your favorite "MCGyverisms"

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bill_smith

MobileBeat Moderator
Staff member
We've all had them happen. Little problems that could blow up and be BIIIIIG problems without a quick fix. Sometimes they happen Mid Gig, 5 minuts prior to, or with just seconds to spare.

Here are three favorites of mine.

1. Did a bat Mitzvah in a room where the hall lights were suddenly turned off to allow a special lightshow to be used. It was on the other side of the room. I was in Pitch black with no way of getting the lights on or seeing anything. It was that dark.

Solution?

Coincidentally I was giving away glow necklaces. I quickly took out 4, activated them, and tied them together in a half hitch knot, and usd my "light bar" to read my CDs, and Planner....all night long.

2. I once had a very balky Mic, wireless. For some reason, the damn battery would not fit firmly against the positive negative contacts, even thooguh the Cap was tightly screwed down.

Solution?

I folded a small piece of a battery package, taped it to the bottom of the battery, screwed it in until I had good contact.

3. During an outside gig in 2012, I thought I had brought my line 6 and shure Mics, but actually didn't have the (handsets) in the case I thought I did. I discovered this about 5 minutes before showtime. Dayammm.

Solution?

I had heard of the urban legend about using the headset as a Microphone, and unbeleivably, My cheapo sony 39 dollar headset sounded amazing with a little tweaking of eq. I simply kept the headset around my neck, so that I could be heard. I had the World's FUGLIEST LAV, but hey, it worked. The urban myth is real.

Post up your favorite last second save the day tactics. lets have some fun and learn from each other! I know there are some great ones out there,
 

Bill_Goode

Mobile Beat Moderator
Staff member
Here are a few:

- Gaff tape: Being able to route wires along gym walls and keep them out of doorways was a lifesaver. No one would trip on them or tear them up!
- Velcro: I had to hang a few things and forgot clamps. Luckily, I switched to lightweight units and had a mile of Velcro to use alongside safety wire.
- Sound Processing: Once, during a show, we had bad thunderstorms going on outside of the venue. Despite having a power conditioner, the lights dipped and came back suddenly, cooking my Driverack. I switched the amp feed to take a direct input from the mixer and the party went on!
- Tent weights: They weigh more than tents down!

That's the short list....
 

bb

Well-Known Member
I triple check everything before going to an event and come over-prepared with extra cables, connectors, dah dah dah to cover all imaginable bases. To date all has been cool. Never any issues on my part. I have helped out musicians and videographers on a few occasions with goods from my bag of extras. Being an AV buy I have a mass amount of odd connectors and such.

Now thinking about it, I did rip my tux pants in the crotch at a wedding years ago. The solution: once it became obvious I duct taped the area, luckily I had black duct tape with me, imagine what an 8 inch of gray would of looked like. I also avoided interacting in the audience as much as I usually do when emceeing events. I remained behind the console most of the night. Nowadays, I bring an extra pair of pants, socks and a shirt as a backup.
 

Steve Lynch

Well-Known Member
This one time we were doing a wedding, and these bad guys with .223 ranch rifles were shooting at us, but they were all really bad shots so no one actually got killed, so we went into the duck pond, and made grenades out of bamboo, and swamp gas, while distracting them by roasting pine nuts on an upside down 50 gallon drum, and throwing pine cones dipped in sap. trucks and fuel tanks were exploding everywhere.. oh wait, that wasn't us.. that was MacGuyver episode 2x12-Family Matter. oh well that is one of my favorites. :)
 

Ken Heath

Super Moderator...da-ta-daaa!!!
Staff member
Back before I could afford "store bought" cables, (or "store bought" equipment :p), I used to carry my soldering kit with me everywhere... during cocktails at a wedding, one side of my amplifier failed, so I opened it up and jumped some leads and repaired it well enough to get me through the night... and I did it without stopping the music! It's a good thing I didn't know any better huh?

I learned a long time ago to wear black chonies with my black trousers, (and always have a small amount of black gaff tape set aside)... I also carry a sewing kit.

It's fairly common now, but the first time I used a wireless beltpack to send signal someplace, it was definitely unheard of.

White gaff tape for helping the bride with torn crinoline!

Aspirin, band-aids, super glue...

a pocket knife!
 

djtunes

Checking Reality
I had some ADJ Razz-matazz lights (I think that was the name) with 2 bulbs in each. I lost both bulbs in one of the lights. Maybe it got banged around or it lost one and I didn't notice then the other went... whatever it was. I was too dumb and had a couple of bulbs but in the garage. Not in my gear. I took one from the other light and ran both lights with one bulb each and it was fine.
Hmmmm! Other than that thankfully I never had any other McGuyverisms that I can remember right now.
 

