The above Ad will no longer appear after you Sign Up for Free!

Soundcheck

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by JP12687, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. JP12687

    JP12687 Active Member

    Messages:
    334
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Stamford, CT
    This is a subject that has come up many times in my travels. Every sound person always has a different way of doing it- and every actor/singer expects something different.

    What are different procedures people use? Do you have a check list?

    I havent posted in a while- but i have been seeing this question come up more and more- and i wondered what everyone else does...
     
  2. 6ftstudios

    6ftstudios Member

    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Michigan
    Well....it depends on the event. The typical concert (on the road)...

    {BEFORE PERFORMERS ARE PRESENT}
    1. Turn everything ON (it's amazing how often this is missed)
    2. Check all routing is correct w/CD
    3. Check monitors/mains are working w/CD
    4. Check mics are working
    {WITH PERFORMERS}
    5. Instruments Only - rough mix house/band (skip if no band)
    6. Vocals & Instruments

    That's a rough outline - i'm sure i missed something somewhere
     
  3. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

    Messages:
    5,828
    Likes Received:
    1,132
    Occupation:
    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
    Location:
    Portland, Or.
    I feel it's best to wait until all the carpenters are on stage and trying to talk to each other about important set things, Then turn up the system as loud as possible. Find the most obnoxious CD in your arsenal,Preferably something by Sunvolt, or an obscure Christian rock band, push play. Walk away from the board and disappear for the next 45 minutes. Come back to the board at the same time as the TD gets frustrated and decides to turn everything off. Yell at TD for interfering in your sound check. Turn off music, walk on stage with a wireless mic and proceed to say the words
    " Syllabants, Syllabants, T- T- T- Teeeeeeesta" for the next 20 minutes.

    I'm no expert but from years of observation, I think that's how you do it.
    :twisted::twisted::twisted:
     
  4. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    12,561
    Likes Received:
    2,560
    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    ...or you could do what 6ft studios said. Go back to the Scene Shop Van.

    Seriously you want to make sure everything you plan to use is given a quick test to the proper volume level. As far as order, do something that makes sense to you and that works with the schedule of how your talent is arriving. If you're doing something like a musical with a bunch of cast members all doing makeup, costumes, and warm ups you've got a whole lot of time schedule hassle to get each of them out on stage, mics on, and projecting properly. You shouldn't be setting levels at this point, you should have already done that, you are just checking that the mic works and that the talent is still going at the same level... for example do they have a cold you need to adjust for. The process is easier with a band in some respects because you've got less people to deal with, but musicians can bring their own level of weirdness to a sound check.

    Anyway, the point is you need to develop an organizational plan that works for you, yet is flexible to deal with the weirdness of the particular show. You can do a certain part in the same order every time without the talent... but once you start dealing with talent all bets are off.
     
  5. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

    Messages:
    5,828
    Likes Received:
    1,132
    Occupation:
    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
    Location:
    Portland, Or.
    Actually developing a checklist for each show/production, is an extremely good idea. Using the list that 6ft posted as an outline, "plug in" all the components you are utilizing. I'd be sure to double check and list the proper order for powering on, make sure you hit every power switch. etc. Again as 6ft said, Talent can throw off everything and their expectations/ demands will often over-ride any order you try to apply to the process.
     
  6. Schniapereli

    Schniapereli Active Member

    Messages:
    334
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Provo, Utah, United States
    It depends on what level your theatre is. From what other prestigious techs have taught me (and please, correct me if I'm wrong) , shows on broadway don't even do individual sound checks because everything is so consistent. Nothing changes between performances. It becomes a daily wast of time. But, they sometimes do some group numbers, just to get a good overall mix.

    I know that Metallica also hasn't had a sound check for a while since Mick Hughes, the sound guy, says “After 18 years I know what I expect to hear!” But, he still does a line check.

    Of course, I still have mic checks at my school, where I just EQ, and set the levels for everything, and then the mic checks for the other performances are just to make sure nothing went askew. We have lower quality equipment, and we also place our lavs over the ear, which is more sensative to placement, so there is a larger possibility that something could go wrong. A lot of people play it safe and check everything that could possibly go wrong. For others, it just gets old and pointless.
    I personally think it is stupid to have a mic check just to see if the mics work. This should be done before they are put on the actors. You can also check the RF's on the receivers, and the AF on the board. But, everyone has their own opinion and style, and their own needs. For me, every mic check is to check up on the level and EQ.

    But, these guys are more correct on what is proper. (especially Van's first comment =) ) That is the way I always do it, but once you become a big dog, you can do whatever you want.

    Once you know all the rules, and understand them, then you can brake them.

    I don't know about you, but I am far from that point...
     
  7. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,170
    Likes Received:
    40
    Occupation:
    Freelance Lighting Programmer/grandMA Trainer
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    ah sound check, a chance to order everyone else out
    and play music loudly

    and check the speakers for about an hour
    fun fun
     
  8. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

    Messages:
    806
    Likes Received:
    50
    Location:
    Redwood City, CA
    I assume you're concerned mainly about body mics, since you mentioned the actors.

    Our lavs are taped over the ear on the cheek, so we need to do a volume check before each show because the positioning (and therefore input volume) will change.

    We put mics on about 45 minutes before showtime, and around 10-15 before showtime I get on the clearcom with the backstage manager and have him/her grab the actors one by one, bring them to a place where I can pick them up (fortunately I can pick them up from our Green room), and have them belt out a few lines of song or dialogue. I listen through my solo monitor headphones and mainly adjust the input channel gain on the board, and very infrequently I will need to adjust transmitter or receiver volume or reposition the lav.

