• Believe it or not, this is the fifth major update of ControlBooth in the past 16 years. This new version is more mobile friendly, and brings the site up to more modern standards. There will be more features rolling out soon, but the core of the site is done.

Location of the Control Booth

Is locating a control booth backstage a foolish move?


  • Total voters
    24

Buttmonkey

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Location
IL
B-way was 21 seats for sound - 3 rows, 7 seats. 16 is probably 2 rows at 8 seats or 6 X 13 feet.

If you can split lights and sound - - depending on how designed and cued the lighting is versus the busking - you might put lights backstage and sound in less space in house. I guess I would also wonder if in 100 seats you are reinforcing or just playing effects. (Return to discussion on performers today can't project for crap)

It was all back stage for years on B'way so be done.
I disagree with all of this, the tech booth should always be front of house, the lighting director and sound engineer have to be where the audience is to give them the best experience possible.
 

BillConnerFASTC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Location
Clayton NY 13624
Board op or lighting director? Big difference. And you can disagree, but lighting and some sound was run from backstage - simple fact. And the stage manager was back stage - I think the most important person to be front of house. And 3 rows 7 seats was the basic FOH sound position "cost".

Of course it's better if all have good view from front of house - but simply not always possible.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Aaron Becker

Buttmonkey

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Location
IL
Board op or lighting director? Big difference. And you can disagree, but lighting and some sound was run from backstage - simple fact. And the stage manager was back stage - I think the most important person to be front of house. And 3 rows 7 seats was the basic FOH sound position "cost".

Of course it's better if all have good view from front of house - but simply not always possible.
I dont work in a big theater, I'm a stagehand but I can program a board and do the hard patch. So our lighting director advances the show's plans them, get the lights and board ready and them uses them show night. Is my technical director doing multiple jobs?
 

What Rigger?

I'm so fly....I Neverland.
Joined
Aug 24, 2006
Location
PPT.
I disagree with all of this, the tech booth should always be front of house, the lighting director and sound engineer have to be where the audience is to give them the best experience possible.
You're gonna be in for a lot of surprises someday, guy.
 

TimMc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2017
I disagree with all of this, the tech booth should always be front of house, the lighting director and sound engineer have to be where the audience is to give them the best experience possible.
That's what the "tech tables" are for during rehearsals - the designers, the programmers, the audio operators - are in the house. The director decides when he/she/they are satisfied with something, it's recorded or programmed or set in stone so that during performance the operator does not *need* to be in the middle of the house.

As an audio guy, I vastly prefer to operate from somewhere in the coverage of the main PA system because there are too many variables (actors) involved for things to remain the same from performance to performance, let alone from the 3 days of tech rehearsal we got. But in so many theaters the LX dept may well not have a clear view of the stage. Even scenic automation gets most of their cues from their operator and the SM watching CCTV (visible and IR) and carpenters on the deck to spot and call clears, holds and stops. Almost nothing relies solely on a FOH view as seen by the audience.
 

macsound

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2018
Location
San Francisco, CA
I know tons has been written here...
Something to think about is also - flexibility.
Many spaces have removable handicapped seats. Sell them as chairs unless a wheelchair needs the space so you slide them out. Audio console can also occupy this space.
But if you're doing a 1 mic no tech presentation, why lose the seats. That's a no-brainer for the iPad given to the meeting coordinator.

Something I'm trying to convince a client recently is that a booth may contain other people than just techs. Sometimes you have a donor who got a tour and wants to watch the show from the booth. Maybe a kids theatre group who has to train backup moms to stage manage.
You could build the booth in the back with a window that doesn't open, have cat5 connectors next to the accessible seating and a permanent rack backstage at the tech table. Then you have 3 options and whichever one isn't being used can be repurposed for other show relevant uses.