HELP!

bluesbabypoet

Member
My theater class decided to "change things up" and have everyone step outside their normal role and do something they never thought of. In my case, i ended up directing a one act for our festival. the only problem (well... the biggest problem anyway) is that the one act they gave me is a radio play. its sorry wrong number, if youve ever heard of it. theres a whole lot of sound effects such as a telephone ring which occurs every two seconds or so, a train, and a busy signal. any ideas on how to do this? i tried using a cd player with a bunch of sound effects but because we have to use it soooo much the cd player takes too long to cue the actors and slows the play wayyyyyy down. im sooooooooo greatful for any help.

soundman

Well-Known Member
as I see it you either can go forward or backward. Going backward would be useing a tape just record the sound effects in the order they happen wiht little to no pause between them and then all you have to do is hit pause and play when need be. The other idea is to use a computer but I am less expericned with that form.

zac850

Well-Known Member
for all the sound work I've ever done (which, I admit, is not much) I have used apple's iTunes which is free for mac and PC (I am a mac man, but it works just as well on a PC) and just had the SFX there. What worked well for me was to set it to repeat 1 and just let the sound play and when I wanted it I would just bring up the levels and bring them back down when I wanted the effect over. I hooked the computer up to the sound board via the headphone out jack to a normal RCA plug (you can get it at radio shack for like 5 bucks) and from RCA to quarter inch plug that went into the board (two channels, one left and one right).

I would suggest this. you can see the audio tracks you wanna play, you can put them into a playlist so it goes track 1, track 2, track 3, and if someone screws up you can get the correct sound effect back up easily just by reading what the song (or sound effect) is called....

halojen

Member
another more complicated method would be using a full-on professional programme called "Ableton Live"
this is for looping your music in live situations - but -
since you have such rapidfire SFX this could be ideal.

you would assign each sound to a letter key on the keyboard.
- hit a key and its corrosponding sound plays.
you could have more than one playing at once too.

you can set them to individually loop or play once according to teh requirements or the sounds.
you can set it to play as long as you hold the button down, until you press the button again or not stop at all until its finished.

..and if your fully into it you can use a MIDI keyboard to do the same job as the computer keyboard.

really the only disadvantege is that you would have to learn how to use the programme first.

fosstech

Active Member
I like to use minidiscs. They play almost instantly if you have them cued up. I had to do a show like that early this year. I recorded all my own sounds for the phone rings, button pushing and everything. As for sounds inside the phone (like tones, busy signals, etc.), I used a speakerphone and my condensor mic. Worked and sounded great.

All of this was recorded into Cakewalk Sonar in my computer, and then edited up and spat out the sound interface through S/PDIF into the minidisc recorder to reduce A/D and D/A conversion noise.

What I do with the sounds is put them onto a minidisc in the order that they happen, even if it means having two or three (or sometimes more :wink: ) copies of it on the minidisc. You can name the tracks so the names come up on the screen of the player. Sony has a nice line of professional rack-mountable decks, the MDS-E series. My theatre has an MDS-E10 which suits our needs perfectly, except for the fact that I would like balanced outputs like on the MDS-E11. But I can't complain with what I have.

zac850

Well-Known Member
also, what i've done to stop the delay from when you start the cue to when it starts to play, is on iTunes, or a CD player, set it to repeat 1, and then just let it play the track constantly, and just pull the volume up when you need it. When that cues done, turn the volume back down, and then set up for the next cue.

halojen

Member
youve got to watch out though. sometimes you need sounds to play at the same time not just one after enother.
i was acting in a play and the sound guy had the
flapping of a dragon's wings
-and then-
a crude roaring sound
-and then-
a halfassed cross between a firey sound and an explosion (the dragon blowing fire and burning something)
cause he just pushed skip track every time.

it sounded really bad. i would have made one track wich had all the sounds appropriatly mixed.

DMXtools

Active Member
I'll just back up suggestions already made - whether it's a burned CD, a minidisk, the hard drive of your computer or just a cassette, go through and record the effects you need, in the order you need them and as many copies of each as you need as a single track. Then during the performance you simply alternate between play and pause. Of course, if you miss one cue, the whole thing is out of sequence... so be careful.

John

halojen

Member
cool.
i love things like that.
..eg. im currently designing my second homemade joystick.
for use with Fruity Loops (a music making programme) so i can live tweak things physically.
(of course they dont take the actual form of a joystick.) the first one was just a row of knobs but as far as teh comp is concerned its a stick.
yay.