    And, if for whatever reason we run out of time to do official mic checks, I'll just get on the solo headphones and cycle through the lav channels to make sure each one is picking up whatever is going on back there loudly and clearly.
     
  9. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    5,948
    Likes Received:
    225
    Occupation:
    Stagehand/ Production Company Owner
    Location:
    Howell, NJ
    Play some music to check monitors and mains when I get in for the day(after making coffee that is). During a familiar song I walk up through the audience both up and downstairs then up on the stage for a while.
    Starting 1/2 half hour before doors everybody on stage for vocal warm ups.
    Recite some lines and then sing at stage volume for about a minute.
     
  10. Logos

    Logos Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,079
    Likes Received:
    88
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Launceston Tasmania
    Are you sure we've never met? That's exactly what I do. Except I make tea.
     
  11. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    5,948
    Likes Received:
    225
    Occupation:
    Stagehand/ Production Company Owner
    Location:
    Howell, NJ
    I've never been anywhere outside of the U.S. and Canada.
     
  12. JP12687

    JP12687 Active Member

    Messages:
    334
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Stamford, CT
    This is essentially what i do.

    1) come in- drink coffee
    2) turn system on
    3) check monitor levels
    4) battery up Lavs
    5) line check all used channels
    6) Mic up actors *
    7) pre-show meeting with actors
    a. ask them how they are feeling- and listen to how they are talking/watch their body language to tell if there might be a difference from normal
    8) perform daily "soundcheck" which is really a level check/placement of mic check
    a. i will do a full check on individual actors if i detect a problem/difference with their voice prior to show
    9) Check out monitor mix with actors
    10) start show

    there is much more detail involved then that- that is just a quick overview.

    Here is yet another question for debate- mic placement

    How do you attach mics to actors (in musicals)? Over the ear? forhead? bobby pin or tape? mic elenent "sling" for the ear?

    So many different choices for mounting of a mic- everyone has their own opinion. What is everyones experience with this part of mic-ing and what are your reasons for doing mics that way?
     
  13. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    5,948
    Likes Received:
    225
    Occupation:
    Stagehand/ Production Company Owner
    Location:
    Howell, NJ
    We got some neat Sennheiser headband type devices this winter.
    They are much easier than messing with all the floral wire and medical tape we used previously.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2007
  14. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

    Messages:
    806
    Likes Received:
    50
    Location:
    Redwood City, CA
    Mic placement --

    Currently we tape over the ear. For the main season productions where the actors generally project well, I have the mic head no further forward than a bluetooth headset for your cell phone. For the kids summer shows I taped the mic head much closer to their mouths for better pickup of the lower volume voices.

    I would personally prefer not to have to tape the mics since the tape leaves a residue on the cords that I have to clean after every production. However I haven't seen any good headmic adapters out there. I bought a couple of the Sennheiser NB-2's to try out, and they look a bit clunky, so far I haven't asked anyone to wear one. I also tried mocking up a wire ear hanger to wrap the mic cord in, but am not happy with the way it looks and it's staying power. I plan to experiment more with forehead location in future shows, but I would ultimately like to find a placement strategy that doesn't require taping or glueing the lav cord. If anyone out there has come up with a unique mounting method, please share!

    Thanks. John
     
  15. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,170
    Likes Received:
    40
    Occupation:
    Freelance Lighting Programmer/grandMA Trainer
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    ok i have a good one, we use a rubber band around the mic's normally attached to the sideburns area close to the head so it doesn't move around much. not the most pain free way of doing it but it works, and if done properly stays in place for most of the show.

    plus if they rip it out, we will know (it will have hair attached to it :mrgreen:)

    my reason for doing it like that

    1. it's how i was taught
    2. it stays in and works for me (especially on children, if they don't touch it it won't hurt)
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

    Messages:
    5,828
    Likes Received:
    1,132
    Occupation:
    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
    Location:
    Portland, Or.
    I just used a safety pin. The flesh behind ear is easy to penetrate, and due to it's location near the brain, wounds there tend to heal quickly. I minimize infection by dousing the area with alcohol before the show, this practice seems to really warm up the performers as well, well at least they hit High notes they'd never hit before.
    Anyway I think the safety pin behind the ear works a lot better than the piercing the cheek or "nose ring" option.


    :twisted:



    < at this point in the week anyone still taking Van seriously should have their collective heads examined>
     
  17. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    12,561
    Likes Received:
    2,560
    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    Nice Van... I think maybe you should just stay out of the sound forum on Thursdays and Fridays.

    Hughesie... I love the rubber band trick. So simple and effective. Do you cut the rubber band to remove it or do you just let the actors struggle on their own?
     
  18. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    12,561
    Likes Received:
    2,560
    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    Hey Van I think we may have found the perfect Padawan for you at last.
     
  19. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

    Messages:
    2,615
    Likes Received:
    172
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    MEK isn't strong enough you need something a little stronger just in case the safety pin is dirty. I prefer a combination of MEK/Bleach/Ammonia.
     
  20. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

    Messages:
    5,828
    Likes Received:
    1,132
    Occupation:
    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
    Location:
    Portland, Or.
    Yes!

    " Charcoal, My young Apprentice. You will know the power of the CarpSide of the Force."

    :twisted:
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice