Two pieces of equipment are essential: one a trademark, the other a talisman

 نتيجة بحث الصور عن ‪how to make money for nothing‬‏
Ask him for the quote in writing, and for a couple of guys to help on the get-in, and you will have designed and installed your first show. But before you actually set foot in the theatre, there are a few other things that you need to do. You must adopt two pieces of equipment, one of which will become your trademark, the other of which will become your talisman. The trademark can be as obscure as you like, as long as it doesn’t actually do anything important. It is simply there to advertise your presence to the cognoscenti, and to give you that slightly eccentric quality that all successful sound designers have.
            With some, it’s a nasty little lo-fi loudspeaker that gets used for ‘near-field monitoring’, with others it’s the use of a particular microphone for quite unsuitable tasks.
            The talisman is a different matter altogether. This piece of equipment will get you out of more sticky situations than anything else, and the wonderful thing about it is that you don’t even have to use it to get some advantage from it.
            Let’s take an example, something that is currently in vogue, and yet not essential as a production tool. We’ll call it a BLT 15Y Orbital Horizon Stretcher. This, you affirm, is the one piece of equipment that you really need to make the whole show sound superb. Unfortunately, it costs X thousand pounds, and the hire costs are prohibitive, so you’ll just have to soldier on without it, doing the best you can under the circumstances. Then when anyone complains that perhaps all is not well with the sound, you grimace, shrug your shoulders (op. cit.), and intone the following incantation: “Well, I told them what we really needed was a BLT 15Y, but they just couldn’t stretch to one on the production budget, so we’re stuck with a lousy HCT Mk 2.7 with the ’85 software update. What can you do?” The complainant will then sympathise deeply with you, and go and relate to all his friends how mean the production company are, and how you are doing a splendid job given the appalling conditions you are expected to work under.
            Now let us look at the other possibility, i.e. that by some amazing chance, you are actually working on a show that has got a large budget. You pull your usual trick at the band call, and the production manager goes straight out and hires you the BLT 15Y, with the advanced software, and the full function remote. While he is out getting it, pull a few connecting cables out, and spend the next day or so trying to patch the damned thing back together. Subtly transfer the onus for having the BLT 15Y to someone else, preferably the composer or arranger, thus: “Well, he/she wanted it, so I’ll just try and get it working as best I can.” Next, sow the seeds of doubt. “The BLT 15Y is a great bit of gear, but it does have its problems. You can actually hear it working, and I think that it really does something nasty to the sound, still, if that’s what they want, we’ll just have to live with the result.”
            The beauty of the talisman is that it is completely adaptable, and can apply to any piece of equipment. The effect can be positive or negative, but the end result is always to deflect criticism away from its true place, squarely on your shoulders.
            Thus armed, you can now enter the final phase of your training. The hire company will have specified and supplied your rig and recommended a competent operator, the casual labour will have installed it to their satisfaction, and you will have warded off all evil with your talismans and incantations.
            The time has come to produce your ultimate weapon. Open your flight-case, sorry briefcase, and bring out your C.D. players, and your de-rigeur C.D.s. (You must learn to call these ‘Software’.) Plug the player into the desk (or get the operator to do for you), and fit Brothers in Arms into the player. Set the track selector to Money for Nothing, and press the go button. Now sit back, and wait for the admiring comments. These are inevitable, as this particular C.D. is guaranteed to make any sound system amazingly good.
            Loudspeaker manufacturers regard this disc as an industry standard for proving how good their product is, so there is no reason why you shouldn’t share in some of the magic too. (Those of you who don’t like Dire Straits can carry out the exercise with Grace Jones or Ricki Lee Jones, but the same results cannot be guaranteed.)
Once this ritual is completed you can almost go home and leave the rest to the operator and the composer or arranger, but if you do find that you are being asked to make some adjustments yourself, you should adopt the following emergency procedure. Call for complete and utter quiet, then play the Trevor Pinnock C.D. at enormous level, with a quizzical look on your face. This will immediately raise your stock several points, on the basis that this is classical music and played on original instruments, and a purist recording, and you can blame the fact that it sounds thin and reedy on the instrumentation.
            Once this has been achieved, grab the nearest microphone fader, and push it up until the most appalling feedback occurs. You will know when this happens, as it will sound like something from all those AC/DC albums that you really like listening to.
            Pull the fader back down again fast, and shout “Sorry, my fault!” as loudly as possible. Lean over the mixing desk for a few seconds, and then twiddle one knob very decisively. It doesn’t matter which one, the operator will put it right later. Put Dire Straits back on, and yell ‘That’s better, isn’t it?’ to the person who has complained. If this still doesn’t satisfy them, and all other ploys have failed, you can, as a last resort, become belligerent, and blame the musicians, e.g. “The bloody band have been in the pub since 5.30, no wonder it all sounds dreadful.” As this will almost certainly be true, they will not dare argue, and you can now collect your fee safe in the knowledge that either mass hysteria will prevent anyone from discovering your part in the ensuing debacle, or that the show will run forever anyway, and the operator will sort it all out after you have gone.
            From now on, work will come thick and fast, and you can repeat the formula ad-infinitum. If all this seems too much like hard work to you, you could always try a different tack, and become a lighting designer for trade shows: “If only we had one of those Perky Auto Spots, but they’re fiendishly expensive to hire …/Well of course that’s the trouble with those Perky Auto Spots, they’re very well, but they really do something nasty to the rest of the lighting, still, it’s what the client wants, so I’ll just have to soldier on and do the best I can …”

No comments