Five Tips For When You’re Setting Up Backstage

Let’s face it, we all like to compare and contrast. For me working backstage at a rock concert is the place to be! I love the fast-paced energy of putting up all of the equipment and making sure everything is running smoothly before the crowds arrive. If you’re like me, then you would like to get more than just one gig. Here are a few things that helped me when I was just starting out. For the record, I still have a lot to learn.

  1. Avoid feedback

  • The mic and the speaker that is amplifying that signal should never touch. Furthermore, they should not be pointed towards each other at all! An easy way to avoid this is to make sure that the mics always stay behind the speakers. If you are going to use a wireless mic, then this problem is a lot more likely to occur. Make sure you warn whoever is wielding that mic.  
  1. Check the line

  • Many times we are setting up for a show and all of the sudden equipment that has worked before seems to be broken. Before you go out and spend money on a new piece check all of the cables that are sending the signal. Connect them to equipment that you know works and see if the signal carries. If not, then you may only need to replace the cable.
  1. Drop your gains

  • If you are connecting multiple instruments to a single mixer it is important to keep the sliders or gain knobs down and bring up the levels slowly. This will help you avoid feedback and large booms. Also, if you have all of your instruments sounding good but there is one that sounds like it is clipping or warped, the trick there is to bring the rest of the levels down to match rather then taking one level up to match. 
  1. It doesn’t sound cool it sounds warped

  • This is more of a pet peeve. Sometimes when I hear a DJ playing pop hits, they decide to turn up the mids or blast the low end. I’m talking about those three knobs on the mixer, High, Mid, and Low. When working with music that doesn’t belong to you, you only want to turn these knobs a little bit or not at all! For example, Dr. Dre sounds good with a little low-end boost but not so far that it sounds like the speakers will break. Because you are controlling it, oftentimes one may think that they are a remix lord. But to everyone else, you’re really just making their favorite songs sound weird and bad.
  1. Get to know an expert

  • Now, I’m no expert. I would, however, be happy to do my part to ensure that we can all enjoy our entertainment to the fullest of our abilities. Many people share my passion and would be more than willing to give advice on how to make things run smoothly. Don’t be afraid to do some research or to find an opportunity to learn from those that are more experienced than you. Experience and knowledge are like a pie chart. Just because someone doesn’t know differential calculus they could still know why your five hundred thousand dollar set up seems to be virtually on fire, saving you all kinds of trouble in the future. So, I just try to respect everyone on this principle. Because, if you disrespect the wrong person then they will let you fail. You can learn a thing or two from these old folks. They survived. You could still die young.  

Nothing short of a contract can guarantee a job in this world. Above all else, I recommend finding something that you love to do and finding a way to do it every day. Because if you love your job you’ll never work a day in your life.

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Women of K-UTE

Happy International Women’s Day 2018!

Here at K-UTE, we greatly appreciate the powerhouse women on our team – few though we may be. This year has seen the most female involvement at the station as far as I’m aware and that warrants some recognition. Here are a few of these amazing ladies and what they enjoy most about being involved with the radio station.

Click on each person’s name for a link to their Instagram page!

Sage Holt

Sage is one of our freshman DJ’s and wasted no time in getting involved with our station. She doesn’t quite know what she wants to pursue as a degree, but she’s thinking of testing out music production to see if that’s what she’d like most. When I asked her what her favourite part of K-UTE is, she said “I LOVE that K-UTE radio has given me a family on campus.” She then continued by saying “It’s people like you who make it what it is and I can’t imagine my life without you. You’ve already made my college experience with memories I’ll never forget … also I love you.” She was trying to make me blush with that last bit, but I return those sentiments wholeheartedly. She also writes blogs! Check out her first year reflection here.

