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How do you get around the communication traffic jam, when mixing a live music event?
Old 14th October 2002
  #1
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Question How do you get around the communication traffic jam, when mixing a live music event?

Speaker placement and there uses...

When we record and/or mix on location, we place speakers in various positions around the control area. Let me explain...

The near fields are patched to the main speaker switch.

The secondary (or near field) speaker switch is used for an active mono or stereo speaker setup, which is placed behind the mix position about six or so feet. This gives us a definitive idea of what we got going on, in the mix. And what it may sound like on a little speaker(s) pointing behind or away from you. Kind of like, how does it sound when you step away to get a soothing beverage or something.

The audio record PL (comm) speaker is to the right at mix position, with the director or other department PL speaker at the right rear of the control room. If necessary, we can patch "hot" mics and/or broadcast feeds directly to additional active speakers at the left rear (or anywhere else) in the CRM. This helps us focus on who's talking to us and what's going on outside of the music mix, which we are providing. The mix engineer, associate engineer, etc., all have access to the comm system.

Many music engineers hate this way of doing it. They rather have an associate on a headset, dealing with the communication and relaying it to the proper person. I don't have a problem with it either way. What about you?

So, how DO you get around the communication traffic jam when you're mixing a live music event?
Old 14th October 2002
  #2
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
Most of my work involves very complicated PL systems,drops, and needs. I cannot tell you loud enough how valuable a great DEDICATED PL tech is!

As a mixer, I simply do not want the added responsibility of dealing with com issues, I just want my A2's and runners preferably on RF PL. But as you know, this brings up it's own little set of demons!, i.e. how many radios are being used in all aspects of the show.

I usually tell the shows producers up front that I will not be handleing PL. I haven't met with that much resistance.

But, if you are the EIC on the gig(rig), then you really don't have much choice in the matter.

peace,

bruce
Old 15th October 2002
  #3
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
Have somebody else do it......


of course this wont happen... and you will get burned by people asking the wrong question at the wrong time..


but the point source scenario is definately the way to go.. helps to know who is yelling at you ... they always seem to forget that you are LISTENING to their show.....


The best situation is to have an A-1 that is NOT the mixer,,rather the person that designs and installs the show, so that YOU the mixer don't have to deal with ANYTHING except the best possible mix
Old 15th October 2002
  #4
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I hear you Bruce,

On big shoots that involve super complicated comm systems and a ton of drops, IFB, etc., you got to have a communications A2 or two. There got to be someone other then the music mixer to put out any fires if necessary. The added headache of dealing with comm issues is too much for a music mixer or program mixer for that matter.

I was thinking more on the level of, monitoring an audio PL, director and/or camera conference while mixing music. When each point source is set to the proper volume in the room, I really don't mind listening to it all. It's strange but true, I'm affraid. It can sound pretty avant-garde at times.

EIC and MusicMixer (or A1) really don't mix. Smart production folk know not to double up in that department. Like astra said, "...the mixer don't (shouldn't) have to deal with ANYTHING (else) except the best possible mix."

Thanks guys, that was solid advice. Please come back soon!
Old 15th October 2002
  #5
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Sofa King's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
On the few location dates I do, Im lucky to be working with the mostly the same crew, and often the same one or two venues. So we have a pretty established way of doing things, com lines are just one of them.
There is a dedicated A1 and A2 who handle all the comm issues.

those guys have a long shoot, i think there is like 8 camera guys, a bunch of lighting dudes, stage manager, 3 or 4 hosts, teleprompter lady, band director, FOH dude, monitor guy and me.

On my end, I like to have a dedicated audio biscuit box, thats just me the montor guy and the FOH guy. so if something sounds odd, the 3 of us can all cue up the same channel, etc etc etc.

I also have a line from the truck, that the TD and AD both monitor on a seperate biscuit box.

I also like a single speaker mono choice, in addition to the nearfields.

Ive got to try Steves idea of putting it in the back of the room.

thats about it.

Sean
Old 27th August 2019
  #6
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I still take this approach when it's applicable.

So, how do you get around the communication traffic jam when you're mixing a live music event, today?
Old 27th August 2019
  #7
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audibell's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Audio sets it up, checks prior showtime, cameras are on B, everyone else on A, light dudes monitor cues during show and taps A1, who is room listening, A2/3 are on wireless or cable on chA, or supposed to be. Then security wants us to monitor their net...
Old 27th August 2019
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
On a lot of what I do anymore the whole shoot runs on walkies, with security style earpieces. Great for all of them, not great for me. Sometimes I get a Smyles Comm-Biner box, but then I have production chatter in my headphones. On a good day this is fixed by having a dedicated audio dept walkie channel, but this can't always happen, apparently or production forgets and then gets pissed that I'm not answering them on the production channel. My fave is to have an assistant listen to the radios for anyone calling me and tell me, then I answer them (if I feel like it). I've spent the last 45 years hating regular wired comm headsets for live shows, and thus having to listen to the house on one ear only. Newer lighter weight open type headsets are better than the old closed ones, but they are picked off first by the local crew and also tend to get broken easily. I had my own for awhile and they broke--time for a new one I guess. Stupidly expensive.
Old 28th August 2019 | Show parent
  #9
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
For me, Walkie Talkies are great for setups, run-throughs, walking around the compound when not on stage or in the truck or control room, yet we try to avoid using them in the CRM during the show.


Quote:
Originally Posted by philper ➑️
On a lot of what I do anymore the whole shoot runs on walkies, with security style earpieces. Great for all of them, not great for me. Sometimes I get a Smyles Comm-Biner box, but then I have production chatter in my headphones. On a good day this is fixed by having a dedicated audio dept walkie channel, but this can't always happen, apparently or production forgets and then gets pissed that I'm not answering them on the production channel. My fave is to have an assistant listen to the radios for anyone calling me and tell me, then I answer them (if I feel like it). I've spent the last 45 years hating regular wired comm headsets for live shows, and thus having to listen to the house on one ear only. Newer lighter weight open type headsets are better than the old closed ones, but they are picked off first by the local crew and also tend to get broken easily. I had my own for awhile and they broke--time for a new one I guess. Stupidly expensive.
Old 28th August 2019 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness ➑️
For me, Walkie Talkies are great for setups, run-throughs, walking around the compound when not on stage or in the truck or control room, yet we try to avoid using them in the CRM during the show.
Yes, they are a scourge. But everyone else on the show loves them, they are rented in by the dozens, and often are the only comm there is.
Old 28th August 2019
  #11
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tourtelot's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
For full-show comms, I like a biscuit box in the control room that I can turn up or turn off as I see fit. I make certain that everyone knows i will not be talking on the show comm. I will usually set up some comm between the control room engineer (me) and the stage racks/AE-A2. Could be walkies. It is a private line and not "tied in" to the show comm. I will also install a PL from the conductor/director to a small speaker near the producer with a dedicated CR mic to the hand-piece on the conductor's podium. If the conductor needs to talk to the produce, he picks up his "telephone", pushes the PTT switch and starts to talk. The producer hears this and pushes the PTT on his PL mic to talk to the conductor. There is a call-light at the conductor's podium to alert him that the producer is calling.

Of course, there is also another PTT in the control room that sends broadcast to the on-stage T/B monitor. Anyone in the mob with a question, an answer or other good idea will need to be heard over the music pickup mics on the floor. These ideas can be discussed privately between the producer and the conductor or their PL if desired.

D.
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