Backstage sound systems


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Who has got one? What speakers do you use? What amp and what pickup mic?

I'm going to be installing my system starting this friday. I'm using all 12" square baffle 6" 70v paging speakers. I've got two of them in the hallways SR and SL hallways, one of them in the changing room and another in the backstage room used to cross from SR to SL. I've got a 60 watt 6 channel TOA mixer/amp i'm using to drive the system. I've got an old sony unidirectional mic hanging over the stage to feed the system. I patched the microphone into a channel on my console and i'm feeding aux 6 into the TOA mixer amp. Its going to work pretty well I think :)
i have this great backstage sound system, i call over the walkie talkies, we dont even have our own, we borrow the security ones after they leave, and crew members yell to the actors to get ready. :?
i've also used the schools paging system for some helpful annoucements


and my personal favorite.....

wel, our backstage is like a U. the stage is in the middle of it, hallways go to the back, and you have to run around the whole thing to switch sides. We just have the chuch fellowship stage (small Christian school, we rent fro a church) and we don't really have a backstage sound system. Our last play we set up a baby monitor....that actually worked pretty well.
Boy do I have a system, the entire "fine arts" wing is wired. That's the hallways, band room, choir room, rehersal space, dressing rooms, custom storage, scene shop, props storage, back stage, stage hallways, spotbooth, etc. They're all using 70v paging speakers, we have two permanent hanging mics right above the stage in the house to feed the system. The mics have their own preamp so they can be fed into the hearing impaired units as well and may be patched into the console (no preamp channels needed). An smaller replica of the system is powering the lobby areas but do not receive any of the paging feeds. I'm kinda thinking about putting in JBL control speakers in the lobby for more natural sound, the paging speakers don't exactly scream bass response.
I've seen some paging speakers with surprisingly good bass response. When the board audio tech installed the paging speaker in the booth he decided that 5 watts would be a good speaker tap setting. You can ___FEEL____ the secretary slamming her phone back on the hook. hehe
"ANY BANDS WANTING A SOUNDCHECK COME TO THE AUDITORIUM RIGHT NOW"[/quote] ahhh i dont even wanna get started on my soundchecks yesterday... the bands ignored my calls to come to the auditorium and we ended up doing soundchecks up till the minute the doors opened.
we just use the standard pa system that is in the building, during the day it just runs the nromal pa program from foh but during performances we can swtich it over to backstage only and page with it, it also has aux inputs for music or a feed from the desk and has a standard input from a shotgun mic that is in our dress circle.
sounds a bit like ours, cept we have bose speakers throughout the building.. the control unit has 3 inputs, one which is the main foyer program, one which is our feed and one for whatever you want and switches 2 turn sections off, the same unit also runs the hearing loop for people with hearing aids...

does anyone actually know how they work, inductance loops i believe?
ccfan213 said:
we ended up doing soundchecks up till the minute the doors opened.

Thats what we allways do, regardless of the event. It drives me insane. They also open the doors early
i love the bose! great sound, cept i dont think id use them anywhere else than a PA system haha...
bose 802's have really passed their used by date lol

anyway, now, I've decided to just get switches on the hallway paging speakers so I can select between school paging and backstage sound.
For some reason, our new school (less then a year old) had microphone inputs in the Band and chorus rooms which also get used as dressing rooms (across the hall from the back of the auditorium) but there is no way to get sound back into those rooms without using the school wide intercom. The only input for that intercom is in the office which I do not have keys for, and usualy no one arround at the hours shows run has a key to eather!

We generally have to rely on the wired intercom system (with only two plugs!!! one in the booth and one backstage) and people yelling to get messages arround, although we have used walkie-talkies for some large shows.
Did I forget to mention that in my case the *very very smart* people who built our school installed conduit that is toooo small!!! They could bairly fit the wires they needed to fit though! Everyone is also realizing now that we need more mic inputs, and they are all scratching their heads wondering where they are going to put the wires! I dont think there is much chance I will be installing more that requires wires, even if it is only phone line!
masonry drill bit + hammer drill = :)

or find the lines for the existing paging speakers and use the unused pair (assuming they are connected with phone cable
Now, now, the Panrays and their ceiling speakers aren't that bad. But everything else... yeah.

The school I used to be at in norcal has a full clearcom system with wall stations everywhere but no stage monitormic, so we just sent the main mix (modified slightly) to the program input on that.

Down here the school I was at hads a drop mic and a small 70V pa rig around backstage, works well.

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