If you could buy it...

mbenonis

Wireless Guy
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Sep 1, 2003
Location
Chicago, IL
If you could buy one piece of equipment (multiple units of a specific piece of equipment count) for your theatre, what would it be and why would you buy it?

For our theatre, it would probably be 16 channels of gate and compression for our wireless mics. This would significantly clean up the mix that we currently create for our shows.
 

propmonkey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Location
Milwaukee, WI
i would buy source 4's or strand sl. we need new instruments.
 

Peter

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Joined
Oct 2, 2004
Location
MA, USA
Hmmm not really a piece of equipment (but on second thought it probably would be) but I'd buy myself enough free time to write a manual on how to run everything in my school's auditorium. Sure there are manuals on each piece of the system, but not really anything on putting it all together and all the tricks of the trade, both general tricks of the trade and specific little pet-peives about our facility. Why.... Well, I'm graduating in a few weeks, and I fear that no matter how hard I've been training the new freshmen, even if I was in their seat there is no way I could learn it all, and it doent help that the teacher in charge doesnt know any of the new equipment and himself only has one more year before retirement.
 

techieman33

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Joined
Nov 7, 2004
Location
topeka, ks
I was in your situation last year peter, you just have to do the best you can and let them do their own thing. It may seem important to you now, but after you get to college, it won't seem like nearly as big of a deal. I thought I was going to go in and help out, and those kinds of things but with college you just become to busy. About all I do now is to go watch the shows on opening night, and help them out by giving them some feedback on things that they can try to improve on.

As far as a purchase it would be for my old high school, since I don't do any theater at all in college. (it's not that I don't love theater anymore, it's just that I don't like the school or department) A new fly system, the one currently there hasn't been really serviced in over 15 years. A lot of the cables aren't load rated, and there are cracks in the welds on several battens (which have since been taken down) And the grid is still original from 1931, 2X4's layed standing up. It's still pretty solid, and not really scary for those used to being up there but it's hard to get newer students to feel safe up there.
 

Andy_Leviss

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Dec 26, 2004
Location
NYC
mbenonis said:
If you could buy one piece of equipment (multiple units of a specific piece of equipment count) for your theatre, what would it be and why would you buy it?

For our theatre, it would probably be 16 channels of gate and compression for our wireless mics. This would significantly clean up the mix that we currently create for our shows.
Mike,
I can help you with that for nothing more than the cost of a little time and practice. The trick is to learn to mix line-by-line. It's a lot harder, for sure, but a skill worth learning if you want to mix musicals professionally. The way to create a clean mix is to ensure that the absolute bare minimum of mics is open at any given time. As crazy as it may sound if you've never mixed or seen anybody else mix this way, on many big musicals the engineer really is riding the mics on each and every line.

It's hard, and you have to know the script really well, but if you can learn to do that, your mix will sound many, many times cleaner, without any wasteful processing. It is the rare Broadway show/tour that uses any vocal processing at all aside from 'verb or other special effects. You've got ten super-soft-knee compressors at your ready anytime you need them--your fingers and thumbs. If you want to do it professionally, the two skills you definitely want to pick up are to mix line-by-line and to ride the faders dynamically, adding a much more subtler "compression" manually without needing to rely on processing to do it.

If you can learn that now, you'll be welllllllll ahead of where I was when I was your age; I didn't learn this stuff until after I graduated college, and I can only imagine how much cleaner my mixes would have sounded had I learned to do this then!

Then take the cash and spend it on a system processor like a DriveRack :eek:) Actually, my dream processor is a Lake Contour Mesa. Mmmm...

--Andy
 

len

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2004
Location
Chicagoland
Two things:

1. A way to make people who have the knowledge and ability, to actually strike a show and pack all the gear properly, so that I don't have to spend a day re-looping cords, and putting things away properly.

2. The time to sort through all the crap in the shop that the boss buys at auctions, and throw most of it out while he's not looking so I have room for the stuff we really use.
 

avkid

Not a New User
Fight Leukemia
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Feb 17, 2004
Location
Lakewood, NJ
len said:
Two things:

1. A way to make people who have the knowledge and ability, to actually strike a show and pack all the gear properly, so that I don't have to spend a day re-looping cords, and putting things away properly.

