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Don't ask for a house speaker mic while recording a concert

Discussion in 'Safety' started by EPAC_Matt, Mar 1, 2004.

  1. EPAC_Matt

    EPAC_Matt Member

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    Today we recorded an orchestra concert for a local group (yesterday, the rehersal, was actually my first gig as a techie 8)) but today was a bit hectic. We didn't screw anything too bad, but basically here's what happened.

    A friend and I were in the sound booth to record this to a minidisk and a laptop running sound forge. Unfortunatly, the aux sends and subgroups on our Mackie SR24-4 were being a bit fussy and we didn't have the time to sort things out so we had to patch the mixer's main outs directly into the minidisk recorder and laptop.

    However, after we recorded the first song, we noticed that we had plugged the main outs into the wrong minidisk recorder. This was fine, however, because it still had been recorded to the laptop. We fixed this before the next song and all was good until intermission.

    During the intermission we were notified by a techie stage-right via clearcom that the concert director wanted a mic to announce the next song or something. This was not good because, as I mentioned before, we were recording and the theater manager would kill us if we created a feedback loop.

    Sure, there's a very simple fix, mute the five recording mics, power up the amp rack, and power on the wireless mic receiver. It's a bit different when you've only got 2 minutes to think about it and do it ;)

    Well, our adult technician on stage left found a wirless mic and had us power up the corrosponding receiver on the equipment rack in our sound booth. Bad news. None of the receivers compatible with the mic we had would power on. soo, basically we told the adult tech to find a new mic that'd work with the older receiver we had (which powered on). The last little problem was that our gain/trim wasnt properly adjusted so the lady spoke for about 10 seconds before we figgured it out and fixed it.

    After that we had to quickly power down the amp rack then unmute the recording mics and start recording again :roll:

    After that, everything went smooth and they were happy 8)

    Moral: Don't ask for a mic in the middle of a performance.. especially when its being recorded.
     
  2. The_Terg

    The_Terg Active Member

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    Re: Don't ask for a house speaker mic while recording a conc

    Heh, I can agree with you on THAT one.... Usually our school is good about telling us what is needed for each assembly, but its those 'surprises' that keep you on your toes.

    I especially loved this one preformance where the guest musician asked us, over his live microphone during a song, to get a 'nighttime' lighting cue on, when he never told us about any custom lighting. Wow was I lucky that I had filled out a little sheet displaying the current light scheme.

    I have noticed that as well with our Mackie 24X4 VLZ pro. A few things to try:
    A) - Make sure the cables are running WELL away from power cables. The mini-mackie boards have a wonderful tendency to cause nasty buzz when the mic-cables run inline with the power cable.
    B) - Try using a ground-lift adapter. I know this works when using the XLR outputs on our Mackie 1202-vlz pro.
    C) - you want High aux output -> low recording input. So, turn up the master aux send volume on the recording aux, and turn down the level on the recording devices. This will help CABLE HUM.
    D) - Get proper power cleaning devices for your board. Our Mackie 24X4 is horrible when recording to NON-GROUNDED devices, like a camera or portable mini-disk. This is becuase the board is on the same breaker as the dimmers, so you get a nasty BUZZZZZZ when the lights come on. Our school was good enough to get a power conditioner for the Amps, so that they won't buzz, but the board sounds nasty.
     
  3. EPAC_Matt

    EPAC_Matt Member

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    Re: Don't ask for a house speaker mic while recording a conc

    Hi,

    Thanks for those tips, I'll look into how it's set up and see how I can improve the setup as far as what you mentioned, but it wasn't really an issue with humming or buzzing, the aux sends and the subgroups just wouldnt send. period. Couldn't get an audio signal.. hmm... I sure hope our board isn't shot :?
     
  4. The_Terg

    The_Terg Active Member

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    Re: Don't ask for a house speaker mic while recording a conc

    Odd indeed....
    TRY THIS:
    1) Turn all of the auxes on one of your channels to the midway point.
    2) Make sure that ALL of the buttons next to the faders are depressed. (You know, the ones that say 1-2, 3-4 and LR. Those assign the channel to output on those outputs. 1-2 are auxes 1 and 2, 3-4 are auxes 3 and 4.... etc.. LR is the main mix).
    3) Turn all the aux masters down all the way.
    4) fire up your recording device or software... If you are using a computer, Remember to set the recording device.
    5) Plug the recorder into an aux (Start with aux 6, if it is free. It is automatically postfader and enabled for every track)
    6) Begin recording on a blank tape/audio file. Wear headphones to monitor the audio, or use a levelmeter, or some other means of judging that you have signal.
    7) Turn up the chanel fader, and main mix fader until a desirable level is on the main speakers.
    8) SLowly turn up the main aux volume until audio is visible or audible on the recording device. If you still dont hear anything, try raising the aux level on the channel itself. (Make sure the channel isnt muted ;))
    9) You SHOULD reach a desirable level for the recorder. If you dont, try going back to step 5 and trying another aux. It would be very odd for the auxes all just NOT to work without bringing down individual channels or the main mix.

    If anything, you can ALSO try plugging a pair of headphones into one of the auxes and testing it that way. The auxes should generate enough signal to drive most headphones, mono.
     
  5. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    Re: Don't ask for a house speaker mic while recording a conc

    Also dont ask for a recording ten minutes before a rehearsel. I have never recored anything before and sunday some one asked me to set up a mic in the house to record the show so he could get a feel for the balance betwen the vocals and the pit. I tried to hook up our striaght out of the 80s tape player but had no luck because I didnt have the right cables. grrr
     
  6. Nephilim

    Nephilim Active Member

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    Re: Don't ask for a house speaker mic while recording a conc

    Yes, but we're making sure here :D
     
  7. Thomas

    Thomas Member

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    Just in General, if I don't know exactly what a production wants on stage at least a week before it gets in, there's no chance in hell it'll get it unless I'm in a really good mood.

    I guess, in a high-school situation, there's no winning anyway.
     
  8. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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  9. gabe

    gabe Member

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    Whenever I've used aux sends I've had to amplify them.
     

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