DJSTEVEZ

DJ Emeritus
During the sales/planning session of a rather large Sweet 16 (over 200 guests), the GOH's father indicated they wanted to do a video presentation, mostly a video montage with music and narration. We informed him that we offer this service and gave him pricing. He responded by laughing at us and boastfully declaring that anyone can do such a presentation and that he didn't need us robbing him. We then asked about the presentation gear (projector, screen, table, etc.). He condescendingly laughed at us again saying any businessman today has such gear at his disposal and he didn't need to be robbed of $249 for the rental of such gear (several years ago).

A few hours before the Sweet 16 he set up all his gear and had a dry run that went...OK...in his estimation. There was 1 major flaw, and I didn't say a word. At the show time for the video presentation Mr. Know-it-all made the humbling observation that the 2 inch speaker of the projector would not carry the sound of the presentation anywhere near adequately for the over 200 rambunctious party guests to actually hear the audio. He came over to me almost in tears "Can we run the sound through your speakers?" . I responded by saying that I was all set up and no longer could access my mixer's inputs and given that he said he was taking care of he presentation, I wasn't even sure if I had the right cable to go from the projector into my mixing board. He's now sweating. I let him sit with it for 15 to 30 seconds and then said we could put one of our wireless Mics near the speaker of the projector and run the sound out through our speakers that way. He was overjoyed at the suggestion. Then, with a stoned cold straight face, I told him we charge $249 for that service. He stared at me disbelievingly and then said "no problem". I waited a few seconds, smiled, and then said, "only kidding, but next time you think you know more than the pros, and mock them for their pricing, remember how badly that could turn out". He meekly & humbly agreed. The video presentation then went off without any further glitches, We got tipped at the end of the party...well.
 

UNDJ

Member
Back when I used speaker stands I would sometimes forget the pins. I've used various bolts as substitutes. One time I did a wedding for a guy who had just got home from Iraq. He was in his Class A uniform. It was Memorial Day weekend and I had a few small American flag in my car (I do flag duty at the cemetery every Memorial Day). I had once again forgot my speaker stand pins and the little wooden flagpoles were a perfect fit. The Groom said the American flags were a nice touch. Talk about luck! I've also used pens as speaker stand pins.

I've had to staple my tuxedo pants at the bottom of each leg because the hems kept ripping out.

One of the first CD players I used (when I worked for another company who used Radio Shack-level gear), the only way to get the power button to turn on and off was by wedging a butter knife in it. Ah. the good ol' days.
 

djtunes

Checking Reality
During the sales/planning session of a rather large Sweet 16 (over 200 guests), the GOH's father indicated they wanted to do a video presentation, mostly a video montage with music and narration. We informed him that we offer this service and gave him pricing. He responded by laughing at us and boastfully declaring that anyone can do such a presentation and that he didn't need us robbing him. We then asked about the presentation gear (projector, screen, table, etc.). He condescendingly laughed at us again saying any businessman today has such gear at his disposal and he didn't need to be robbed of $249 for the rental of such gear (several years ago).

A few hours before the Sweet 16 he set up all his gear and had a dry run that went...OK...in his estimation. There was 1 major flaw, and I didn't say a word. At the show time for the video presentation Mr. Know-it-all made the humbling observation that the 2 inch speaker of the projector would not carry the sound of the presentation anywhere near adequately for the over 200 rambunctious party guests to actually hear the audio. He came over to me almost in tears "Can we run the sound through your speakers?" . I responded by saying that I was all set up and no longer could access my mixer's inputs and given that he said he was taking care of he presentation, I wasn't even sure if I had the right cable to go from the projector into my mixing board. He's now sweating. I let him sit with it for 15 to 30 seconds and then said we could put one of our wireless Mics near the speaker of the projector and run the sound out through our speakers that way. He was overjoyed at the suggestion. Then, with a stoned cold straight face, I told him we charge $249 for that service. He stared at me disbelievingly and then said "no problem". I waited a few seconds, smiled, and then said, "only kidding, but next time you think you know more than the pros, and mock them for their pricing, remember how badly that could turn out". He meekly & humbly agreed. The video presentation then went off without any further glitches, We got tipped at the end of the party...well.
I was doing a wedding and the video guy wanted to get a feed of the blessing & toasts but all he had was the wireless handheld mic he would use for well wishing from the guests. It would have been kind of dumb to ask the people speaking to hold 2 mics. I sent the mic channel into my headphone cue, then propped the headphone and mic face to face, did a quick sound level check, and it worked fine.

McGuyver was there and gave me a thumbs up and a wink from across the room.
 
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