View Full Version : Musical Theater; I need HELP
08-09-2005, 01:57 PM
I have been doing sound for local live bands for years. I have just accepted a job doing the sound for a local production of HAIR. I have never done anything like this before!!!
I have searched all over the net trying to find some literature on this subject; with out much luck. If anyone could point me to a book, a stage rider or your opinions; please feel free to post it.
The room is an old court house that the city has donated the use of to Winthrop University. Its will hold about 500 patrons and has a flat floor.
The live band will be set up beside the stage. I don't feel I will have problems in this area. I am more concerned with the singers/actors on stage.
What is the best way to mic & monitor the stage? I was thinking about using 2 overheads; left & right and then a floor mic at the center. My concern is feedback!!!! Any input on mic/monitor placement??
Thanks in advance everybody!!!!
08-09-2005, 03:54 PM
Live Band in an old courthouse? No monitoring needed, and if you don't use as many wireless as possible, you'll get more band than you will vocals.
Again, you'll likely not need monitors, and if so, just keyboard.
08-09-2005, 05:11 PM
You wouldn't have vocal monitors for the singer/actors on stage?
08-09-2005, 05:43 PM
Disclaimer - - I'm a music teacher!
The folks on stage should know their part by now. Part of the art of Musical Theatre is the ability for the actors/actresses to blend with one another. All they need is a reference point. Besides, monitors on stage will take away from the 'theatre' feel.
I've also been tech-ing musical theatre at Hillsdale College for the past 6 years.
Less is more!
08-09-2005, 07:09 PM
You will need minimal monitors, as Cory said, possibly just the piano/keyboard. Most musical theater actors are simply looking for a pitch/rhythm reference, not a great mix. Most NYC Broadway shows have a pair of something small like EAW JF60's or JF80's mounted left and right like sidefills, and that's all for on-stage monitoring.
I would body-mic all the principal leads. This is a good time to rent a bunch of wireless bodypacks with Sennheiser, Countryman, or DPA body mics, earsets, and lavs, depending on the costuming per character. Most good regional PA and rental companies have seen this kind of thing before, and will have some wireless that they configure with the appropriate mics. There's a smaller company near me that has a bunch of DPA 4060 series mics on Sony wireless systems that I rent for these purposes.
I use floor mics (Crown PCC-160's) and stage mics (hanging or otherwise) only for full chorus numbers, for dialogue, and for backup. With a band in the room, you'll be hard-pressed to get the soloists above it even if the band is playing quietly if you're only using area miking.
As to the band: the quieter you can get them the better. It sounds like you don't have a pit or the ability to baffle them down to keep their stage volume down. That said, this is a great application for Aviom and in-ear monitoring and for V-drums, especially if the drummer doesn't have a lot of show experience. Those things are probably out of the question for a short-run show. Try to minimize reflective surfaces around the band, and try your best to keep their volume low.
All the stuff Cory said is right on...
08-10-2005, 12:22 PM
Thanks guys. That's exactly what I was looking for.
If you guys think of anything else, feel free to post it!
I'll also post how things went later.
11-30-2005, 12:44 PM
- If you must mike the stage generally, use directional mics, and make sure they are behind the PA speakers.
- If possible, get all of the band signals into the PA mixer. Then you have total control of level. No stack amps (mike a practice amp for the lead guitar, if any). Use an electronic drum kit and keyboards.
- Consider the Rolls PM350 individual headphone monitors for the band.
- Where balance is critical (as it will be here), you need after-fader solo on the mixer. Most live mixers don't have it (only a pre-fader solo for soundchecks).
- Give principal actors wireless mics, but make sure they do not overly amplify those voices to the detriment of the voices of other actors.
- Put the wireless receivers behind the proscenium, not in the sound booth. They are much less likely to lose signal there. And remember that the structural ironwork often found backstage blocks wireless signals.
- You might consider having a boom mic and operator hidden behind the teaser, provided there is no feedback danger from moving the mic around.
- Some acoustic treatment of the house might be in order, considering the former use. The back wall of the house is especially critical to keeping the sound from reverberating.
- Now is the time to provide a floor trough for snakes. Put the sound mixer out in the house.
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