Redundancy (not the job kind, as in backup)

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Redundancy (not the job kind, as in backup)

Postby gigpiglet » Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:33 pm

So a situation at a festival i was managing on the weekend got me thinking..

there are "known issues" that are deal breakers in live sound, and we do things to avoid them.. for example (not a definitive list, just some things that come to mind)
-dual power supplies on consoles
-dual engines in digi consoles
-UPS's on things with "memories" that need to be saved etc
-redundant optical/ digital cores
-2 kick drum mics (sure there are some sound reasons too - but i think one of the big things here is that your show falls apart with no kick drum - so a second one never hurts!)
- in ears, but still wedges on the ground.
and so on and so forth.

but what happens when your big fancy console, on a UPS, with redundant power supplies and mix engines - has its (one and only) touch screen go down..
i admit not the absolute end of the world, its still passing audio, and you can work on it (often the long way around) but gee it doesn't make a lot of things easy (and some system things, like bussing impossible)

thats the 3rd screen I've seen die (the other 2 were on multi screen consoles, so not a deal breaker) but on the one screen SD8. ouch

thoughts?
feelings?
what else do you "protect" with redundancy?
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Re: Redundancy (not the job kind, as in backup)

Postby Lucas » Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:35 pm

We have a spare desk, a couple of spare amps, a couple of spare graphics and a couple of spare wedges.

And it is and will always be those things that we don;t have spares for on that particular gig that will go down.

Damn you Murphy..
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Re: Redundancy (not the job kind, as in backup)

Postby Drumstruck » Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:18 pm

Full HA (high-availability) within your primary and a DR (disaster recovery) failover site - or get the customer to signoff a service level waiver if they won't pay for it =))

Redundancy is a good question and there are only so many things that you can make redundant unless you want to take a week and spend a million $s to setup. So, in a nutshell, if you can "get by" without it then redundancy is probably overkill.

Do you take 2 laptops to the gig in case one fails?

Related to this - I was very suprised to hear a few of the guys on the mastering forum at Integrate say that they only had 1 computer.... maybe that's a topic for another studio related thread.
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Re: Redundancy (not the job kind, as in backup)

Postby obutcher » Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:27 pm

If it's an issue such as a screen going down, having a backup console is never a bad thing, however hiring gear does get expensive though if you're starting to have backups for most items. Where to draw the line?
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Re: Redundancy (not the job kind, as in backup)

Postby Zack » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:34 pm

Unfortunately I have noticed with the SD8 that it is far from the most stable board out there. Generally they just need to be re-booted once or twice and they come alright again. Maybe an option in some situations, not in others. I have experienced a few glitches on it, some are so whacked out that you just have a bit of a laugh at how crazy it is. Haven't had one fail for an important show though. Yet.

You also get pretty well stiffed if the screen on that thing goes down I imagine. (Not one of the things that has happened to me). You'd be alright on an M7. It would sound worse though.

If this is the same gig I'm thinking of, I thought that the touch screen just became calibrated an inch or so off the mark? Not the end of the world, it's rock n' roll after all... ;)

Still, not good. No fun.

To add to the list - spare vocal mic coiled in the middle of the stage and ready to party.
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Re: Redundancy (not the job kind, as in backup)

Postby gigpiglet » Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:26 pm

Zack wrote:Unfortunately I have noticed with the SD8 that it is far from the most stable board out there. Generally they just need to be re-booted once or twice and they come alright again. Maybe an option in some situations, not in others.


yes the rep of the digocos in general is what has held them back (they are a great sounding and pretty usable range)
but these are exactly the kinds of discussion i am looking for... cool - some issues with digi consoles can be fixed by a reboot (which can take more than a few minutes for some)
so as i said in my review of the ATB Mix Switch back some AT issues ago - no pa should be without one! cause you can still have program material, DJ, and a shout mic all active without a console at all..

a spare console isn't necessarily the answer (and certainly not always possible) how can you "get yourself out of trouble"

i remember back when i was doing a lot of monitor engineering, i used to always have a "for mix" dialled up on a spare aux, 2 reasons: when the manager or record company is standing beside you, put it in the cue wedge, and they go "sounds awesome" not knowing anything about what monitors are, and the second (more important) is that more than once, that mix has been patched to the FOH PA in a flash to finish the gig. i remember one particular (sold out) thirsty merc gig at the metro. power supply on FOH console went south maybe 2 songs in. the spare power supply wasn't working!!! so with a 30 second patch, gig went on (mixed on the cue wedge) and no one had to refund 1000 punters.
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Re: Redundancy (not the job kind, as in backup)

Postby jkhuri44 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:59 pm

if its possible to have an external screen connected through HDMI/DVI, etc, may I advise screens such as:

- AG Neovo
-Eizel (i need to get the spelling on that)

both companies manufacture multiple input screens/touchscreens for outdoor/rugged and critical situations....

I wouldnt be live on the road with regular indoor touch screens....both manufacturers have screens which are durable enough to have keys, coke bottles, whatever, thrown on them.
Jamil Khuri
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Re: Redundancy (not the job kind, as in backup)

Postby Zack » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:34 am

Too true Gareth. It amazes me how many people don't use a matrix mixer when there's a digital board at FOH. Even just for the simple situation where a band finishes, DJ needs to start but you need to wait those few very quiet seconds while it loads the next bands file. Lame.

Love the monitor mixer idea.

To add to the list...

A second beer.
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