A lot Of Mics - Small Venue

Davetp

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May 31, 2015
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UK
For this year pantomime I am working on Snow White
We never usually use mics on stage but this year we have to for several reasons:
  • There is a magic mirror actor backstage with a mic and I want it to match the sound of actors on stage
  • Our chorus have a lot of kids in it
  • There is small sounds on stage that have to be picked up
I am putting two condenser mics flying from a lighting bar, a wireless mic hidden in a table, another wireless mic hidden in a trapdoor, and a mic for the magic mirror

My question to you:
How would I attach the condenser XLR leads to the lex bar to assure they won't fall
How would I manage the cables going from the stage to the board
Would it be easier to use all wired mics
What microphones should be used
 

jkowtko

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I don't know what a lex bar is ... but generally you can hang pencil style condenser mic by their xlr cable since they are so light and the XLR is a locking connector. You can also wrap some gaffer tape around the seam ... people often do this anyway to hide the shiny metal body of the xor connector.

As for wired vs wireless, either one will work, but wireless is more restrictive on the mic element that can be used, so your call on which sounds better.

As for snaking cables back to the sound board -- that's just a task in physical routing of cable, I don't think there is any magic to it. I've seen people taping mic cables to lighting bars before -- just leave enough loose cable to accommodate raising or lowering of the bar if that is going to be done. And the standard method of getting many channels of inputs wired from the stage to the board is via audio snake running around the side of the auditorium.

-- John
 

derekleffew

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Davetp

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May 31, 2015
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UK
OK thanks. All i need to sort now is the stage crew not flying the scenery into my mics. What mics do you suggest hiding in the furniture?
 

jkowtko

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Location
Redwood City, CA
I think it all depends on what you're micing.

If it's conversation around a table, then putting a small omni cavalier in a flowerpot in the middle of a table sticking up, should pick things up nicely.

distant sounds that you can't get a mic near -- shotgun mic

floor sounds, tap shoes -- boundary mic.

Notice that all of the above are condenser mics.

What specifically do you have to mic?
 

Davetp

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May 31, 2015
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UK
I have to mic a small stage with 30Adv chorus members that sing.
i have to mic and put a echo effect in a well that someone falls into
i have to mic junior chorus as they hide under a table and say lines when there underneth it
(both the well and the table move on and off stage)
* NEW THING *
I have to produce a door knowing sound. but the actor cant acutally knock the door as it is canvas or plywood (dont know yet) and the actor is an older woman and we dont want her to hurt her hands.
 

KBToys82

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NJ
For the door knocking sound you can have a sound effect on QLabs or PC equivalent. For the well effect, you can record the person who falls in, add the falling down later, and then run it as a cue out of QLab.
 

Davetp

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May 31, 2015
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UK
yeah ive done that in the past for other things and i will have "multiplay" open
but it sounds very fake as we only have two speakes as outputs (sadly) i might use another borad and have speakers hidden the stage but that takes time and money
 

jkowtko

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Location
Redwood City, CA
Sounds like fun ... really :)

Here are my opinions -- would like to hear others as well:

* 30Adv chorus -- I use 4 condenser pencil mics for our middle school choir, spaced several feet apart, ~7ft above the floor, pointing lightly downwards. The singers are on risers in my case, but should also work with them all standing on the stage floor. I could see you hanging these from a rigging bar and lowering them down for the songs. I don't know how often this will happen during the plan, but if only a couple of times, raising and lowering the mics may not be very distracting. Something as simple/cheap as Behringer C2s hanging straight down in your case, covered with black gaffer tape.

* under table -- sounds like two mics of any type (condenser, dynamic, or wireless with lavs) mounted underneath the table would work well. If body mic las, tape the cord to the underside of the table 6" back from the mic element, and let the mic head hang down away from the table surface. Using two mics will allow you a bit of stereo separation

* well -- Assuming the actor is going to let out a continuous "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!" as they fall, use a large hall reverb and slide up the volume of the reverb as the person "falls". The mic can go on the actor or the well, probably doesn't matter since I imagine the well won't be much bigger than a garbage can.

* door knock -- sounds like a traditional foley job. Get a nice piece of plywood backstage that someone can knock on with the right sound, and mic that as the actor mimes it onstage. Or, it also sounds like a tradition playback effect. Get a sound cueing system on a PC or Mac, find a door knock sounds and set it up to trigger off of a key. The sound op can trigger it as needed to match the actor's movements.

Enjoy. For the benefit of others and to get some feedback on your choices, please take and post pics of everything you set up.

-- John
 

Davetp

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May 31, 2015
Location
UK
Yeah i will take pics and if i dont i am about to start youtube videos on the tech at the venue and sound is a key role as im the
SOUND DESIGNER
SOUND OP
SOUND EVERTHING
and many more titles (insert abuse here)
 

Davetp

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May 31, 2015
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UK
i like the idea of the stereo sound for the table (might sound a bit more realistic)
Any Other Views Are Still Open For Review
 

jkowtko

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Jan 9, 2007
Location
Redwood City, CA
Yeah i will take pics and if i dont i am about to start youtube videos on the tech at the venue and sound is a key role as im the
SOUND DESIGNER
SOUND OP
SOUND EVERTHING
and many more titles (insert abuse here)
Sound Engineer is probably the most appropriate and professional sounding term, and it can encompass all that you are doing.

Artistic directors will often informally refer to you as their "sound guy", but they should put Sound Engineer on the playbill.
 

Davetp

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May 31, 2015
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UK
hahaha if i got payed i would be happy
(its volentry work)
I want to start Freelance But yeah... INSURANCE
 

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