Sunday, 6 December 2015

Just got back from doing my second string of live Vocal recordings in the main theatre. Sorry i missed the last entry it's been very busy with my own company etc. So i'll jump right in... I have a ongoing project with a Rock singer from the U.K., Good friend of mine and a fantastic vocalist. We worked on capturing his voice whilst he was singing live on stage in a medium sized theatre (roughly 200 seated). To achieve this we turned the crows nest into a recording studio! I bought my computer from my home and my AVID Mbox Fast track solo device and we used the live Mixing. TO make this work, The Vocalist used a microphone (Sure beta 58) on stage and routed it to the mixing desk (cH2) Then i took the output for the Fast track solo to a separate channel on the mixing desk. We were lucky to find some good instrumental tracks on youtube and imported them into the ProTools session and used them as the backing track. So to capture the vocals in protools whilst playing the music and the vocals back out into the Theatre i used the Group 1 and 2 outputs as the stereo inputs for the Fast track Solo. It worked like a charm, getting almost 0 Bleed on the vocals and still capturing a very live performance from the Singer on stage. In Pro Tools i used 4 mono tracks for the vocals. 1 as the recording track and 3 separate takes (2 of them remained Muted). The recording track had the output set as a unused Bus so that there was no feedback and i could stay in Grid mode and quickly pull the recently recorded track down to the Take one track and play it back to the vocalist with no feedback. This was a real fun project. Crazy thing to turn a Theatre into a recording studio, but thats just how we do it. Blessed.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Various vocal performances, pop songs, choirs and guitars.

Choir performance.

Tonight i helped out in the main theater for C.A. choir performances by the middle and high school students.

It was quite fun.
We used 3 condensor (audiotechnica) microphones across the front of the stage and 4 SM 58 mics.

I set the panning stage left right and center for the condensors and added a l;ittle vocal reverb in the mix, i had to do a good amount of balancing and EQing as i went because the performers would move around on the stage and take solos at different distances from the mic.

The choir performances used varyed vocal ranges, so i tried to match the EQ to the range for each performance.

The SM 58`s were the same story, and we use a couple backing tracks on a separate channel, the volume of the recordings was a very low, so i had to push it all the way up to 12 db by the end of the song.

In between the performances various MIC`s were used for by the emcee, so i had to be on my toes and watch the stage closly for which mic he was going to pick up next.

3 performances were solo vocalists with SM 58 `s and an acoustic guitar (inexplicably using a SM 58 when there were 3 condensers on the stage! oh well).

It was a fun night.

Re hersals for the voice

Over the weekend a group called the voice, kobe led by Steven Yeung came into the BBT to do the first rehersals for a series of six plays they will be putting on next month.

Myself and the senior lighting technician have been making preperations for the lights for the past couple of weeks using the ETC lighting board, Source 4 19, 26 and 36 degree lights and bulldog LED lights.

Working of a 1-1 patch we set 2 side lights for each of the 5 areas on the stage.
Originally we had set the lights to come from stage left and right , however we made an error because the curtain will cover the up stage and the stage right, so we had to re-hang the lights to come from stage left and from the front as front lights instead.

The group also requester that the stage be 5 by 5 instead of 6 by 6 meters so we hadve to re adjust the lighting areas before the dress rehersals on the 10th.

The preliminary work made the rehersals very easy to manage, I set the areas based on where the actors were in the beginning of the rehersal and then gradually reduced the lights to use only the ones needed, I.E. instead of 2 lights on area 1,2 and 3, i would use maybe 1 light on area 1 and 2 and a led colour wash dependiong on the colour requested by the director.

I am quickly becoming familiar with the ETC board, i can now program Cue stacks, sub masters and change the LED colours, I saved each scene as a CUE as i went t/through the rehearsal and labeled them inside the Browser as the same as the play titles so that we have a good base to work from between now and the next rehearsals on the 10th.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Final preperations

Tonight, after having to re place the boards that will serve as the stage at the request of one of the drama teachers.

We Hung 5 more source 4 lights to serve as down lights, 3 19`s and 2 36`s.

Using the ETC we set the lights to submasters and made cue stacks for the different areas.

I made a magic sheet with all of the Lights and areas to work off of later on.

We used the shutters to cut the corners and make a wash to fit the stage.

We set five bull dog dmi lights to create a colour wash, we daisy chained the lights with the middle light as the master and used a terminator XLR to stop the signal.

We set the lights with a hard edge and left everything set up for sunday when the clients will come in to start rehersals.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Last night i ran the sound for 2 music performances.

A pretty simple night, we had 2 small orchestra perform on the stage.

At the start of the performance a student made an announcement using a microphone from the theatre box.

After that we had some BGM running through AUX 1 on the mixing desk, going to the main hall and the atrium.

There was a little confusion because the volume to the atrium was very low despite the fader being at +12Db.

I saw that someone had set the EQ levels almost to zero on the same channel, so that was soon put right.

The rest of the night ran smoothly, we had a wireless Sure microphone on the stage right, an overhead AKG for the whole stage,
a SM 57 for the tuba and a sure 57 for a baritone saxophone and a Keyboard which was running to the desk D.I. and back through the main speakers.

The only real work for the night was balancing the tuba, the saxohpone and the keyboard with the rest of the orchestra, I only had those 4 channels to worry about though.

After the performance we cleared up the stage, Microphones, cables, stands etc. Re positioned the piano, checked the doors were locked, cleaned between the isles, (someone dropped a door key) and turned off all the lights before going home.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Lighting set up and desk

Today we set up 10 source 4 lights as side lights.

We set the positions for a 5 area wash, down stage, stage left and right.

up stage, the same and center stage.

Each area consists of 2 source 4`s.

We set the ETC Element light board to a 1 to 1 patch and checked the lights as we went.

For ease i set the submasters to correspond with the areas so that it will be easy to remember on the day.

we also did the same thing by setting a cue stack so that each cue corresponds with the area number.

The sound set up really only needs one channel on the desk that has a stereo input for a laptop.

Monday, 6 April 2015

This evening i got my first chance to enter the "Black box" and get a look at the lighting set up and the sound desk set up for the theatre.

I will be assisting the main engineer with some small performances and some preliminary stage and lighting work.

In addition i will be doing some audio engineering for a students recital.

The lighting will consist of a 5 area wash that will consist of 15 Source 4 lights suspended in the rafters and 6 LED Bulldogs.

The lighting desk is a digital ETC Element  light board.

I have never used this desk before, it seems to involve a good deal of pre recorded scenes and cues on various master buses around 160 in total.

The mixing desk is a Yamaha mg32 / 14 console, which i have actualy had a chance to use before.

The routing consists of 3 amplifiers for the three sets of speakers, box Monitor, stage wall and floor speakers.

They are also using 8 different wireless microphones and microphone receivers, a 8 pin XLR stage loom cable.

Lastly they are using phono to jack cables and mono/stereo splitters to bring in better quality BGM and sound effects from laptops etc on the stereo inputs on the desk.

Finally they are using an analogue light board for the main hall.

Can`t wait to get in there later this week and get started with the preliminary work.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Starting form this month i will join the Canadaian Academy theatre team in Japan for volunteered sound and lighting engineering and rigging as an assistant.

I am very excited and eager to get started, this academy has some of the most up to date equipment available and has a huge performing arts wing built onto the existing school.

starting today i will enter and do some basic preliminary work, just finding where things are and getting a good look at the equipment.

cannot wait.