Academy Dashboard Forum Studio Gear Talk Live Sound Considerations

  • This topic has 4 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 5 years ago by Jason Davenport.
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    Just Lisa

      I need some advice.

      I work for a dance studio. We put on full scale productions and recitals. We've been privileged to perform on professional stages and semi-professional stages. Our usual stage is a pretty nice high school facility.

      But then there's the stage in the building known as the 'old high school.' Unfortunately, that is going to be necessary to use a couple of times this year.

      The sound system is old and faulty. My dudes who do the soundboard thing are using the 'travel' soundboard because the regular one is no longer functional. The cables in the walls and ceilings are failing rapidly. The school system does not want to put any money into repair or upkeep.

      For us, the show must go on in whatever facility is available. It was suggested that we perhaps purchase or rent a system to bring in when we need it. My dudes said NO it won't work because we can't plug into the cables that are already there. I think there must be other options and said I would look into it; a feasibility study of sorts.

      I was looking at the new boards by Presonus, for example.

      The system needs to play pre-recorded music. Some announcing. Maybe a person with a microphone to make a presentation or two. We need to have adequate speakers for the auditorium or find a way to bypass the present cable system with one of our own.

      We are a non-profit business, a school. Cost is a huge issue.

      Any thoughts?

      Oh, and any recommendations for a wireless headset system? Several of us work back stage at any or all of these facilites and it would be really nice to be able to bring our own headsets with us. But stages are built with concrete blocks and rebar, so I understand uninterrupted communication is tricky.

      : )

      Jason Davenport

        Hi Lisa!

        There are lots of options that would work for what you are doing. The biggest hurdle sounds like the budget. How big is the room? A small board would probably suffice if it is just one mic and some prerecorded music. You would need some loudspeakers(or run new cables to the existing), a power amp, and cables to run them. Mic cables and a mic for the presentations. An 8 or 10 channel mixer would be plenty. One with USB would hook you right up to a laptop. Yamaha makes one for about $200. Presonus makes good stuff. If you have one of their interfaces, it comes with VSL(Virtual Studio Live). This is a digital mixer in a box. It has effects, comp, eq, gate, all in the box. It can be used with a laptop, Ipad, or similar as a virtual mixer. Check your local music store to see if they have any used equipment that might be cheaper than buying new. If not, Behringer makes some decent inexpensive mixers. QSC makes decent power amps cheapish, or you could get powered speakers, depending on how big the room is... Never been big on wireless stuff, so not much I can tell you there. Hope this helps...

        Guido tum Suden

          Hi Lisa,

          could you be more specific?
          How big is the room, or more important how big will the audience be in case of a show?
          Do you want a new PA at best?
          Do you really need a mixer and if so, for what?

          I would look for a column system pa.
          They carry well, are pretty feedback resistant and are not annoying when you stand close.
          Mono is usually enough, so one column.
          Many systems have bluetooth connection, good for playing music from mobiles, mini stereo jack in, for other music devices, microphone in for an extra mic and the usual inputs for jack and XLR.

          We do have a Maui 5 for our school, but we do have a bigger pa for bigger events.

          As for the headset, I do not understand what you do with them? If you use them for dance instructions, why not put the receiver on stage. What are you doing back stage? And what do you mean by several of you?


          Just Lisa

            Hi guys.
            The auditorium seats 400, I think. The stage is typical small proscenium type stage with no flyloft. The opening about 37' wide. The auditorium is shallow (not a lot of slope in the aisles) which means a much lower ceiling than a larger/steep auditorium.
            Mixer might not be the best solution, really.
            There is an existing system, but it is old and falling apart. There are two stage monitors and a number of speakers to fill the house with sound.
            Backstage, there are stage managers, stage crew, etc. We talk about opening the main, noting whether principle dancers are ready to go on, and other necessary backstage communication which no one should ever know about if you're attending a show. Anyone who is on stage already knows what to do. The communication is primarily with the booth, which is at the rear of the auditorium. Guys up there are running lights and sound and that's where the director sits. (Sound being a problem in only one venue, currently.)
            : )

            Jason Davenport

              This little box from Behringer works really well. You hook all your inputs and outputs, and control it with a tablet from anywhere in the venue.


              The column systems work great too, but I don't know if they will cover a 400 seat auditorium. They might...

              At the least, you will need some form of I/O to get the signals from your mic, and your prerecorded music to the loudspeakers. This can be done with an 2in 2out interface and a laptop, but you will still need some way to drive the loudspeakers. If the existing speakers are functional, and only the cables are bad, it would be much cheaper to buy new cables than to buy speakers. Still you will need some form of amplification to get the sounds loud enough to carry through the venue.

              As far as the headsets go, you could get a wireless setup, and place the receiver out of sight on the stage and it should work as desired. Here are a few to check out...


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