In another discussion Ron** was asking about setup for a recurring show with guest artists.
edit: See Ron's original post for details
About to get my first 2...
What follows is what I suggested, but I thought I'd start a new topic so the veterans could comment and new users could ask questions and help us refine it.
Here's how I introduce new players to the system. With your help, we can work this into something worthy of a FAQ entry.
If the performers are used to trusting the soundman, that is: they just want to walk in, plug in, and play... you may have a little difficulty getting them to take the reins (control the remote).
If they are used to trusting *you* then things should go smoothly.
To be prepared for people who just want to walk in and play the old way... Have a conventional mixer wired up with mains out running to your two systems (channels 3/4). You might want to do this for line-level instruments anyway.
That's your backup plan. BUT
This is what I do with open stage situations with guest artists. It sounds like it would take awhile, but really we're talking just a couple of minutes.
I setup the Bose systems as though there was no mixer. That is:
- microphones into channels 1/2 on each system
- DI's to the remaining channels 3/4 open on each system.
- Remotes wired and attached to the mic stands
1. Introducing Performers to the System
But before getting into a lot of detail, I just get the gain staging setup in the conventional way. (all volume controls on the remote at zero). This is the time to set the presets for people who have brought their own mics. While I'm doing that I'll point out that all the sound is coming from the Bose systems and that there will be no need for monitors or a separate house mix. Everyone: The performers and the audience will be listening to the same sound source.
2. How does this thing work?
Time for a quick tutorial about feedback, covering mic angle, positioning and how resiliant the system to feedback as long as you don't leave an open mic pointing directly at the L1.
3. Bring on the sound (one unit at a time)
Turn up the master to just under 1/2 way and get the performers to turn up the individual channels. Encouragage them - this is *you* in control of *your* sound. Get them to try the other tone controls, and let them get used to the buffered response to the controls. Assure them that what they hear is what is being heard in the house.
If there are concerns - "it seems dry" reassure them that when we bring up the master volumes, they will hear all the natural reverb from the room as it responds to them at performance levels.
4. Bring on the feedback
With the master volumes at a relatively low level (under 1/2)
I warn the performers and then I'll actually induce some feedback by repositioning a microphone (pointing it at the L1). Then we make it go away by tipping the mic back to a better angle (typically upwards). I hand someone a mic and say "here, you try it." You can also show them that if they leave the system in feedback mode, the system will mute it in a few seconds.
Okay - we've tested the worst case scenario and know how to deal with it.
5. Bring up the volume
Okay: we've got the balance between the players and instruments sorted out, and the performers are comfortable with setting their individual levels in the mix. It's time to bring up the master volumes to suit the house.
Give the performers a chance to do their soundcheck song(s) and adjust as necessary.
6. On with the show!
If all went well up to this point - you're good to go.
7. Plan Backup
If someone just doesn't want to deal with it ("what are they paying *you* for?" (mister sound-guy)) then just plug the mics into the mixer, set the levels and go for it the slightly more conventional way).
It takes only a few minutes to go through the whole procedure and I've found that it's well worth it. But if you try to skip any of the steps, you could have an unhappy performer on your hands.
Successful outcome report
I recently worked with a true road warrior who immediately picked up on the system. He then did his performance without a hitch. read about it here...
Please help me to refine this... Bring on the comments.