OAKLAND, Calif. — Nick Takanaka, the resident lighting technician at The Corner, is reportedly nearing his breaking point after being constantly mistaken for the venue’s decrepit, incompetent sound guy, sources close to the gaffer’s tape enthusiast confirmed.
“I put alot of effort into making this place a great experience for the performers and audience with the limited resources I have,” said Takanaka, while attempting to untangle and coil a haphazard pile of XLR cables. “I sourced and installed a whole new grid of color-changing LEDs in preparation for our reopening. And I’m able to program the lights in real-time with the performances, creating some pretty trippy effects. So when someone asks me why there’s still a constant buzz in the speakers or why any amount of bass creates a rattling sound, it takes a few years off my life. People don’t care enough about techs to know that the buzz problem is (Dirk) Hannigan’s job. He barely does a soundcheck and I don’t think he’s even ever set up a monitor.”
Even frequent performers and patrons do not seem to be able to distinguish between lighting and sound roles at the venue.
“Nick’s lighting makes my band’s videos look sick when I post them on Instagram. I’ll always ‘accidentally’ upload videos with no sound because people would assume it’s our fault that our instruments sound like we are playing inside an underwater garbage truck, ” said musician and person-smoking-a-spliff-outside Abby Ortega. “Whenever I ask him to fix the sound he freaks out and screams that it’s ‘not his fucking problem.’ I’ve tried bringing my own sound guy, but a random dude in a tactical vest pulled a knife on him and told him to stay away from the soundboard.”
Though Takanaka insists that Dirk Hannigan is particularly unreliable, it seems that the “sound guy problem” extends well beyond one venue.
“We’re seeing increasing stratification in pay and skill level in the sound field lately,” reported UC Berkeley Stagecraft professor Kate Wilson. “There is a huge disconnect between the skills needed for quality sound engineering, and what most people are willing to pay. In this environment, a sound tech with rudimentary skills can make himself indispensable in exchange for minimum wage and beer. I think it’s because so many people get confused by the whole input versus output thing.”
At press time, Hannigan had caused a sudden evacuation of the venue due to ear-splitting feedback that he was trying to fix with one hand while lighting a cigarette.