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Just Saying Hello

Discussion in 'New Member Board' started by ChickenLive, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. ChickenLive

    ChickenLive Member

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    I am a student at a high school that likes to work with all the fun toys for the theater department.

    I know a little about lights and sound. I have run a couple shows, including the production of Hello, Dolly. For it, I mainly built the set but also helped run lights and sound FX for the show. We had two boards, two people (sometimes three if lucky) and a spotlight to run the lights. Oh, and not enough time or experience to get it completely done and practiced until the last couple shows. I personally had not seen the whole show front to back until opening night, we were so tight on finishing things. Along with the craziness, there was a couple really challenging/technical lighting segments that no one knew or had practiced. We had three stages all being used simultaneously.

    The sound FX were just explosion sounds that I ran from my iPod into the soundboard. I still don't know if it is a no no or not to do that; considering that a video/broadcasting teacher apparently didn't like that we had it connected. Oh, and I have also wondered if it is wrong or just a pet peeve of my teacher to play music through the board when working on a project. She seems to only really like us to use a portable cd player instead.

    Luckily the show went well despite the many challenges.
  2. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Seattle, Washington
    Welcome to the Booth ChickenLive. Tell us more about your space. Does your drama department have a website. What brand/model of equipment do you have? Do you have any questions about it?

    As for your question on running an I-pod or CD player through the sound system there is a potential problem of what level you are bringing it in at. Microphones have a very low level going into the board. CD's, DVD's, I-pods, Radios, Keyboards... generally anything electronic that has a headphone jack runs through an amplifier first before it leaves the device. Microphones obviously don't go through an amplifier first. So if you use some sort of an adapter to run the device into the board through an XLR microphone plug that's not a good thing. Many boards also have what are called "line level" inputs these are designed to accept that signal that has already been amplified. If you don't have a line level input then you should run the I-pod etc through a device called a direct box first. The direct box drops the level back down to a safe microphone level before putting it into the system. If you don't have a direct box I would say it's ok to use the I-pod as long as you turn its volume as low as you can get it then boost it back up on the board.

    I'm sure someone who's a little more hard core than me on sound will come along and say that's still a bad idea.

    Get to know the search function there is a TON of information buried in the archives of this site.
  3. ChickenLive

    ChickenLive Member

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    Well, as for the iPod, I would always turn it on at a low level on the pod and on the channel to be sure as not to blow anything. When playing, I never had it very high and monitored the peak levels every time. I needed the pod because our cd player attached to the board apparently doesn't like really sort tracks and I needed a fast response time.

    As for equipment and stage, we run
    -ETC Express 48/96 with 108 dimmers
    -98 Dimmers for stage lights, one duplex, and 9 house lights
    -FOH, 1,2,3 electrics, and Ground Row
    -Ground row strip, Source Four's, Jr.'s, and a few big scoops
    -3 lighting trees with some other lights similar to Source Fours but not quite for moving around, equipped with a manual Leprecon board
    -stand up spotlight
    -the stage is I want to say, 60X50 with only about a 17 ft ceiling, 15x20 ish offstages. Right now it actually has a really nice stage on top of the original stage but will have to go off at the end of the year because the school doesn't own it. Also attached is a catwalk in front and two 10X40 ft stages on the sides extending over seats and finally a 7.5ft tall 4x5ft platform between the main stage and one of the sides.
    -not to brag, but I did over 50% of the work on the extra stages, platform, and catwalk. I can post pics if you want.
  4. ReiRei

    ReiRei Active Member

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    Ashland - Oregon
    Our head sound tech at my school actually shifts through hooking up everyone's iPod to the board whenever we're working on the stage or playing spotlight tag.

    In terms of blowing speakers, a girl who claims to have known what she was doing didn't check any sliders or sound levels before she plugged an iPod in and thankfully only blew the booth monitors out and not our two amazing speakers which are located upon our hanging cat.

    Anyways, hello & welcome to ControlBooth... *waves*
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2008
  5. Spikesgirl

    Spikesgirl Active Member

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    I know nothing about sound - that's why I married a sound tech - but I will give you a hearty hidy ho and welcome to Controlbooth. There's an incredible array of folks here who can answer just about every question you can think that exists about tech theater...and some that haven't occurred to you yet.

    Char5lie (the 5 is silent)
  6. musictom

    musictom Member

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    A, A
    From another noob here, welcome! We love pics!!!

    Somebody once warned me (not sure if it's true or not) that you could potentially damage your ipod if you plugged into the XLR input, while the board was sending phantom power. I'd certainly err on the side of caution on that one. :)

  7. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Stageline Operator/Staging Supervisor
    Howell, NJ
    Yes, unless there are resistors of a certain value in the adapter you will screw things up quite nicely.
    A cheap DI and a Y cable will work fine, probably about $40 total.

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