Sound Design "Board Risers"

Susan Donahue

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Joined
Feb 4, 2016
Location
Longview, WA
I have a student designer who needs to know for a portfolio she is doing for a competition. We have asked several people and google searched "board riser" sound design and nothing relevant comes up. Help!
 

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Senior Team
Senior Team
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Nov 24, 2005
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Saratoga Springs, NY
Are they looking for a patch sheet? Sound design portfolios might be one of the hardest and pointless things out there.
 

derekleffew

Resident Curmudgeon
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Premium Member
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Aug 21, 2007
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Las Vegas, NV, USA
I suspect what is desired is a sound design riser diagram. Here's an example from teh google using those search terms:


Essentially, inputs (mics and playbacks) on the left, outputs (speakers and feeds) on the right, and all that gobblety-gook in between.
 

Susan Donahue

Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2016
Location
Longview, WA
Can you give us a little bit of context to this?
This is for state technical theater competition and there is a list of several items to include as part of the sound plot. Board risers was listed as something to include along with shop orders, block diagram, rack diagram, mic schedule, etc. We knew what everything else was but board risers.
 

themuzicman

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Apr 27, 2007
Location
On Tour
This is for state technical theater competition and there is a list of several items to include as part of the sound plot. Board risers was listed as something to include along with shop orders, block diagram, rack diagram, mic schedule, etc. We knew what everything else was but board risers.
It seems like this competition is trying to prepare folks for what is expected of a real designer in a moderately professional situation. If you're trying to win points in the competition, while also preparing for real world situations, here are a few quick pointers:
1. Split the shop order into its constituent parts with a list for each part. When I submit a shop order it is broken up into Consoles+Console Accessories, Processing, Amplifiers, Outboard Gear, Computers, Computer Peripherals, Computer Software, Microphones, Microphone Accessories, Microphone Stands, Wireless Microphones, Loudspeakers, Speaker Yokes, Speaker Rigging, Intercom, Wireless Intercom+Accessories, Headphones, Power Distribution Gear, Mult Cable, Power Cable, General Cable (XLR, Powercon, Edison, BNC, NL4).

This can get complex, but it helps to double check everything - your initial shop order is usually a bid, and when the bid is awarded it helps to have this list as organized as possible to hold the shop accountable to the bid contract. Start good habits early!

2. On your block diagram, don't try to jam all the flow onto a single layer. Use separate layers for System Inputs to Outputs, Intercom, MIDI, and Data (all dependent on your style and the needs of the show in question, sometimes Intercom flow needs to be on the Input/Output flow because they are sharing pairs on a mult.

2A. It's a super common thing I see in younger folks to throw power cable on a line flow. It's unnecessary information and clutters the information. We can assume that each piece of gear is going to be powered. You can keep power information to the Rack Drawings if you are trying to make sure certain pieces of gear are on a battery backup, and if you are trying to balance loads you can do that math on the side and implement it in the bundle assignments (the only major thing missing from your list of necessary things, all that signal has to go there, and the pro theater audio shops bundle all the cable you want so you get your cable grouped together).