After a long summer holiday's break, last night was my first day back at work this term. (Ok, not quite, there was a training session on tuesday but let's ignore that shall we?) I work for Reading University Students' Union (RUSU) as a member of the tech crew.
RUSU has three venues: 3Sixty, a purpose built nightclub; Café Mondial, a café during the day and a DJ room during club events; Mojos, the student bar. Mojos has a full sound system, however usually it just plays the student radio station rather than having a live act on during club nights.
An early start
The freshers fair was on during the day and so I had to start work as soon as that finished in order to start getting the venue cleared up and ready for the night ahead. This meant a 5pm start rather than 7pm!
When I arrived it was to find that our sound contractor had already setup the stage in 3Sixty ready for our main act of the night. The only things left for the tech crew to do were remove a barrier from the stage, then move the pit barrier in from outside to line the front of stage and put up the Flirt! branding for the night.
Mondial was the usual DJ setup. However over the summer some of the lights were replaced and the new lights had yet to be programmed into our light controller. It was decided that the controller should be left switched off so that the lights all responded using their built in sound to light program. During the night the DJ's friend managed to turn the controller on and bring up the stage lights, which the DJ did not like at all!
Cubed, a local house DJ group did a live set in Mojos meaning there was an additional venue to prepare and monitor over the night for tech. They brought their own mixer and frankly it was pathetic. Unfortunately one of our mixers was in for repair so we did not have one to give them, thus the reason for them bringing their own. This is also a good show of why booking early is important: had they let us know they would be DJing that night sooner, perhaps we could have prepared something for them.
The main act - Club MTV
The main act of the night was Club MTV. The act is actually Ministry of Sound UniTrash but they have moved to a new sponsor. Varski and DJ R3WIRE are regulars to our students' union and so we where well prepared for them. The Club MTV tour of student nights is being sponsored by HMDX jam classic bluetooth speakers and two were given away to lucky members of the audience. Backstage, they were also given away to a few lucky members of staff including myself!
Overall the night went a lot faster than I was expecting for a 10 hour shift. The music was good and it was nice to be back in the club environment.
This year RUSU has supplied new reusable ear protectors. ACS Pacato Earplugs. They are designed to protect your ears from loud music whilst still allowing you to hear clearly. A specially designed filter helps attenuate volume whilst still clearly allowing speech to be heard for natural conversations.
My first experience of them could be a blog post of it's own, however I shall just talk about them here. They did not seem to have much effect on volume but most certainly did allow natural conversation - even over the phone. Although the music still seemed loud, on removing the earplugs there was no ringing in my ears to suggest that they had been affected by the loud music which means the earplugs must have worked. I am sure I just need to get used to them.