Don't Be a Dope...Bring Your Keys!

Ken "Pooch" Van Druten

Mixer, FOH Engineer

Linkin Park, Kiss, Justin Bieber, Jay-Z

It's been so long. Why have you forsaken me? Sorry….. It's been a while. We all have been super busy. My pontificating is really NOT a priority, but it is enjoyable when I can find the time. Thank you for your patience, and welcome to a new edition of Pooch's Corner.

Sometimes it's the little things. I recently got the opportunity to do a seminar in South Africa that was really a lot of fun. A bunch of people showed up to hear me regale them with stories of woe from the front lines of a rock and roll tour. I spoke for four hours about the business and did some demonstrations. It was a super fulfilling night to watch some people really "get" what I was talking about. Pay it forward. I learned what I know from some pretty amazing people that took the time to show me. I should take the time to show others.

The set up for this seminar was a disaster. I had brought my USB key with my Waves V9 licenses expecting to find an Avid Venue console loaded with what I needed to do the demo. Instead, when I arrived, the installed Waves package was V8. It was installed on the Venue but the console did not come with an iLok with V8 licenses on it. No problem (I thought); I will just install V9 on this console and away we go. Dammit...I forgot the USB key that has the V9 installer on it. Seminar is in an hour, and the internet speeds at the venue were slightly above dial up speed. No time to download it from the site. So frustrating. In the end I had to show examples from my laptop using Pro Tools and Waves V9 rather than the venue console. Not optimum but we made do.

Why do I bring this up? I realize in this day and age of digital desks and computers, we are very used to having to install packages and carry licenses with us, etc. But as it becomes more normal to do so, I have become more lax in making sure that I have EVERYTHING I need in order to get the thing up and running. I used to literally have a checklist of the things I need, to make sure that I can install all that is needed to get my session working. I tell you what – it won't happen that way again. I'm gonna have installers and licenses in hand, locked away in my mini pelican case from here on out, that go with me wherever I go.

So this brings up a really good point. Organization. Are you carrying the latest installer that coincides with your licenses? Do you know what versions of D-Show you have to have in order for your licenses to work? These are all primary things that those of us that carry plugin licenses should be aware of. It's a whole new world of digital technology and these are the tools we need in order for us to do our jobs. I equate it to showing up with a rack of analog gear – except you forgot all the AC adapters. You have all the stuff but you have no way of powering it up. EPIC FAIL.

Also: Waves updates their versions A LOT. There are new plugins ALL THE TIME. Make sure you have the latest and greatest. That is one of the things that is so cool about Waves, is that they are constantly updating their products to give you something better. Don't miss out on new plugins because you didn't know they’re included in your bundle. Stay current. Watch Waves’ website all the time. Well, maybe not ALL the time...

All it took was this one time for me to realize how important it is to remain current. Learn from my dopey mistake. The Boy Scouts say: Be Prepared. This Eagle Scout wasn't for one moment, and I learned a big lesson from it.

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