PRE-PLACEMENT SKILLS ASSESSMENT
Before the placement began, I undertook a skills assessment, which I had peer reviewed by Selby analysing key technical and personal skills. This skills assessment can be found below, however I extrapolated 5 particularly key skills from this. These 5 skills are;
1. Safe rigging (rated at 1/5 by myself and peer); This includes flying PA, building Truss, using motors, linking PA Boxes and other related activities. Looking back to my skills audit, the areas identified for me to improve on this is to spend more time rigging PA, such as d&b, L’Acoustics and others. This will help me to improve my knowledge of safe rigging, using safeties as well as becoming familiar with various manufacturers rigging protocols as they vary hugely. This furthering of experience will be done through regular work with differing systems, as well as undertaking manufacturer courses on rigging their loudspeakers, such as d&b’s J-Series & V-Series workshop, which focuses on planning, rigging and using the two series’.
2. Use of RF equipment (rated at 2/5 by myself and 1/5 by peer); This includes doing RF scans and co-ordination to ensure that any RF used is not going to encounter interference, as well as setting up antennas where necessary. More practice is required with this, especially using RF kit from a variety of manufacturers such as Shure, Sennheiser and AudioTechnica. More practice using software such as Touchstone Pro and Shure’s Wireless Workbench 6 must also be undertaken, to ensure fast and efficient RF scans and co-ordination can be completed while on-site.
3. Audio mixing (rated at 4/5 by myself and 3/5 by peer); mixing either monitors or front of house, using features on the desk to ensure minimum to no feedback and a good experience for performer and artists. More practice mixing different genre’s on different desks is required, which will only be gained through practice in Industry.
4. Working with talent (rated at 2/5 by myself and 3/5 by peer); further practice on ensuring that the portrayal that the talent see’s is one of a calm and knowledgable demeanour.
5. Resourcefulness (rated at 1/5 by myself and peer); ensuring that things are always well thought out. This can be improved by ensuring that, for example, when flightcases are empty, the local crew are directed to put them in the correct location.
POST-PLACEMENT SKILLS ASSESSMENT
After the placement, I undertook another skills assessment, which I had peer reviewed once again by Selby analysing key technical and personal skills. This skills assessment can be found below, and I have extrapolated the same 5 key skills - which I used as success markers for myself
1. Safe rigging (rated at 2/5 by myself and peer); I improved my rigging and PA flying skills by initially reading the d&b manual for both the J and V series to help my understanding of the rigging system. While on-site, I improved my skills by initially shadowing Selby as he rigged the first hang of J. I then slowly took myself through rigging the second hang, under the supervision of Selby, which was a successful. After this I then rigged the two V-series outhangs successfully, thus building my confidence further. There is still a long way for myself to go with this, for example rigging other systems such as L'Acoustics and other d&B Line Array systems such as KSL and GSL, alongside the newer XSL.
2. Use of RF equipment (rated at 2/5 by myself and 2/5 by peer); I solidified my usage of RF equipment by downloading Touchstone Pro and Wireless workbench previously to my placement as I knew that I would be using an RF Explorer, which works with these two pieces of software. While on-site, using RF Explorer to allocate frequencies to different devices at pace gave me a great boost in confidence, as well as discovering new features on RF equipment such as the advanced menu on Sennheiser RF allowing very fine tuning of frequencies (up to .005 of a MHz). This can be furthered by more hands on time with different brands, however I now absolutely feel more confident in my use of RF equipment.
3. Audio mixing (rated at 4/5 by myself and 4/5 by peer); I furthered my knowledge of IEM mixing especially during my placement, especially using a new desk for this role. This was one of my first experiences solely mixing on IEMs with no wedge backups, so it was essential that I got it right, and I did - with lots of compliments from the artists and Megan McKenna's crew on my use of IEMs and handiness with setting them u.p
4. Working with talent (rated at 4/5 by myself and 4/5 by peer);
My working with talent improved tenfold through direct interactions with pub-level acts such as the Dunwells, to Academy-level acts such as HRVY and Megan McKenna, dealing with both the artists directly and their managers. Dealing with the artists, I discovered the best tactic was to treat them like humans - they're tired of being treated differently. With regard to interacting with Johnny Depp and Mick Jagger, my tactic were much along the same line but with a far less chatty demeanour unless they initiated conversation.
5. Resourcefulness (rated at 3/5 by myself and 2/5 by peer); My resourcefulness was improved over the course of the placement primarily due to my job role's association of dealing with largely unskilled local crew, which meant I often had to find solutions to problems at very short notice and with limited resources (as we were in the middle of a field).