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need advice for a big show
Old 17th October 2013
  #1
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need advice for a big show

this is my first time i ve done show this big. 50 + orchestra, choir, drums, 3 guitars, keyboards, 2 main vox. the way i see it, the biggest problems should be positioning and choosing the orchestra mics.
my other concern is the venue, a sports venue with no acoustic treatment at all. you can see it following this link

any advice would be really appreciated. thanks
Old 17th October 2013
  #2
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ckreon's Avatar
 

So are you bringing in the PA or?

That room will be really nice to the choir (and maybe orchestra depending on what they play), but obviously it's going to be a very live and boomy. I would work to isolate the guitar amps (if there are any, not sure if they are acoustic or electric), along with any keyboard amps (if player needs it for personal amp, just get it close to them and keep the volume as low as possible). You don't want anymore wash added in this environment as you will be competing with crow-noise already.

If you manage to isolate those elements, you will be in good shape. Obviously the mics used for the orchestra and choir will also pick up the whole room to some extent, so again take extra care to isolate any potential loudness. If the drums are percussion based, I would just let them setup as usual - if a drumkit shows up, ask the player to dampen the kit as much as possible. If they are willing, some fabric (like a small towel) on the cymbals absorbs a decent amount of energy and shortens sustain. This room will sustain for days so you won't miss the extra noise.

If everyone plays nice and the solar system aligns, it may sound pretty damn nice in there, given the flattery a room like that can have on group vocals and strings.
Old 17th October 2013
  #3
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Yes it will sound big and boomy, I'm not sure about damping cymbals really, depends on the drummer and the cymbals your talking about. This group may have already worked out how to play together in rooms like this, talk with them and find out all you can before hand. If you can set up a drape behind them it may help with some things that may come up, will they take up the whole floor or will they set-up on one end of the floor with extra chairs set-up on the other side?
Any sound companies around that have done this sort of thing? If you can hire one of there guys to assist it would be good and you'll get some education.
Old 17th October 2013
  #4
Gear Head
 

Going slightly off topic here. But as far as the drummer goes(trust me I've been one for 20years) you might wanna find out what heads he's using before any treatment is taken to them. If he's using a coated head and the drums are to loud still, then try to get him to use moon gel, or tape some tissue to the reso head(bottom drum head) of his toms. Cymbals shouldn't be too bad, because most drummers can get a feel of how hard they should play, which is a big reason why you don't see cymbals dampened often, especially if there using smaller cymbals. Like say a 14in crash or 8in splash. But nothing may need to be done in that area if all the musicians are used to playing together. But just thought I would lend some advice as far as drums go.
PS if he's not using coated heads, and hes using clear heads instead. Dampen both heads for a room like this, but don't dampen the bottom head on the snare. Again only take these steps if needed, I don't know if you get a soundcheck or not, but it will be pretty important to find out how well the band plays together.
Old 17th October 2013
  #5
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ckreon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PRofeshunAL View Post
Going slightly off topic here. But as far as the drummer goes(trust me I've been one for 20years) you might wanna find out what heads he's using before any treatment is taken to them. If he's using a coated head and the drums are to loud still, then try to get him to use moon gel, or tape some tissue to the reso head(bottom drum head) of his toms. Cymbals shouldn't be too bad, because most drummers can get a feel of how hard they should play, which is a big reason why you don't see cymbals dampened often, especially if there using smaller cymbals. Like say a 14in crash or 8in splash. But nothing may need to be done in that area if all the musicians are used to playing together. But just thought I would lend some advice as far as drums go.
PS if he's not using coated heads, and hes using clear heads instead. Dampen both heads for a room like this, but don't dampen the bottom head on the snare. Again only take these steps if needed, I don't know if you get a soundcheck or not, but it will be pretty important to find out how well the band plays together.
I should have added that because of ambiguity from the OP, I was not sure the type of drums being brought in. As I sort of specified, if it's percussion, or a drummer with the orchestra, you shouldn't have to worry about anything. They will play appropriately as directed to, and the director should handle most of the big balance issues for you.

However, it seemed possible with the vox and multiple guitars/keys, that this was potentially something louder, like a rock group or whatever, and in those cases, the drummer could be an issue, as they hit hard.
Old 17th October 2013
  #6
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Wyllys's Avatar
 

How many channels can you run?

Do you have access to 3 or 4 dozen mics such as AT Pro37's?

Will you have any rehearsal time?

What are you using for a mixer and what delivery (speaker) system?

