Man of No Importance
here is the mission, if you choose to accept it. You must design sound
for a small cast musical production in a small studio theatre. The orchestra
will be in a separate room that is upstage of the performance space. Although
there is a large opening between the two rooms, very little natural sound
from the orchestra will be heard in the audience area. There is no Front
of House sound position. All the audio equipment must fit into a small
area of the control booth. And Oh yea…. If you could make it possible
for the Stage Manger to be able to run sound, along with the light board
in the booth, that would be ideal.
this space is only around 100 seats, so no actor amplification was needed.
I only needed to amplify the orchestra into the house and provide a
vocal monitor to the orchestra. Of course, I did have to make sure that
the actors were able to hear the music well enough so they could sing
along with it. I also had to make sure the audience received a nice
mix of the small ensemble orchestra, while still maintaining a good
balance between actor and music.
fully automating the entire orchestra mix, I was able to make the show
run as a single GO button push in SFX. Each orchestra
cue could completely change the mix of the orchestra, as well as change
the over all levels and even change the routing of the orchestra mix.
The mixing power built into the Yamaha DSP Factory sound cards gave me
a great deal of flexibility, much more than just about any other option
that would fit within the cramped quarters of the theatre’s control
booth, and the limited budget of the production.
A SFX screen shot of what the Stage Manager saw during the show:
A screenshot of C-Console, the software used to control the mixing functions of the DSP Factory Sound Cards. SFX sent MIDI commands to C-Console, via a MIDI-Yoke virtual MIDI port:
|Although this situation was far from ideal, I think this set-up provided a good solution for working within the limitations presented to me on this production. I was able to adjust levels live from the house during technical rehearsals by hooking up a JL Cooper Fader Master. The Fader Master gave me 8 physical faders I could use to adjust the orchestra mix, and over all levels while we were running the show. These level changes would simultaneously occur in both the C-Console software, and SFX’s MIDI Mixer. I would then use SFX’s MIDI Mixer plug-in to save those levels as a cue within SFX. Once I had all the cues written, the Stage Manager was able to run the show by simply pressing the space bar on the SFX computer. As tech week progressed I just used my Fader Master to make small tweaks to the levels, and updated the cues within SFX. I had my laptop at the tech table running Ultra-VNC, so I could view and adjust the computer running SFX and C-Console from my tech table in the house.|