Saturday, March 26, 2016

More Mini-Shows

Doing a school tour right now. We go around to different Bay Area K-12's; arrive at eight in the morning, unpack the van, do a one-hour performance at nine, pack it back in the van and out of there by 11 or so.

My sound set-up is minimal, considering I have wireless, floor mics, pre-recorded backing tracks, sound effects, special effects processing, foldback speakers, and we bring our own mains.

Yamaha MSR100's (self-powered 8" cabs pushing 100W ea) on 6' speaker stands for front of house. Jolly5a's (self-powered 5" wedges pushing 80W in a bi-amp configuration) as foldbacks from the edges of the apron facing back towards the actors. A pair of CAD CM217's (mini cardiod condensers) on the lip of the apron.

All that runs back towards a rolling rack via a 100' stage snake. At the rack I have a Behringer mixer (sigh) of which I'm leveraging the onboard effects for a cavern scene. And the rack-mount receivers for eight channels of wireless microphone (Sennheiser G3's, of course). Since I'm pushing channels on the poor Behringer I have an outboard pre-amp with phantom power for the two stage mics.

Backing tracks and effects are on laptop, coming in via a Behringer USB adaptor, and QLab is being triggered/controlled in performance by a Korg nano-key using the optional MIDI license from Figure 53.

The set-up will cover a house of 100+ children and 100' of depth but I'm very close to unity gain everywhere; the mic inputs are just barely seated in the on-board compressor, the output faders are a hair below unity, and the Yamaha inputs are turned all the way up (but Yahama inputs tend to run cold).

The lighting rig is also minimalist. Manual 16 channel board, two Elation 4x5A dimmer packs, each one feeding a fresnel with barn door set to flood most of the acting area, and a Source-4 with drop-in iris on a swivel mount, which is used as a follow-spot. Since the packs pull a maximum of 20 amps they can be plugged into ordinary wall outlets. In fact, with only four instruments (all lamped at 575W) and since I never have to open up my speakers, we can (and have) run the entire show on a single wall outlet, stringing daisy-chains of extension cords all over the cafetorium.

(A lot of schools have these; they are a large-ish rectangular hall with linoleum floor adjoining the school kitchen, outfitted with folding tables for the school lunch hour. One end has a raised area that is, oddly enough, often outfitted quite well for a small stage, with main rag, wing space, speakers and lights, even a fly system (although none of them actually have the height to fly scenery properly).

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