots of mucked up old entries. Boo.

Back looking pretty soon…
Update: So, the WordPress upgrade seems to have managed to change something that is adding a slash before every apostrophe and quote on the site, which means that posts look strange, and, worse, links and images aren’t working right. I’m working on fixing it, but it may be a day or so.

Sound411 in NYC, Next Week!

August 6th, 2009

Sound411 Logo

Hey gang, if you’re in/near NYC, do everything you can to get in for one of the two days of Sound411 that Stage Research is hosting. Should be a cool chance to learn some stuff, see some new toys, and network. And, in addition to the new stuff SR and the other companies there will be showing off, rumor has it I may have a big little something to debut there, too…

(If you are going, be sure to RSVP so they can get a head count, and do me a favor and tell them I sent ya!)

Protecting Yourself from Airport Thieves

July 30th, 2009

This one’s just a quick link to the “Flying With Fish” blog that I’ve become a big fan of, where today Fish posted a piece on how professional thieves operate in airports, and how you can protect yourself from them. Great tips for my touring brethren, or anybody else who travels in an airport!

Get a Rat Sniffer/Sender for 50% off, one day only!

March 31st, 2009

Just a quick heads up, Rat Sound is starting a monthly 1 day, 1 item half-price sale on the first of every month. (actually it’s one apparel item and one “gadget” This month, it starts on April Fool’s Day (I know, but as far as I know, it’s legit), with the Rat Sniffer/Sender pair (which I raved about here 4 years ago, which makes me feel old) for an amazing $27. It’s a bargain at the usual $45, so if you don’t already have one, get a steal on it tomorrow while it lasts!

Quick Console Tech Tip

March 14th, 2009

Just a quick pointer for those who service Midas consoles…conveniently, the two Torx bits in a Klein 32477 10-in-1 Screwdriver/Nut Driver
(my daily go-to screwdriver, I love that thing) are the two sizes you need for a Midas, the larger one to get modules out, and the smaller to get faders out.

More OmniGraffle Stencils

February 26th, 2009

I just made a quick stop by Graffletopia to see what was new, and found three new stencil sets of interest to the sound and props guys doing pit layouts and system diagrams in OmniGraffle:

Yamaha Gear

Musical Instruments

Stage Sound

The first and last are a little two photo-realistic for my tastes for system diagrams, but they may be of use to others, and the instruments would do really well for pit diagrams!


Quick Tip for Notating Scripts in Microsoft Word

February 2nd, 2009

Hey guys,
This is actually two in one. First, a little known Word fact–if you add in lines, arrows, etc as drawing elements in Word, they’ll maintain their relationship to the text you place them near, even if they’re floating above the text, and not in-line with the text.


February 1st, 2009

Hi everybody,
At the prodding of my hosting service, I’m doing a long-overdue upgrade to the version of WordPress that runs the site. So if it looks weird for a day or so, that’s why! I’ll need to do some work, I believe, to restore the template, although I might just do a re-design I’ve wanted to for a long time. We’ll see…


A Great Article on Perspectives

January 23rd, 2009

I’ve linked to Jason Pritchard’s great site, Bright and Loud, in the blogroll for a long time, but I realized I’ve never actually linked to any of his articles before. I just came across this article browsing around his site, and wanted to call attention to it. A huge amount of this business, especially sound (althought truly all disciplines) comes down to people skills and psychology, and not technical skills. Jason provides some great examples, including a detailed examination of something I’ve run into many times, in translating actor-speak to sound-guy-speak*.


Paul\'s Da Burger Joint

December 27th, 2008

I realized it’s been forever since I posted a restaurant review, mostly since I have been parked in NYC for a while, and not travelling. That said, here’s one you should all hit up next time you’re in the city…Paul’s Da Burger Joint, on 2nd Ave, just south of St. Mark’s Place. These burgers are truly addictive. A full half-pound, and crazy inexpensive for NYC (a cheeseburger costs $6.10 if you upgrade to cheddar or jack).

