Doh Moments in the Studio

Allright, I just recovered from a doozie. I thought it was funny and I figures I would share. I hope you share yours too.

Ok, Here’s the latest:

I got a new Macbook Pro for location recording. It has been flawless the few weeks I have had it other than networking. Today came this issue:

The computer would at random go into sleep. Nothing would wake it up. No key press, closing and opening the screen, hot keys… NOTHING! Reboot to login screen then mid-way through typing my password, the computer would sleep! I searched the net, found a lot of users reporting similar issues, did power management resets from boot…. nothing would fix it. Nothing nothing nothing!! Ripping my hair out for 3 hours I tried reinstalling the os and before I could set it to go, SLEEP!!! It has to be a hardware problem, right?


Then I found this:

I lifted the Macbook off the other macbook and it woke up! :smiling_imp: :smiling_imp: :smiling_imp:
Now I have to wipe all the spit off the screen and pack up for tonight’s location recording.


Nice one, heh. You were stacking Macbooks? :confused: (I’ll think of something to contribute… I’m sure I have something, but I manage to repress such memories. :wink:

What did u record?

Thanks…Good that I know.

Thank you for that information. It’s a good thing to know.

Wow! Thanks for the info. It’s good to know that a MBP will go to sleep if magnets, iPhone, iPad even the apple watch are on it or stacking…

I do sound, recording and production at Boxcar brewing. Iso split on stage into the computer, record the tracks and add processing through a handful of group channels that I aux send to. I then send those to foh and blend them in with main mix.

I’m putting a magnet under my pillow.

Aloha and good one Tom. Glad you got it sorted.

One of my stories is:

Years ago I accidentally erased/scrambled the entire contents of my 1st
G4 laptop by placing it on top of a sub woofer.
Guess it was the sub’s magnet that did the deed.

Luckly this happened on the way home (after the gig) so I got to restore it
from a back-up.

Now days since everything is SSD’s, guess that prob does not happen anymore.


Oh, I got one. Not in the studio, but gig related.

I play violin- I took a gig playing solo for a ceremony up in a resort area NW of Chicago (Antioch area). I had worked hard with the client to create a backing track and violin part for this grand exit after the ceremony, where the bride and groom would jump on a boat and take off across the water to a Tito Puente/Alfredo De La Fe (latin jazz fiddler) type of number I wrote for them. Expectations were high.

I was quite happy with myself when I arrived early and was counting on a stress free setup right on the waterfront. But- when I opened my violin case there was no bow! The bride’s mother (who was paying) was livid (I had to tell them). I was desperate. I got lucky though- I found a group of locals on a beach down a ways from where I was, and just went up and told them my sob story, one of the women there had a niece who took violin lessons at the local grammar school- she made a call and a while later someone showed up with a half-size kiddie bow, and I did the gig with that. I managed to even start almost on time.

For a while after that I kept a bow in the trunk of my car. And these days I always have two or three bows in my case.

Hey Tom,

Although your setup probably makes the most sense for what you’re doing, I am a bit leary of using laptops for location recording. I did a few remote sessions early on and had problems. I switched to dedicated recorders and never looked back.

I record mostly wind ensembles, jazz bands, choirs, and string orchestras for local schools and churches. I currently use a Sound Devices 788T as my main recorder and a Roland R-44 as a safety backup.

After learning some lessons the hard way, I now build redundancies into every part of the signal chain. Two main pairs of mics, phantom covered for each main pair by separate recorders, passive splitters, two recorders, multiple media recording with the SD. With this approach, anything can fail and I should still be able to pull a workable recording.

Afterwards, I hook up the recorders to my computer, download the files, then have at it with Cubase and Wavelab. And I monitor using the monitors you sold to me. They’re still going strong!


I hear ya :smiley: that’s a nice rig you have there!

When you were computer based, what kind of pappy did you use? Since 2007 I’ve been using apple laptops for location recording and haven’t ever had any issues on location. I’m pushing this obe too, especially recording at 88.2kHz. I’m going to drop it to 44.1 this week so I can use more plugins with ample overhead.

BIOS can be affected by strong magnetism. Even so, it would have to be one heck-of-a-subwoofer to give off THAT much magnetism!

Pesky Macs :laughing:

A industrial strength demagnetizer will easily kill a USB thumb drive, or a SSD. But I guess there is not much use for them in music production;-)

I have one story, which was more about the clients, but it was a Doh moment all the same.

Back in the 1980’s we were recording/producing an album for a “shall-not-be-named-here” French (first language) artist who’s English language skills were some what challenged. He was a nice guy, had some unique styles and concepts, and we were about half way through the long project, going well (three months in). One of his tunes involved both lyrical singing and some rapping. He wanted the rapping done by a Canadian guy he hired, and he wrote the script for the guy to learn/perform. Well the day of the rap recording, the voice talent arrived, and started laying down takes. The last line of the rap said “now back to artists name on the dance floor”. Now, we are English first language (me, voice talent and the engineer) and we clearly heard the voice talent saying exactly what was written in the script, but somehow, the artist, (due to his unusual stage name) was convinced that he was saying, “now back to axxhole, on the dance floor”. This debate escalated really fast despite all three of us politely denying it, the artist became even more offended/agitated and then walked out canceling the whole project loudly. We were pretty much saying “Doh” at that point… At least it was pay as you go, so we were not out of pocket except for the last session. :laughing: Looking back its funny, we were less amused at the time.

I was using a small windows laptop. I think it was an Acer. XP operating system. Nothing special.

Part of why i use stand alone recorders are that i get pres, Limiters, AD converters, recording media, and whatnot, in a very small package. One device. Plug and go. And I run strictly on batteries, which is very liberating. For the 788T, I was using Sony L batteries, but just got a pair of NP batteries. Those things can provide power for a looooong time. I used to run extension cords all over the place…but not any more.

However, i couldnt add effect chains like youre doing. My recorders are really just for capture. I would rethink using laptops if i had high track counts or had to mix on the fly.