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orchestra pit monitors

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by achstechdirector, May 26, 2009.

  1. achstechdirector

    achstechdirector Active Member

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    Location:
    Booneville MS
    Ok, we are doing cinderella at the local theatre and the orchestra is located behind the set. We do not need any sound equipment for the show (small theatre). The orchestra can't hear (including the conductor) the cues. I am playing in the orchestra and can't hear any of my cue lines. We need monitors but can't start incorporating a huge sound system. There would be no need for the mains to be running. The orchestra is small like 10 people small.

    Ideas needed

    type of mic
    leave mixer in booth or put it next to orchestra
    how many speakers in orchestra

    any other ideas
     
  2. OldGrover

    OldGrover Member

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    Location:
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    I guess the answer to this depends whether you have stuff in inventory you can pull out to use for this sort of thing or whether you'd be renting. With stuff I have lying around, I'd probably hang a condenser mic in omni (or maybe two) from the grid above the stage (towards the front) and run that to a powered mixer near the orchestra feeding two speakers. Keep the speakers between the orchestra and the set and pointed towards the orchestra (ie, pointed away from the mic) and you ought to be ok. I wouldn't bother running lines to the booth and back - the only people that care what the sound is for the orchestra is the orchestra and the guy in the booth won't have any clue what things sound like behind the set anyways, so you might as well let the guys in the orchestra set the levels. Let someone in the audience during rehearsals check to make sure that the amplified sound isn't reaching the house (it won't be as nice as you'd really want audience sound to be and might pick up movement in the flys and such)

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. OldGrover

    OldGrover Member

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    Location:
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    The other option would be, rather than feeding speakers, would be to feed a headphone distribution system - maybe feed two of these (or similar) from the mixer : ART HeadAmp V | Sweetwater.com

    That'd give each person headphones (with their own volume) and you'd not have to worry about stray sound.

    Depends what you have, what your budget is and what is locally available for rent or purchase.
     
  4. gpforet

    gpforet Active Member

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    Location:
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    A simple mic hung from over the stage, with a headphone or in-ear feed to the music director should do the trick.

    Shouldn't your musical director be directing the orchestra's cues?
     
  5. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    The problem you run into here is that the band still needs to hear themselves. I've done the headphone pit thing, but really it only works when the entire band is mic'd, otherwise they can't hear what they're playing (and it's hard staying in time when your monitor feed is picking up the bounce from only one mic somewhere else in the room). By the time you mic up the band, you've added another layer of complexity that, judging by the OP's post, doesn't need to be there. The same issues apply when trying to give the conductor an in-ear/headphone feed to conduct from.

    Now, that being said, if it were me, I'd look into getting a powered hotspot for the conductor just to get the lines. Feed it from an omni microphone, like an A-T 4022, Shure SM63, etc, from somewhere in the room (I like omni's for this application much better than shotguns). Or place a PCC center downstage to feed the hotspot.

    IMHO, the conductor is really the one who needs to hear any cues from the action on-stage. He'll make sure the musos are cued. If there's no conductor, I'd look into just getting a pair of Mackie SRM's aimed upstage and just loud enough so that the band can hear them, and feed the omni mic through those.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2009
  6. achstechdirector

    achstechdirector Active Member

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    Location:
    Booneville MS
    we do not have a conductor
    our music director plays piano during the show

    we all have esp


    I used 3 shure "choir" mics and an audio technica "choir" mic
    I put a hot spot next to the pianist and it fixed a lot of problems

    I put two mics on stage
    and two in the back of the auditorium

    It worked out nicely

    Thanks for all the help
     
  7. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    Location:
    Redwood City, CA
    We use two methods:

    1) small monitors (I have Anchor AN-1000x's) for as many of the band members as need them ... run by aux off the main board.

    2) ALD -- Assisted Listening Devices for the hard of hearing, if your house has them, will usually provide a good mix for the conductor to listen to. Just give the conductor a pair of headphones (and band members if they want them).
     

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