No use telling you how to do it if you don't have the gear...
Old 17th October 2013
  #7
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ckreon View Post
I should have added that because of ambiguity from the OP, I was not sure the type of drums being brought in. As I sort of specified, if it's percussion, or a drummer with the orchestra, you shouldn't have to worry about anything. They will play appropriately as directed to, and the director should handle most of the big balance issues for you.

However, it seemed possible with the vox and multiple guitars/keys, that this was potentially something louder, like a rock group or whatever, and in those cases, the drummer could be an issue, as they hit hard.
Yeah, I guess I myself sorta assumed that there using a full set. I'm just giving him advice in the event that there using a full drumset that he may have to sound treat himself, its totally possible that he may not need my advice at all.
Old 18th October 2013
  #8
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thanks guys for all your replys. it s gonna be a symphonic rock show, i m gonna post some links as soon as i get them. i m not bringing the PA, i ve been asked to do this job because they wanted somebody that can read the scores.
http://www.mediarent.ro/frames/sound...media_rent.xls
this is the equipment list from the rental company, i m a bit worried about the mic list. i m gonna meet with them and see if they have access to more mics.
thanks again for the replys and sorry about my poor english skills
Old 18th October 2013
  #9
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Wyllys's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrc View Post
thanks guys for all your replys. it s gonna be a symphonic rock show, i m gonna post some links as soon as i get them. i m not bringing the PA, i ve been asked to do this job because they wanted somebody that can read the scores.
http://www.mediarent.ro/frames/sound...media_rent.xls
this is the equipment list from the rental company, i m a bit worried about the mic list. i m gonna meet with them and see if they have access to more mics.
thanks again for the replys and sorry about my poor english skills
Not really a lot of specific info there, I'm afraid. Mic list is vague. Overall, it looks like about half enough gear. A 48 channel board is woefully short of what you'll need, maybe enough for the orchestra and a bit more, but you'll probably need another 16-24 channels for the rock band and you didn't even say how many voices in the "choir". Depending on the deployment of the sound system and the desired sound level, you could be looking at another 20-30 mics for vocalists.

A legitimate approach to this would be to have the person responsible for the sound spec the PA and all the associated equipment. Being handed a gear list, an orchestra, chorus and rock band and told to make them fit is BS.
Old 18th October 2013
  #10
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For acoustic symphonic or orchestral performances I have to disagree with some of the others and note that a desirable result for such performances is not just a factor of a live room but of having reflections with specific desired characteristics (time arrival, density, level relative to the direct sound, direction of arrival and so on) that I doubt that space would provide.

For a symphonic rock performance you are likely going to have to reinforce the orchestra to be able to balance it with the rock elements. With untreated walls around the stage, a large quantity of instrument amps and/or monitors on stage, acoustic drums with no enclosure, etc. then that may limit the effectiveness of any distant or area micing for the orchestra. I definitely think you need to contact the sound provider and discuss in greater detail what they envision and propose for micing. It also looks like the are proposing several submixes so you might want to clarify what is intended there and how that works for both FOH and monitor mixing
Old 18th October 2013
  #11
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You will not need to mic every person in the orchestra. Maybe the 1st chair violin(s) or any soloists, definitely the choir, and then your standard rock band. You will need to mix the band to the orchestra, not the other way around, which might feel more natural. This should help keep the overall volume down.
Old 18th October 2013
  #12
Gear Addict
 

Choosing your orchestra mics isn't your biggest issue here. Any good sdc will work fine for just about any of the instruments. What is more of a question (to me) is the reflectiveness of the room, stage plot of the performers and controlling the bleed of so many sound sources. It's entirely possible that the room may carry many of the instruments just fine. You can only know by setting up and finding out. Depending on the stage plot, you might be forced to close-mic probably everything except the choir. I would also use mute groups to kill mics when not in use. Though I would rather area-mic parts of an orchestra, it might not work in this instance if the score conflicts with the stage plot. Can't very well use area mics if the rock band is blasting right next to the violins. I would plan on an extensive sound check and be prepared to move monitors, mics, maybe even performers. I've done several shows like this (a bit smaller) and they are really tricky to get right. It can sound like a crap sandwhich quite easily.
Old 18th October 2013
  #13
Lives for gear
as i said before, i m gonna meet with the guy from the rental company and talk about the gear he s planning on bringing. that gear list is all i have for now from their website.
as for the soundcheck, we ll have the whole day before the show.
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