Sound training in High Schools

Jo-JotheSoundDog

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Mar 13, 2003
Location
South Florida USA
I am curious as to what kind of training and education high schools are pumping out today in the world of sound. Back when I was in high school. We pretty much had two cassette decks played over home stereo speakers with your basic home stereo amp. I know pretty high tech. And when we did our big spring musical we just brought in a company that set up everything and had a sound guy who came with the hole package. It really sucked as a learning experience. It wasn't until I got into college that I was actually introduced to the world of sound and fell in love with it.
 

dvsDave

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Stone Bridge has a Spirit 24 channel mixer
The Rack has:
Power Conditioner
FM hearing impaired transmitter
2 wireless mic recievers(one lapel, one handheld)
Dual independent tape deck
cd player
electronic 1/3 octave equalizer w/delay
vocal effects unit
Clearcom base station
4 amps

And also has a computer to run a sophisticated sound effects package and MP3s :wink:

As far as training goes... nada... nothing.... zip... we taught ourselves :|
 

Jo-JotheSoundDog

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Mar 13, 2003
Location
South Florida USA
Ah yes, ye olde "here it is make it work" set up.

So Dave two questions:
What software are you running?
Does that school do any musicals?
If yes do they rent more mics?
And if they do rent mics do they just make some poor student run them?
Okay that is more like four questions
 

dvsDave

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I'll have to get back to you on the software, but it's a HUGE library of sound effects, with like 20 cds of computer files.

No, we don't rent mics... For grease, we used two wireless handhelds and one vintage mic for the radio announcer. That's it.

But one of the actress's, her father does this professionally and he came in and revamped our entire system and got it running perfectly. But even if we did rent any equipment, we owuld still run it ourselves.

You may now be starting to understand my modivation for creating this site... I don't want that to happen to anyone else!
 

wolf825

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Apr 7, 2003
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Eastcoast USA
dvsDave said:
I'll have to get back to you on the software, but it's a HUGE library of sound effects, with like 20 cds of computer files.
<snip>
You may now be starting to understand my modivation for creating this site... I don't want that to happen to anyone else!

FWIW, you may wish to check out Theater Effect's web site--they have two NEW PRODUCTS that are very much worth looking at. A new CD effect set of 8 CD's that are chock full of sound effectss of all sorts that could be needed. PLUS, and most interesting, is they have "show effect/music CD's" that are made specifically for over 500 show titles. IOW, if you are doing Footloose and need the tracks and sound effects specific to that show--they are already recorded for you on one CD. These CD's cost about $60 and for that you get music and all sound effects in order of cues for the show. IMO that could be of benefit to many high schools that do not have the budget to do a sound designer, or have the tech staff that knows or has the time to make up the sound effects needed for a show. Worth checking out..I will check out some of the CD's for a few upcoming shows and report back how they are..but if they are good they will be a god-send to many many school shows. IMO its a pretty good idea to do CD's like this for general show use where budget and stuff is a concern.

cheers,
--wolf
 

dvsDave

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what's the URL of Theater Effects?
 

tm1000

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Mar 2, 2003
Location
USA
Our Set Up

Wireless:
-2 U series (http://www.shure.com/wireless/uhf/default.asp)
-15 ULX series (http://www.shure.com/wireless/ulx/ulx_professional.asp)
-16 Vega (ClearCom) U2020 Series {16 Wireless Transmitters and 2 Handhelds} (http://www.clearcom.com/products/wireless/u2020.html)

Listening Devices:
-10 psm 200 (http://www.shure.com/psm/psm200/default.asp)

Speakers:
-4 BackStage SubWoofers
-5 Cluster Front Stage EV Speakers
-2 Side Cove EV Speakers
-2 Back of House Speakers

Mixer:
-40 Channel Carvin SL40 (Soon to be Allen Heath)

Sends:
-6 Speaker sends

CD:
-Denon 2100 Series CD player
 

Jo-JotheSoundDog

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Mar 13, 2003
Location
South Florida USA
tm1000 "Our Set Up ..."

Okay two short questions,
does anyone teach you how to use it?
Do you only have one CD player for playback?
 

tm1000

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Mar 2, 2003
Location
USA
Jo-JotheSoundDog said:
tm1000 "Our Set Up ..."

Okay two short questions,
does anyone teach you how to use it?
Do you only have one CD player for playback?
Yes there is someone who teaches us how to use it, but I've learned about as much as him now so he hires me in for the pay jobs to do sound work and such in our theatre.

