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Location of the Control Booth

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by Paul Hannah, Jan 8, 2018.

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Is locating a control booth backstage a foolish move?

  1. Yes

    94.1%
  2. No

    5.9%
  1. Aaron Becker

    Aaron Becker Active Member

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    I vote for wires. Even if they're temporary. A 20 dollar cable is almost as good as the world's most expensive wireless system.
     
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  2. Paul Hannah

    Paul Hannah Member

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    If I go this route I will remove a section of wall between the foyer and the house - make it like a stage flat. For the OP it will be like s/he is sitting in a seat behind the back row.
     
  3. Paul Hannah

    Paul Hannah Member

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    Yeah, the building is accessible underneath, so I can run wires from anywhere to anywhere and as you say Cat5 is cheap.
     
  4. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Yeah you "COULD" do it that way, but it will slow down the technicians and limit what they can do. Regardless of what the promotional materials say, it's not the same as having the full lighting or sound console in front of you. It can be done, but once again I bet it's less than 5 years before someone starts cursing the theater designer and figures out a way to put the console in the house.

    Yes there are times that it's the only option, but it's very undesirable and someone will find a way to make it work, so it's much better to plan for that option now.
     
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  5. mikefellh

    mikefellh Active Member

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    My setup is an open booth over the audience (see attachment), and while we have a separate amp in the booth that is set for the same volume level as the auditorium speakers, it makes a difference depending on how many people are in the audience soaking up the sound, so many times we have to lean over the booth to hear what the audience is hearing.

    Especially if they are not trained pros...if it's a school/community auditorium where there is a lot of turnover of volunteers year to year, they may not feel comfortable or be able to judge without seeing/hearing for themselves!

    p.s. Regarding the attachment, it's not always so full of projectors, and certainly not slide projectors anymore...but the digital projector makes enough noise that it's best to lean over the edge to hear what the audience is hearing.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. EkkoJohnny

    EkkoJohnny Member

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    One thing to consider, Paul, is nothing will ever replace the human eye, the human response, the human connection to a show or live band. Tech kicks ass, and the above posts are incredibly wise, but I didn't read much about the crap-happens factor, an unforgiving constant in live A/V production. You can have the best software available, but it will never replace the human connection between a board and the stage. If you have options, you're a lucky man, and you wouldn't be the first to have a broom closet for a booth.

    Speaking from an older guy’s perspective, we didn’t have ‘all that stuff’ back then, referring to video screens and go-button, programmed lights, and as it moved in - and as fricking awesome as it was - we found ourselves facing every direction but the stage. No kidding sometimes the street. As younger guys came into the field, they brought incredible energy, but the human connection began to dwindle and hiccups in shows shot through the roof, not because techs didn’t care, but because it became the norm to accept the limits of software.

    Is it cheaper to build a catwalk in the ceiling? Is there a hollow pillar towards the back? Any space in the left or right corner? I’ve designed many a house and always found a way to keep tech in the room. Are 16 more seats worth the cost of a killer show?

    We love A/V or we wouldn’t do it, and I don’t think I know any grunts who run A/V for the glamor, though some have lifestyles I’d give my left nut for, but - the conditions are what they are. You make it work, and you focus on providing a mother-bleeping killer show. The best shows, including those with high-end booths, happen when your tech has the human connection. Sometimes that means an unorthodox booth location. As long as your tech is on board with your vision, your crew will collectively jump through hoops to make it work.

    So there's my old-ass reply. :)
    BIG kudos for what you’re doing. (I'm kinda jealous)
     
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  7. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    This is all interesting. I was meeting with a client tonight - about 20 members of a comunity theatre spenfing $1m+ on a 120 seat thheatre, and this was a topic. I shared with them many thoughts from this and other threads.

    (FWIW added a room over concession/tickets/coats/lobby storage for control. Undecided on how much open and how much behind glass - no live sound mix ever considered - but this was thread was useful so thanks to all who contributed!)
     
  8. Ben Stiegler

    Ben Stiegler Member

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    I’ve mixed some pretty hairy shows and festivals on wireless with Mackie Dl32R or it’s cousins ... usually have 2 or 3 iPads FOH, plus sfx playback pc and 1 more laptop for wireless mic remote mgmt. works nicely indoors with most any WAP .. when you get to larger events or outdoors where thousands of people have WiFi enabled on their phones by default, it can become problematic. Sometimes the easy solution is to run 1 Ethernet cable to the event foh position, and have the WAP right next to the iPads and laptops. = skinny and inexpensive snake.
     
    Paul Hannah likes this.
  9. pbansen

    pbansen Member

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    I think you have that backwards!
     
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  10. FMEng

    FMEng Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Listening and mixing in a separate room from the audience is seldom good. An aperture, such as a window colors what you hear considerably, and the acoustics of small rooms are usually horrible. I've done it in such places and survived, but it wasn't good. If you don't believe me, go to any booth with a small, open window. Play some music through the system, and listen while sticking your head in and out the window.

    Lighting in a small booth works fine as long as long as you can see the stage adequately.

    At the very least, plan for the FOH booth and put the conduits in so you can easily change it when the experiment fails.
     
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  11. mikefellh

    mikefellh Active Member

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    Not just a small window...our booth has a 15 feet x 3 feet opening, and even though I have small speakers that are set for the same volume level as the auditorium speakers, there are times that we have to lean over the edge of the opening so we hear exactly what the audience hears.
     
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  12. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    Reminder: if you try to use video there, it will need to be NTSC analog.

    HD/digital monitors will have at least 1 and sometimes as much as 3 or 4 frames of delay inside the monitor, and that 16-64ms will kill you.
     
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  13. EdSavoie

    EdSavoie Well-Known Member

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    Most monitors I've seen that aren't cheap crap these days are below 8ms if I'm not mistaken, with 1ms being not terribly expensive.

    Additionally, at 60Hz, there's an inherent 16ms delay between frames.

    Can't really comment on the camera though, I've not really any knowledge on the processing delays caused by that...
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018
  14. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    Latency is an additive issue. Each component will add some processing of the signal and increase the total time to show the image. Manufacturers can legally say that something has "no latency" as long as it adds no more that 10ms. Make sure to do your homework and let the components do as little thinking as possible.
     
  15. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    To be clear about it: Analog monitors sync the scanning beam to the incoming analog signal, and hence have effectively no latency (microseconds, maybe).

    LCD/LED monitors *paint the panel in progressive mode*, a frame at a time, so they're guaranteed to be at least one frame late even with a progressive signal, and probably a minimum of 2 frames late with an interlaced signal -- they have to assemble an entire frame in buffer, before they can clock it out to the panel for display. Depending on the processor speed, and how that clock-out is done, add maybe another frame of buffering -- nobody ever told those design engineers that frame-latency was a critical design parameter.
     
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