2. The time to sort through all the crap in the shop that the boss buys at auctions, and throw most of it out while he's not looking so I have room for the stuff we really use.
No need to throw things out, donate to us for a tax deduction!!
 

propmonkey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Location
Milwaukee, WI
i take back the source 4 and or sl's. my school needs a fly system, our is still condemend. its going to be taken down this summer but were not sure if it will be replaced.
 

mbenonis

Wireless Guy
Administrator
Premium Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Location
Chicago, IL
Andy_Leviss said:
Mike,
I can help you with that for nothing more than the cost of a little time and practice. The trick is to learn to mix line-by-line...

Andy,
This is actually something I have been working towards when I mix my shows. You are right - it's very difficult - but it does indeed make the show cleaner and tighter. However, considering how difficult it can be for me, it's even harder to teach other high school students with little or no mixing experience to do the same thing.
 

BNBSound

Active Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Location
Alexander, NY
avkid said:
Soundcraft Series Two 40 channel console. As for why, I need more channels and am itching to upgrade from the Mackie.
Amen Brother, can't wait to get my hands on one myself.

mbenonis said:
For our theatre, it would probably be 16 channels of gate and compression for our wireless mics. This would significantly clean up the mix that we currently create for our shows.
If you need to tame down your wireless stuff, buss them all to a group or two or four and comp the groups. You get much more even processing, weather there's one mic up or two dozen. Then you can get away with something in your rack like a Behringer MDX4600: four channels of comp/limiter/gate for about $130 and it only takes up 1RU.
 

mbenonis

Wireless Guy
Administrator
Premium Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Location
Chicago, IL
BNBSound said:
If you need to tame down your wireless stuff, buss them all to a group or two or four and comp the groups. You get much more even processing, weather there's one mic up or two dozen. Then you can get away with something in your rack like a Behringer MDX4600: four channels of comp/limiter/gate for about $130 and it only takes up 1RU.
We actually already have the wireless bussed to a group, but inserting a dynamics processor would only help by compressing the wireless separately from the sound effects (all of which are already compressed via an DC24 over the mix. For any gating to be more effective than what we already do, it would need to done on an individual basis.

Also, I refuse to purchase anything made by Behringer for various reasons which have been discussed ad nausium. :)
 

bahaha

Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2005
Some new wireless mics would be really nice. Something frequency agile and UHF would be cool. Probably something from Shure. I'm in the same boat as you Peter as far as leaving behind a manual of sorts. I've been working on it bit by bit throughout the year. It should be pretty nice whenever i finish it. I'm making it web based. Click on the picture of a certain piece of equipment and you're taken to a page describing its features, tips on how to use it, and links to manuals and the manufacturer website. It's a pain in the butt but it needs to be done.
 

Fusiondude

Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2004
Location
Colerain Twp. Cincinnati, OH
Andy_Leviss said:
The trick is to learn to mix line-by-line. It's a lot harder, for sure, but a skill worth learning if you want to mix musicals professionally. The way to create a clean mix is to ensure that the absolute bare minimum of mics is open at any given time.
This is how I mix our show choir shows. Different type of show but same principle. We have two Shure's that are being passed around between the songs for soloists and since I've been doing this, the mix sounds cleaner when you "ride the lyrics" for their ques. It's a very useful skill to learn.
 

BNBSound

Active Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Location
Alexander, NY
BNBSound said:
Also, I refuse to purchase anything made by Behringer for various reasons which have been discussed ad nausium. :)
While I'll agree that Behringer has made some crap in the past, you're really missing out if you're taking a pass on some of their newer stuff. And I know guys who own seven figures worth of gear who agree.
 

AVGuyAndy

Active Member
Joined
May 1, 2005
I've got Behringer EQs and compressors. I like them so far. The real test will be next week's show. The behringer EQs are nice since I haven't learned the different tones yet for when you're ringing out. Each "slider" on the EQ has an LED which lights up when a frequency is peaking, or feeding back.

For a mixer I was going to go Behringer but I bought a Yamaha 16/4. I love it so far. I've used the older Yamaha mixers with success. I'll probably go with a Behringer amp, though.