This last mystery wonderfully represents the trap in which all of us can fall. This time, the story comes from Brian Gowing who used his SUPER-HUMAN POWER OF OBSERVATION to discover the solution to the mysterious problem.
Let’s go to Brian to explain what happened…
Details of the case
“I’m running sound during Thursday night rehearsal and everything sounds good…Everyone goes home happy. Saturday night service rehearsal starts and after the first song the worship leader asks “Did anyone hear that scratchy, ticking sound?”, to which everyone in the band replied affirmatively.
We start diagnosing the problem by muting all the channels and going one-by-one through each channel attempting to determine what is causing it. We get to the acoustic guitar channel and the musician starts playing. Well waddaya know? There it is! It’s clicking and scratching like crazy. When he stops playing it goes away.
The worship leader tells me that the same thing happened the week before and they replaced the instrument cable and that seemed to get rid of it. So I go “Hmm” and start a decision tree in my head about what the cause might be and rule most everything out.”
“I ask the acoustic guitar player to start playing and I notice he’s wearing a long sleeve dress shirt. I stop him and ask him if his shirt has buttons on the cuff and on the cuff opening. It does. I make him roll up his sleeves. No more scratching, no more ticking. Everyone was like, “seriously?” I said “Yup.” Problem solved.
Moral of the story: Take a step back and observe before you dive headlong into technical problem solving. The time and angst you save just might be your own…Don’t get so focused on finding a technical solution to a problem that you overlook the obvious. Sometimes taking a step back and looking at the environment will help you place the problem in perspective. While a significant number of technical problems can only be solved by technical solutions don’t ignore the non-technical possibilities.”
Series wrap up
I hope you’ve enjoyed this four-part series on audio mysteries. It’s wonderful when you’ve got the band sounding great and everything is working like it’s supposed to work. But, on occasion, a problem crops up…and sometimes solving that problem is like solving a mystery.