A warning to hire companies

Had an interesting experience recently. I was working at a venue where the client had decided to hire a PA from a hire company. nothing wrong with that I thought, less pressure on me, I would only have to deal with the lighting and not worry about doing the audio as well. So I arrived and the PA company folks were setting up a simple PA, a couple of Top boxes and a Sub. This system was not as powerful as the venues, but it was what the client wanted. The PA company also supplied the drums and bass and guitar amps. The two of them worked away at setting up the equipment so I worked on the lighting. The first inkling that I had that something was wrong was when I heard one of them on the phone asking someone where the rest of the equipment was. I did not think much about this assuming that maybe a couple of cables were missing or something. A little while later I realised that it was more than cables they were missing and the start time for the event was rapidly approaching. A second van arrived and out of it came more equipment and a third person to help. I asked the client what time the show started and they replied 1pm, I then looked at my watch 12.50. It was obvious that the show would not start on time. In fact the show started an hour late as the PA company had a few more problems after they set up their PA. A DI packed up, then they could not get sound out of the keyboard, turned out to be a problem with the multicore. One of the SM 58’s sounded really thin just lick a Chinese copy brought off of EBAY. So the first show was an hour late and the mixed showed it. There had been no real sound check and the operator was not following very well what was happening on the stage. So mics were left open when taken off stage or put on the floor in front of the foldback wedge. The Radio mic also went very strange even with a new battery. Their first show finished around the time the second show was meant to start. Luckily they decided to do a proper sound check for the second event. Even though this event started 2 hours late it at least sounded better than the first one. all I can say is that hire companies need to make sure that their paperwork reflects the correct equipment that is required. It is not a good sign when major items are not delivered, things cxould have been even worse if the gear was a drop off only not a set up and operate. In my eyes the reputation of this company has gone down. I can understand the odd cable at times missing, but when it is a major part of the PA and it delays the start of thwe show that is unforgivable.

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3 thoughts on “A warning to hire companies

  1. this is a techies worst nightmare

    i only ever hire off companies that iv either worked for or that i know very well, and usualy when i client wants a pa i would recommend them the companies i was or still am with

    i broke it down into 3 catagories for them

    for Theatre Work it was “Outlook Communications”
    For More concert/outdoor style stuff It Was “Mcleans Audio”
    and for large concerts or very large theatre it was “johnston audio”

    and all the shows i do iv never had a problem with companies beeing late or have dodge gear

  2. It all comes back to, “you get what you pay for”…

    Seems to me that this was a backyard business who has purchased old gear (hoping that it works OK) and doesn’t really know what they’re doing. If it was one of the more common hire Co’s then were all in trouble..
    Very unprofessional…..

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