Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dear SNR: Unfamiliar Gear

Recently on Facebook:
  • Nate DeMare
    • Had a thought while listening to the last podcast. I've experienced this recently, having been Gordon's light guy and basically designing his setup, I walked into a gig where Steve's lights were setup and he was the one running everything. Steve asked me to sub in for him and the whole time I was sitting at his board I was wishing I was sitting at "my" board, because it took me a few minutes to learn in a general sense where everything was and I still couldn't run it to par with Steve or me at "my" setup. I was wondering if you've ever run into this with sound setups?

  • Jon Dayton
    • There's always some lag while you get used to a new piece of gear or some one else's setup. And some guys do stuff that just doesn't make sense so you try to work with it or around it. The mark of a good tech/op/engineer/anything is being able to walk up to anything and start makin' it rain.

      Good thought Nate. Even if you can't get out and get your hands on other gear, you can get a lot out of studying up on manuals. Once in a while you can even walk up to some one else's rig and show them a thing or two if you're studied up.
Now here's someone else's thoughts on the matter:
"I don't like reading manuals. Because I'm a pro and if I have to read the manual it's designed wrong."
                                                              -Dave Pensado
I kind of agree with that too. Dealing with well built, well thought out equipment, you should be able to just look at it and figure out how to use it. Maybe you have a peek at the info sheet on the web site to find out about a couple of features and then you go back to the box and figure out how to use them by poking around.  If features you need to use aren't close to hand and you have to dig through menus it's a bad piece of gear.

But the key phrase in that quote is the bit about being a pro. Those of us that can walk in and start rockin' and rollin' have put in the years and decades of learning. That's on the gig at the elbow of someone who knows, on your own gigs, on the net, and in manuals and manufacturers' propaganda.

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