Tomey Fox

Tomey (seen here with her boyfriend Sterling) is a freshman and hopes to major in civil engineering. You can often catch her drawing in her sketchbook while in the studio between choosing phenomenal songs to play. Her favourite thing about K-UTE is “all the opportunities you can take advantage of just by reaching out.” She makes a good point with that – there are tons of concerts, conferences, positions, and friends all available if you ask. We aren’t a part of the station just to say we’re involved with something. We’re a part of the station to be involved and get the most out of our time here.

Sophia Chartrand

Sophia is a sophomore going for a major in writing and dwells mostly in the land of the W.A.R. Room – K-UTE’s EDM time block. One thing that she enjoys about being a DJ is “being able to play whatever I want for everyone… and I’ve met some dope people while doing it!”

 

Sarah Bischoff

Sarah is a senior and English Literature major who exists  within K-UTE as a valuable member of The Booket List. She shared that the podcast “gives me the ability to argue with an audience about what I love … it’s a highlight of my academic experience.” She’s involved in other organisations on campus such as the English Student Enrichment Association and writing resource center. We will also soon be publishing pieces together under the title of “Morahnic Satire” wherein we shall satirise anything and everything. Nothing is sacred. Nothing is real. Nihilism.

Jessica Sandrock

Jessica is also a senior and English Literature major. As one of our front desk / secretary people, she has come in clutch many times by printing off assignments for me to pick up while running to class. Her favourite thing about K-UTE is the people. “It’s great to be affiliated with a group of passionate music lovers. I’ve had a blast blogging about concerts and hanging out at the Twilight Concert Series.”

Ellen Lewis

Ellen is a senior and double majoring in Film & Media Arts and Gender Studies in addition to being one of our DJ’s and a member of Studio200. Her favourite thing about K-UTE is “a tie between (1) getting to talk to other music lovers on campus about our favorite artists and (2) forcing everyone tuning in to listen to French pop music from the early 1960s.” When she’s not hard at work on something cool/artsy, she’s probably haunting estate sales. Speaking of her cool/artsy endeavors, mark your calendars and schedule time to get to her art show opening reception!

Morgan Parent

Finally, here’s me! I’m a junior and am getting a degree in Communication, Strategic Communication to be exact. I’ve been involved with K-UTE since January 2017 and I’ve been the Social Media Manager all this time. I’ve also been a DJ on the Midday Mix, conducted in-person & phone interviews, and written blogs (my first one can be found here). My favourite parts about this organisation are the people I’ve met, events I’ve attended, and opportunities I’ve found.

 

It’s an honour to work alongside these angels, but my goal for next year is to get even more women involved! We all have different backgrounds and parts in the organisation but are alike in our ambition and love of music. There is a place for anyone in K-UTE and that’s another reason why it’s so great.

Some other phenomenal gals on our team that weren’t featured include:

  • Allison Allred – another essential member of The Booket List
  • Elena Payne – one of the best front desk people known to humankind
  • Elly Smith – impending blog writer and barista extraordinaire
  • Helen Finch – a new name in the station who is in training to do a podcast

Follow my grrrl gang anthems playlist on Spotify to keep the girl power going!

Tune-Yards’ Musical and Political Journey

In the beginning…

I first met Tune-Yards (tUnE-yArDs) in May 2014. I was in Bend, Oregon seeing one of my all-time favorite bands, The National. Because there isn’t much to do in Bend, I showed up at the outdoor amphitheater hours before they opened the gates. The venue was located along the banks of the Deschutes River and the Oregon May weather couldn’t have provided a better evening for an outdoor concert. I was about the 10th person in line which led to me standing front row dead-center.

When Merrill Garbus of opening act Tune-Yards took the stage, I fell in love. Flamboyantly dressed, with an asymmetrical haircut, and paint on her face, she was so unapologetically herself that it was hard not to. Her music matched her quirky style with such uniqueness that I had never heard the likes of. On stage, she played with a loop-pedal, a ukulele, and various percussion instruments. Rounding out the band was bassist Nate Brenner, back-up singers, and another percussionist.

