Sunday, March 19, 2017

Microphone Techniques For Performers On Stage in Plays and Musicals

















Here is a great article about the challenges about using microphone for performers on stage in plays, musicals, dance, opera, etc. This in not the same kind of close, direct miking that you use when mixing a rock band. It takes a great amount of skill to make things sound right and you are always learning how to do it better on every new show...

Click the link to read the full article featured today on Prosoundweb.com:
http://www.prosoundweb.com/channels/live-sound/putting-them-microphones-that-is-on-the-floor/


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

New Stage Almost Complete at Centennial Park in Sarnia, ON.















After 4, long years, the remediation work at Centennial Park is getting near the end! Pictured is the new stage, washrooms and concessions currently in construction on the site where the old Dow People Stage once was.

The city says that Canada's 150th Birthday on July 1st, 2017 will be the first event to be featured in the newly updated Centennial Park. The work has taken much longer to complete than originally anticipated and cost much more than first thought.

The park will be reopened in two stages. First at the end of May, the fences will come down around the area of the stage, washrooms and concessions and the playground. Then by the end of June the west side of the park is expected to be opened where the new boat launch will be.

It has been too long since Centennial Park was usable and I am certainly looking forward to going back to it to see many events at the new stage and to just enjoy the park by Sarnia Bay.

Here is picture of what the old Dow People Place used to look like before the park was closed back in 2013 for environmental issues.















As a sound technician, I am hoping to get the opportunity to mix sound for some future shows at the new stage!

Here is a link to the recent article about this story in the Sarnia Journal paper:
http://thesarniajournal.ca/canadas-150th-first-big-event-in-centennial/



Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Win a Rode NTR Ribbon Microphone Pair

Here is a chance to win a beautiful pair of Rode NTR Ribbon Microphones worth $1600.00!!!
Click the link below to enter the contest on the Rode web site....

http://www.soundonsound.com/competition/win-rode-ntr-ribbon-mic-pair















Good luck everyone!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

"A Night At The Musicals" - 25 Years Ago Today - February 28, 1992





















Today is the 25th Anniversary of my first solo sound and lighting technician gig at the Capitol Theatre in Windsor, Ontario. The date was February 28, 1992.

My good friend Suu Taylor (Marwood) was instrumental in creating and putting together a production of songs and dance from some pretty famous broadway musical productions. My friend Suu wrote me a letter and asked me if I wanted to take on the challenge of being the Head Sound and Lighting Technician for the show. I wrote back and gladly accepted (the days before we had email).

One day before the show day, I drove down to Windsor, ON. to meet up with my friend Suu to get all the sound and lighting gear together for the show at the old Capitol Theatre - the black box theatre. All the gear was provided by Vincent Massey High School drama dept and I had to sign off on it before they would let me take it. The drama teacher was a bit reluctant to let me take the gear at first but, Suu convinced him that I was trustworthy enough and responsible enough to do so.

We loaded into the theatre and did the full tech setup for the show. The bulk of lighting fixtures were hung overhead above the stage on a 40ft lighting pipe that could be raised and lowered using a hand crank pulley system. The house technician, Peter helped me access the lighting truss by lowering it down to stage height so that I could hang the lights, gel, circuit and focus. Then the truss was on it's way back up. Or at least I thought.

A few minutes later I am back at my perch which was an upstairs hallways with only window access to view the stage. I was watching the lighting truss coming back up into position and disaster struck! The entire lighting pipe came crashing down onstage in one big mess!!! The falling truss nearly missed a few of the actors as they were leaving the stage and came within an inch or two of destroying an instrument amplifier at the side of the stage where the orchestra was setup.

We were all in shock after seeing the truss fall to the stage leaving a mess of broken glass and slighting twisted fresnels! Turns out that the main cable from the pulley was connected to a large plate with 5 other cables spread out across the length of the pipe. That plate is where the connection broke and let go!

We all came running down to the stage to make sure that nobody got hurt and to take a look at the damage. This happened 4 hours before show time!!!