Guess I\'m Not Shopping at Home Depot Anymore

December 22nd, 2008

According to the founder of Home Depot, CEOs who don’t fight the Employee Free Choice Act “should be shot.” I guess Lowes it is now, when the local guy doesn’t have what I need…

Some Tips for Airport Security Safety

December 19th, 2008

I’ve lately been reading “Flying With Fish”, a blog by professional photographer Stephen Frischling; it’s aimed primarily at travelling photographers, but is also of interest to anybody who travels regularly. Recently, he posted this article on avoiding theft at the airport security checkpoints, and this one on the anatomy of a security check point. I think both are must-reads for all my touring and travelling friends.


Another Quick ClearCom Tip

November 6th, 2008

Since these tips seem to be pretty popular, here’s a little known tip for those with ClearCom RS-502 two-channel beltpacks.

As some of you may have discovered, default from the factory, these packs came set so you could only talk to one channel at a time; activitating the other channel deactivates the current one. Much to the frustration of many a user. What you may not know, however, is that a quick minute or two modification–that’s factory authorized and doesn’t even involve a soldering iron–can fix this and allow simultaneous use of both channels.

Some Quick Com/Mixing Etiquette Thoughts

October 21st, 2008

(Argh. Somebody hacked the site, buried spam links in lots of posts, and (inadvertently, I think) moved some of the posts to draft status. Trying to clean up the mess, and will do a security upgrade that was long overdue as soon as I have a chance…here’s this post again.)

A couple quick thoughts that I was indirectly reminded of this weekend, whilst doing an emergency cover of a show I used to mix while the regular guy was awaiting surgery…

Easy, Cheap DIY Vocal Booth

July 29th, 2008

I just tripped over this pretty cool idea for an easy to make, easy to travel vocal booth while doing my quasi-daily browse of MAKE’s blog:

Easy DIY Portable Vocal Booth

See this article for details.

I’m not sure what’s more frustrating, that I didn’t think of this or have one handy on any of the countless shows I’ve worked on where I’ve had to do on-site VO recordings at the theatre, or that I had two or three of those collapsible containers in my old apartment, and I’m pretty sure I got rid of them when I moved last fall! (He says, contemplating digging through boxes stored under the bed to be sure…)

Toolmonger � Blog Archive � Universal Battery Charger

July 27th, 2008

I haven’t tried it, so I can’t vouch for it, but this seems like it’d be a nice thing to have around the shop, even if it’s more of a nice thing to have and not a necessity. (Via Toolmonger)

Toolmonger � Blog Archive � Universal Battery Charger

Great Customer Service!

June 17th, 2008

Ok, I spent enough time bitching about my miserable customer service experiences last year, so I figured I’d do the right thing and give a shout out to the business sales office at the 5th Ave Apple Store here in NY. At work, I was building a new QLab playback rig (a redundant rig with two Mac Mini’s that’s quite sexy, if I might be so bold), and I called the Apple Store to arrange a purchase of a new Mac Mini, including an upgrade to 2 GB of RAM.

Back, with a Work Wear Tip

June 8th, 2008

Since getting packages delivered to an apartment when you’re not home is nearly always an adventure in head-bashing-against-brick-walls, most of us at the shop get the occasional mail order item delivered to us at work. On Friday, our apprentice extraordinaire, Jay, got a package from Cabela’s, with a new waterproof work jacket they had on sale for stupid cheap.

Cabela Waterproof Duck Canvas Jacket

I’d been looking for a good work jacket for next fall and winter, since I’m tired of getting my everyday jacket filthy at the shop all the time. I had been considering the Carrhart version of this sort of jacket, but that was more than twice this price. I had Jay send me a link to the site, and thought you guys would appreciate it, too.

Intercom Troubleshooting Case Study

March 5th, 2008

I just posted a “question of the day” over at Control Booth, a message board aimed at high school and college students interested in theatre tech, with a case study from a service call I did earlier this afternoon troubleshooting some “awful buzz” on a client’s intercom system. Since there’s been such good receipt of my past ClearCom tips and advice here on OFTR, I thought some of you might be interested in checking it out, too.