Live theatre sound

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by nicoli, Nov 9, 2004.

  1. OK, so I've got my first live theatre sound gig coming up soon - the production starts Nov. 21st but we have setup and some tech rehearsal this coming Thursday. Anyone out there with some experience in this area that can lend me some advice or point me to a good resource?

    Here's the situation... they want a very natural sound so will be using as little amplification as possible. The only reason they're using any at all is because the acoustics of the room lend themselves to a lot of boomyness / echo / reverb and the voices don't project clearly enough in that environment to be heard in many parts of the room.

    The plan of the director is just to hang 3 choir mics over the stage... they expect this to solve the problem. My concern is that there will also be a 6 piece small orchestra on stage with them, and I'll have no control over the mix (no accent mics or body mics or anything are planned right now).

    So yah, any advice, or perhaps other forums on the 'net that this question would fit into nicely?
  2. This is the theatre, if it matters.

  3. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Moved to Misc. You'll get more nibbles over here........
  4. Here's one; here's another - I'm sure there are many more…

    Good Luck -
    - Wil
  5. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    Its going to be kind of a bitch unless you can get some body mics on those folks.

    Here is what I see as being problematic. The three choir mics hanging above everything. I imagine its mostly for your orchestra but trying to picup the instruments and actors with them is bad news. I know you said you don't have any control over the level which good and bad. If you adjusted for the music then your actors would suffer or be way too loud and vice verse. Not to mention the fact that those mics are condensors and might be omni's hopefully not. Either way over heads suck for live talent, its pretty damn easy to get them to feedback because they are sensitive condensor mics. Your mic is so far away from the talent when you get the level you need so the audiance can hear it through the speakers, well, so does you mic, and there is your feedback.

    The best possible thing you could have is a few wireless lav's to stick on your talent, and then get those choir mics down as close to your orchestra as possible. I would be willing to bet the music will be loud enough, but you will have to get the dialoge of your talent up over it so the audiance knows what the hell is going on. Short of getting the lavs, I would say pull those mics as far away from the Orchestra as possible and get them as close to your talent as possible. I have a feeling the music will be plenty loud, but your actors probobly won't be.

    Hopefully this gave you something the think about. I am sure you are a competent sound man (you got the gig right) but sometimes it helps to hear others input. Good luck.
  6. I have a good thread on this going on the LAB over at prosoundweb, thanks for the suggestion of that site.

    Droog, you pretty much nailed it for the issues I was facing during the tech rehearsal - omni condensors picking up too much of the wrong thing, and the band being louder than the actors (and bleeding into the mics meant for the actors). The director is trying to avoid Lavs or headsets at all costs due to his cast's inexperience with using them.

    When I left after the tech rehearsal, the rental company was going to reposition mics for me (lower the hanging ones so I could pick up more of the actors) and add another couple mics for me across the front of the stage. Next time I'm in there will be the dress rehearsal next Monday so we'll see how things go.