Another month, another post. It seems like band gigs are no longer such
unique occasions to make me comment on them immediately. Certainly now that
my second consecutive year at Viitaniemi is reaching its winter solstice,
both the independence ball and the staff preXmas party (Little Christmas)
are becoming routine. This year's speciality was crunching all of it into
one day for 16 hours of action, including the first and only rehearsals of a
couple of songs for the ball, and a rather typical and unexciting night out
in the bar scene.
The preXmas party gig deserves a couple of technical remarks. Due to the limited time, we aimed to play a single set of less than one hour, but the 19-strong playlist spilled over to one and a half. After monitoring issues at some of the earlier gigs, I had made some rather hurried decisions to get a pair of in-ear phones, and use them directly from the headphone output of my Korg Triton Le.
Initial testing with some of my existing phones pointed out the need for extra attenuation, since the single volume control of the synth must be set quite high for a gig. In-ears with volume control turned out surprisingly rare; most of the models I saw, had in fact an iAppliance remote, instead of a real variable resistor. The only working model I could find in stores was from the trusted old Koss, the KE29E. (It is nice to keep seeing this oldskool audio company alive and well among the shelves full of Sony and other plasticky iShite.) The volume control did not go all the way to zero, and the lowest setting felt a little too loud at home. I even cooked up an extra attenuator with fixed resistors, but it turned out unnecessary at gig volumes. (Not to mention that an extra attenuator box would be rather unwieldy at a gig, thus the quest for integrated volume control.) The external noise protection from in-ears turned out great, though not quite as effective as the musician's plugs I normally use at band rehearsals. It was a good working compromise though, since I had to hear the rest of the band anyway, without being mixed into my phones directly.