Adventures in Yoyo, Early November Update

A couple of things to start off with. Stuff I’ve been struggling with. Of course, I could just shut up and nobody would be the wiser

My interest in skill toys is fairly low. Ever since BAC, it’s been in decline. You could say “just try another style”, but honestly, I’m not interested. Maybe try spin tops? No, don’t feel like it. Diabolo? Ain’t feeling it. Learn to juggle? Can’t be bothered. I got other stuff but I simply am not interested. I’ve not learned anything new in months. Yes, I have still been buying stuff. I know this is a phase. It will pass. When will it pass? I don’t know. I can fake it pretty good for short periods of time. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed meeting all of you at Nationals that I met.

However, that decline isn’t exactly a bad thing. I’ve been neglecting my sound company since I started this whole yoyo adventure. This isn’t a bad thing. My company was well built up and it’s not like I neede to get anything, so there was no negative. After CalStates 2013, running 2 stages wasn’t really a big deal, but I found weaknesses in the system. I’ve been working a lot with theroybit(another forum user here) and we’ve been reconfiguring the company a little bit to better handle yoyo contests by integrating some DJ type gear. Some of these changes were seen at BAC 2013(the pad for rapid playback was one of the many upgrades, as well as the mixer user for the prelims area). We’re not talking about just little tweaks, but sufficient inclusions of equipment to ensure rock-solid, redundant and over-engineered solutions to ensure the event runs without incident. The best part is that it’s not terribly expensive! I mean, if I really look at the budget, we’re talking under $3000 in total investment in equipment, which isn’t really big dollars in the world of live sound. Heck, ONE of my speakers that I used for mains at CalStates/BAC costs more than that!

With SacAnime in late August, it became apparent that I needed to move from large format analog to mid-format digital. I spent most of my time between May and mid September researching digital consoles from a wide array of vendors. I won’t go into workflow, logistics and configuration issues, but my research pointed to a Behringer X32. I purchased and received one in mid September and was out gigging with it 3 days after I got it, and I’ve since done several large events with it. You’ll see me using it at CalStates and BAC in 2014. I still feel my large format analog desk sounds much better.

Despite the major decline in skill toy interest, I have been throwing a bit. Mostly, my throwing has been on the walk to and from my kid’s school and while I wait for the teachers to bring them in or take them out. It’s mostly just a way to kill time, nothing more.

Now, let’s back this up to nearly a week ago, but the story goes back to CalStates 2012, but the details are minor and will be filled in.

I’m in Sacramento. I got a gig in Bakersfield. 5 hours of drive. It was worth it. Got to use the X32 for my first “band” event with a band I am very familiar with, on a board I’m no feeling 100% with, and the band was willing to go in-ears for the first time, so lots of risk with lots of trust involved on both sides. Let’s just say the show was a success. I kicked butt with the X32. The band, Akai Sky, was awesome as always, and my crew and the band shined.

One of my crew is theroybit. We did pack “essentials”, which means “yoyos and other skill toys”. We passed idle time with various skill toys. 1 of my crew was given a Lyn Fury at CalStates 2012(see, I filled in the detail) but he hasn’t been able to use it. Well, him and a new crew member can now bind. The other new guy hadn’t really thrown a yoyo before, but once I corrected a few issues(like the string was under instead of over), his binds came together. He was using one of my Classics. The other crew member(who has the Lyn Fury) was using my Rally. Not only did I get him binding, but he managed to get plastic whip down, and was using that to bind. I can’t claim sole credit. theroybit was just as much to credit as I am. Of course, now we have the issue of “we need to get them into yoyos they can use”. Nothing wrong with the Lyn Fury, but I gotta hot rod it. The new guy, well, I need to get him something.

I will say it feels good to get two more people into this. Teaching and mentoring them in live sound and skill toys might be the thing I need to break this downward spiral I’ve had on skill toys.

In the meantime, jumping back a couple of weeks, I picked up 2 new clients thanks to the audio work. I am going to be doing more focus on audio these days. With a near disaster at a not so distant event, I have been going over how to deal with recovery issues. We had the main computer decide to NOT send timecode to the lighting computer, so automation failed. I had to go into manual over-ride. On top of that, manual spot calls were tricky and icky, so having my lighting director being able to control stuff more is a solution I’m looking into. The audience had no clue, we did recover at intermission, but even so, the spotlights were under-utilized.

On Sunday, November 10, I will be heading to one of the nearby YoLex meets. The weekend after, I will try to run one of my own meets. I think trying to be more active will help me fully break this phase I’m in. I think about quitting every day. Just toss it all into the recycle bin and walk away. However, this is just the depression talking. A short term stop-gap reaction to a problem that will eventually go away is not a proper solution.

In the meantime, as I’m still buying stuff, I’m figuring out my next YYE purchase, as well as stuff from other skill toy retailers. This phase will break and I’ll be able to better enjoy stuff again. Now, keep in mind kids, there’s the Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming up. YYE has a reputation of doing some AMAZING sales during this period. If YYF does the Mystery Boxes again, those are fantastic values from what I hear, but I’ve never bought one myself. If you’ve got something outrageously expensive in your acquisition sights, I strongly suggest you hold off a bit and wait because your patience will be rewarded. My issue right now is “do I just go ahead and buy, or do I hold off”. I can go either way.