It's a Dual Deck CD Player (therefore two cd players)
 

Jo-JotheSoundDog

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Mar 13, 2003
Location
South Florida USA
tm1000"It's a Dual Deck CD Player (therefore two cd players)"

As far as I can find the Dennon DN2100F dual cd player on has one set of stereo outs. Therefore as a designer I would see it as one deck.
Here is the brief reasoning behind this...
The reason multiple decks are used is to allow the sound designer the oppurtunity to paint a true soundscape. One of the most common ways to do this is to "stack" several sound cues on top of each other. But while stacking also using different speaker assigns to the different decks.
example...
Deck sound assign
1 ocean waves all
2 soft jazz guitar main cluster
3 seagull 1 back of house left
4 motor boat passing back of house right to proscen Left


Now I do understand that your school might not be equipped to do this many different locations, but that is the reasoning behind why I only consider it one deck.
Does that make sense?
 

tm1000

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Mar 2, 2003
Location
USA
Jo-JotheSoundDog said:
tm1000"It's a Dual Deck CD Player (therefore two cd players)"

As far as I can find the Dennon DN2100F dual cd player on has one set of stereo outs. Therefore as a designer I would see it as one deck.
Here is the brief reasoning behind this...
The reason multiple decks are used is to allow the sound designer the oppurtunity to paint a true soundscape. One of the most common ways to do this is to "stack" several sound cues on top of each other. But while stacking also using different speaker assigns to the different decks.
example...
Deck sound assign
1 ocean waves all
2 soft jazz guitar main cluster
3 seagull 1 back of house left
4 motor boat passing back of house right to proscen Left


Now I do understand that your school might not be equipped to do this many different locations, but that is the reasoning behind why I only consider it one deck.
Does that make sense?
the one we use (http://www.usa.denon.com/catalog/photo.asp?s=pro&p=DN-2100F&f=dn2100f.jpg&c=59) has stereo outs (RCA) for each CD bay. So I have four outs (LR & LR). I can get two different CDs playing at the same time on different channels.

I can do everything you mentioned.
 

Jo-JotheSoundDog

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Mar 13, 2003
Location
South Florida USA
My bad when I googled the DN2100f, the specs I came across said 1 stereo out. But after looking at the Denon site, I see where the error came from. But still, a single dual deck is very limiting. I have had designs where I have used 10 decks, and could still have used more.
 

tm1000

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Mar 2, 2003
Location
USA
Jo-JotheSoundDog said:
My bad when I googled the DN2100f, the specs I came across said 1 stereo out. But after looking at the Denon site, I see where the error came from. But still, a single dual deck is very limiting. I have had designs where I have used 10 decks, and could still have used more.
Crazy, do you run all 10 cds and the mixer by yourself?
 

Jo-JotheSoundDog

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Mar 13, 2003
Location
South Florida USA
tm1000"Crazy, do you run all 10 cds and the mixer by yourself?"

You think it sounds impressive you should see it.
When the design becomes that complex, it is more like learning a dance and mastering the choreography than just paying attention to levels and pushing play. The slightest brain fart causes a major train wreck. So I spend lots of time practicing cue sequences with and without the stage manager.
 

delnor

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Mar 3, 2003
Location
USA
Click the link to see a basic overview(a little outdated we have added alot of stuff since this was made) of Glenbrook south HS's sound system where I attended high school.

http://www.accutrackrecording.com/Glenbrook%20South%20High%20School's%20Watson%20Auditorium.htm
 

Jo-JotheSoundDog

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Mar 13, 2003
Location
South Florida USA
Not bad Delnor, but it looks like the school has an outside sound company contracted to take care of the sound system. Are there any classes in sound? Or is it just taught to students on a need to know basis. Or do they teach the students sound for two weeks out of another nine week production class?
 

delnor

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Mar 3, 2003
Location
USA
They offer no classes, however more then once a year Dave Levitt (the company's owner) comes in and teaches the students sound in detail during the run of a show. The schools technical theater program is set up basicly like a club. Students come and go, but usually there are about 8-15 kids that stick around every day. Usually there are only 2 or 3 kids that really get to learn sound with Dave due to the limited time he is available. Even though this does not allow for a well rounded technical theater education by every stage crew member, it does make for much higher quality productions because every student becomes a master in his or her field.
 

Jo-JotheSoundDog

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Mar 13, 2003
Location
South Florida USA
Delnor "it does make for much higher quality productions because every student becomes a master in his or her field."

I would have to say that it takes a little longer than a couple years in high school to become a master in a field. I was very competent coming out of high school. I was even more so coming out of college. After a couple of years doing summer stock, LOA, Cruise Ships, Amusement Parks... I became very knowledgeable and marketable. But I still think I have years ahead of me before I would consider myself a master. I know I am one of the top sound engineers in regional theatre and that my designs are solid, artistic and marketable. But if I truly thought I had mastered the beast I would move on to another challenge