So, Peter called some of the other house techs to come in help fix the problem. We stripped everything that was still connected to the truss. Light fixtures and cabling all had to be removed. Next, the house techs came in with pipe wrenches to dismantle all the sections of pipe that made up the single truss. Finally, cleaning up all the broken glass from the light bulbs from the strip light fixtures.

Now there is only 3 hour left until show time and we came up with a plan to use all the working fresnels and mount them to two t-bar lighting stands and place them on each side at the back wall of the stage to achieve the back lighting effects that I required for the show. The setup was going to work well!

Just about then I saw my friend Suu and she asked me if the show could still go on and of course, I said yes! I gave her a big hug and told her not to worry and she went on her dinner break with the rest of the cast. I stayed around to make sure my lighting was going to work well with all the scenes. I was using a Strand Mantrix 24 channel, 2 scene preset manual lighting console with programmable submasters. When I got the console to check lighting I then realized that all my programmed submasters were ALL WRONG!!!!
So, I wiped them all clean and proceeded to program some new submasters to work with scenes. The rest of the show I was now going to do manually with no presets!

Even with the lighting truss disaster, we did manage to open the doors on time for the show and I figured out a way to improvise much of the lighting during the show in real time with no presets!!! The show did go on and we got a great applause after it was all over!

Afterwards in the lobby, I had some of the theatre patrons tell me how great the lighting for the show really was. I tried not to laugh about it and just accepted the compliments. Little did anyone know the craziness that had happened only hours before!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Consider The Inputs That May Exist On A Mixing Console....




















http://www.prosoundweb.com/article/audio_confusing_learning_audio_is_a_life_long_process/


I just saw this article on the Prosoundweb page and I wanted to post it. Most sound technicians are completely familiar with all the inputs featured in the picture however, for new sound technincians some have never seen or even used many of the inputs on a standard mixing console. So, here is a guide to help those people learn... Keep On Rockin' - Cheers from "Soundtechguy"!


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Le Studio Continues To Die A Slow, Painful Death!!!!

Just found a newer video of the completely extreme death and deterioration of the former Le Studio in Morin Heights, Quebec. It is so sad to see such a historic, Canadian institution slowing dying a horrible death in the forests of Morin Heights.
Thank you to the person who posted this video published on Sept. 18, 2016 showcasing all the current and newer damage since the last videos posted from the year before. Whoever the owners are, they need to seriously consider how much longer this building will be standing and the loss of such a great piece of Canadian musical history this place really is!






A Message Of Mercy to the current owners of Le Studio:

Why are you not doing anything with the former Le Studio building and property?
You bought the property to do something with it and now you leave it rotting away in the forests of Morin Heights! Why are letting this building die????!!!!!

If you never plan on fixing or renovating the studio building then, PLEASE sell the property to someone who has a plan to make use of the property for good. By keeping the building and not fixing it, you are just letting it die a horrible, unnecessary death!!!

You should just sell the building/property to a person or persons who have some vision for the future of the property. STOP HOLDING LE STUDIO FOR RANSOM!!!!! Please let someone else buy the building to begin the rebuilding of an icon Canadian music landmark. There are some excellent ideas of how and what to do with the building even its currents state. Please let someone buy the building and begin the plans of renovating Le Studio Morin Heights. Please don't be property hoarders anymore!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Great Engineer Interviews: Martin Frey






















Sound Instruction.net has an interview featuring Audio Engineering Veteran, Martin Frey.
Click the link to read the interview on the web site:
http://www.soundinstruction.net/the-blog/great-engineer-interviews-martin-frey


Back in the mid 90s I was working as the Head Theatre Technician at the Victoria Playhouse in Petrolia, ON. I first met Martin Frey when he came to town with touring artists. Many years had gone by since my VPP days and thanks to Facebook, I was able to connect with Martin Frey once again.

These days I work as a freelance sound tech around my regular day job. I look up to guys like Martin because, I get to tap into their many years of experience and knowledge and a put things to use for my owns gigs. Martin always has the best answers for any professional audio question I have ever asked. Martin has no problem passing on his knowledge to anyone willing to learn and better themselves in the field.