Hailing from New England, Tune-Yards’ music is characterized as Art-Pop, Alternative-Dance, or Lo-Fi Indie. I still remember hearing songs such as “Gangsta”, “Bizness”, and “Water Fountain” for the first time. I have now heard them hundreds of times and they’re still awesome.

The music continues

On January 19th, 2018, Tune-Yards released their fourth album I can feel you creep into my private life. While I was slightly disappointed with this album, compared to their earlier work including W H O K I L L (2011), there are still several songs that capture my attention. Opening track “Heart Attack” is solid and starts the album off strong.

Lyrically this album is very political. Garbus explores what it means to be a white woman in our society, primarily the privileges she experiences because of her race. In recent years, she has engrossed herself in an anti-racist curriculum attending workshops and joining activist groups including Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). She seems to experience a tremendous amount of white guilt which is evident through the lyrics.

In the song “Coast to Coast”, Garbus sings, “the seeds are sown in small acts of violence… we let freedom ring, but whose freedom?” In “ABC 123” the theme continues, “I want so badly to be liked…I ask myself, ‘What should I do?’ but all I know is white centrality.” Of the song “Colonizer”, Garbus said, “I cringed all the way through making that song…I cried a lot too…I heard my voice speaking to a friend about this experience that I had in Kenya. A lot of people think that I’m making fun of another white woman in ‘Colonizer.’ No. This is me.” She sings, “I comb my white woman’s hair with a comb made especially, generally for me…I smell the blood in my voice.”

What white people listen to

In our society, essentially every music genre was pioneered by black Americans or influenced by music of the same roots. Some white musicians choose to completely ignore this as they sweep over fellow musicians collecting paychecks and Grammies. Other bands, like Tune-Yards, use their platform to highlight problems in society. While dance music might not be the greatest platform for these issues, it is what white people listen to.

Tune-Yards will be coming to Salt Lake on April 25th. They are playing live at the Depot with guest Brightest Diamond. The show is 21 and up and doors open at 7. Years after first hearing them, I am excited to re-experience Tune-Yards. This time headlining and performing in my home-state.

 

 

Reflections of a K-UTE Freshman

Starting a new year at the U

Geoff & Sage (me)

Hello! My Name is Sage Holt, I am a brand new Freshman here at the University of Utah.  And I would love to share my experience working for K-UTE Radio as DJ Bug Bite. Before I jump into it, I feel you should know a little bit about me. Just like many of the incoming students, I was nervous, terrified, and also excited to start college. Like many others, I had little to no friends at the U,  I did what any logical person would do trying to make friends; I signed up to rush. (a choice i’d soon regret). 

DJ Dum Dum Boy

Here Comes K-UTE

Not even halfway through rushing I got sick and had to leave thereby excluding me from being able to join. But little did I know I already had a family on campus, I had just yet to realize it. As a kid I remember my mom always telling me that the friends you make in college are the friends you keep for life. And as a freshman new to the scene of the college radio station, I was meeting people left and right, each one kind in nature with a character all their own.

Gary Potter & Father Cactus

People who would help me and guide me, as if they were my family. Brothers who would protect me and sisters who would lend a shoulder if needed.  Working for the radio has also given me a voice to be heard in the college community, a voice to share my thoughts, ideas and perspectives with my fellow students. Due to K-UTE Radio, I will not be just another student in the classroom. I will have left my mark on this campus as all of us should. Little by little I have come to see that these people have become so much more than my producers, managers and interns; they are some of the greatest friends, giving me memories to last a lifetime.

Floodlights: Olympic Legacy

This week on The Rostrum we are airing our second episode of Floodlights. We are talking with Megan Hulse, executive editor of The Daily Utah Chronicle, who has been investigating the legacy of the 2002 Olympic Games in Utah through the history of the Hoberman Arch and the Olympic Cauldron.

Article: http://dailyutahchronicle.com/2018/03/01/slow-government-neglects-olympic-legacy-salt-lake-city/

Music: https://bensounds.com