In the meantime, I am planning for my vacation. What “essentials” do I bring… Considering I may be running into people I got started into yoyo a couple of years ago, I may be doing more teaching sessions.

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Great update as usual!

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Great Update

I hope the phase your going through doesent last too long

Studio, I am gonna get you a Straight Jacket for Christmas. Since you keep threatening to Quit yoing, I figure somewhere around December, you won’t be needing your arms anyway.

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I’m gonna be busy in December/January as I have a gigs on November 30th, December 13th and then I have to prepare for a major 3-day event in Early January.

I doubt I’ll totally quit. However, I will be re-focused on audio production.

But, tell you what: I’ll be out running errands over the weekend. I’ll find a tailor and get my jacket size. I mean, just because I gotta wear a straight jacket doesn’t mean it has to be ill fitting and uncomfortable!

On a more serious note, the past few months have been really bad on a wide range of levels and topics. I swear, things around me have been generating more BS than a cattle ranch. That’s all stuff I’m choosing to leave out. It’s been a major contributor to the downward spiral.

Getting the digital desk was a good thing, not because I scored 3 new clients(I mistakenly said 2), but because it’s forcing me to re-learn what I already know, but apply it towards a “platform” rather than merely a console. Plus, digital has a whole different personality than analog so some of my analog tricks simply aren’t allowed in the digital domain. I haven’t really accepted this in digital recording, and I still will use analog tape machines to front end stuff so I can utilize tape compression to fatten up tone. Doing it entirely on my own has provided a much needed boost in a positive direction. Sometimes it kicks my butt hard, but I figure it out and learn from it. The good part is that this new desk, even in the case, is maybe 120 pounds, so I can easily move it around. The analog desk, in the case and with the custom cabling, is over 400 pounds. On top of that, the lid is over 84 inches wide so I can’t take it off without help. Then there’s another 200+ pounds of support gear(outboard rack of compressors and EQs,plus another rack full of FX and other signal processing, and the redundant power supply rack and the stand). The newer digital desk is all self contained with sufficient DSP to handle 95% of my needs. The other 5% I can work around.

For now, with my kids out of school due to a track change(year round school), the yoyos sit idle, untouched, unused. Other than the fact I got a Gelada that needed to be siliconed and the bearings cleaned, I really haven’t touched a yoyo. I haven’t played anything I got at Nationals, and the recent YYE order I received has also gone untouched except for being photographed.

My annual visit to Disneyland in about 2 weeks should help take my mind off any negativity for at least a few days. Hit the rides, decompress and take my mind off many things.

The more positive I can surround myself with, the better. With the sound stuff taking off again, I’m making my own positive environment. I’m teaching my crew to throw yoyos.

You hit the nail on the head a while ago. I gotta stay challenged to stay happy. The problem with yoyo is that I’ve hit a plateau for now and I haven’t been able to get off of that. With audio and IT, that’s all second nature to me, so it makes sense to shift gears. Now that some audio gear is more accessible, I can indulge myself more in these areas. So much audio is shifting more in an IT direction as well, so the merging of multiple platforms into one integrated system is actually quite comforting.

But, between now and the beginning of 2014, my focus will clearly not be with precision machined turning apparatus devices. I will beat this phase, and I will be throwing again more. I think quitting yoyo would be a mistake. Just, sometimes I gotta verbalize stuff. I also appreciate your input as well.

Sounds like a Sound/Audio forum could benefit more than a yoyo forum for a lot of your post content. I don’t think I’m the only one when I say; I have no idea what any of this sound stuff means or what the relevance of it is. I mean, I get the gist of the post, but I think interjecting your audio conquests is irrelevant 90% of the time. In this case, you mentioned skill toys give you something to do while you’re doing your gigs, getting crew members into skill toys etc, etc… so it’s loosely relevant. That’s fine, maybe slightly relevant. But what’s not relevant is how much your speaker is, what new mixer you got, how much your gear weighs, how many new clients you got, or how many you mistakenly said you got, or vaguely talking about logistics, workflow, rapid playback, etc etc.

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Everything I do is tied together. Even if you can’t see the relevance, it’s still there.

Keep in mind: If it wasn’t for being injured after moving gear(yes, the 400 pound console was a contributing factor), I wouldn’t have re-discovered yoyo. Plus, I’ve been doing pro audio for over 30 years now and IT for a little longer than that, I cannot separate one thing from the other. The three things are tied together.

<< Diploma of music industry: Technical Production.

Don’t worry I got all the Audio stuff you were on about, and surely I can’t be the only person on the forums with more than just a working knowledge of pro audio, and I really like the analogue tape compression idea, it’s a shame more people don’t do things like that anymore.

I used to have to help move a massive Midas analogue desk about I was a lovely desk but moving it… well I don’t have to tell you, shame I never go to actually use it :frowning:

Good luck getting out of this rut, it really can be demoralising and demotivating, I got really depressed not being able to do ANYTHING with my sleep disorder, but that’s a WHOLE thing on it’s own, that it thankfully looking to be resolving.

Lol. Wow all dem words.

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