Does anybody know if the L1 has already been used in muscials?. I'm going to produce an amateur play for my local church next year. We bought the music from a royalty free music service and will be played from a computer. We also will have three headset micros for the actors connected to a mixer. The theatre (well, to be honest, actually it is a roofed parking lot) is about 40 x 30 meters. The ceiling is 5 meters high. We hope to sit down 300 people each night, during seven days.
The stage will be 10 x 3 meters and 1.20 m. high.
Could anybody tell if you think the L1 Compact will be enuogh?
Cordially, Fernando Perez
P.S. Please, forgive my English. I'm a Spanish native, so it's difficult for me to express myself in English.
Hi, Fernando! Your English is fine. Welcome to your first posting here.
One question, and then some 'guessing' on my part:
Does the roofed parking lot have walls? (the sound can be very different if there are no walls).
Because of the size of the place ... and the size of the stage ... I don't think that one Compact L1 would be sufficient. However, if there ARE walls -- and since parking lots tend to have lots of hard surfaces which helps reflect the sound, then two Compacts MIGHT provide what you'd need in what is likely to be a highly reverberant space.
If your investment in the L1's is for more than just this one event, and you anticipate doing more events at locations of a similar size (or outdoors), then I would invest in two of the larger L1 Systems -- with 2 B1's each (for a total of 4 B1's). Then I would have no concerns at all about having sufficient capacity to handle a musical.
A tip ... check on the headset mics -- if at all possible be sure to get models of headset mics which are NOT omni-directional. "Broadcast" mics are not very good for live sound.
Thanks a lot for your reply, Dan.
I will answer your questions:
1. Yes, the parking lot have very strong walls. It's a building from the XVI Century, so the walls have more than one meter (I guess 4 to 6 feet). They are made of solid stone. So I think they must reflect the sound very well. By the way, I made a mistake in the parking area measure: the correct is 40 x 20 meters, but I will be using only 30 x 20 meters.
2. To have more than one event depends on the success of this one (I hope so). That's the reason I can't actually invest in a larger equipment or on several ones. Moreover, our organisation is non-for-profit so the tickets will be very cheap (two dollars each person and one dollar boys and discapacitated).
3. I have allready bought one mic but it doesn't mark if it's omnidirectional. I will check before buying the two addittional mics.
Very cordially, Fernando Perez.
Hi, again, Fernando!
Since the area IS enclosed on the sides, that helps to minimize the 'power' needed to carry more evenly through the room.
Is the stage on the "short" (20m) side? I'm guessing that it is, because you indicate you will be 'using' 20x30, not the 20x40 actual dimensions.
Have you 'listened' in that space? Is the sound "dead" or is it really reverberant ("live", lots of echoes)? If it is really "live", that actually be where the L1 will help a lot compared to a conventional "point-source" speaker, because it will help minimize confusing echoes off of the ceiling.
Some thoughts of mine:
-- Will you be having any rehearsals in the space? What will the seating (chairs) be like (padded or not) and will they be in place during rehearsal? One of the things you can do to help create a "sound environment" more like a real audience is to have everyone involved in the rehearsals (as well as friends and family!) bring as many pillows (large pillows) as they can and spread them across the audience seats. People absorb a lot of sound, and soft materials like pillows can have a similar affect on the sound. ("Everyone remember: bring your costumes and your pillows to the next rehearsal!")
-- Since the stage is rather high -- and I'm presuming the audience will be seated -- and assuming that you'll be able to do a little 'experimenting' during rehearsals, I'd start with the L1 Compact positioned at the FRONT edge of the stage WITHOUT using the extensions. Sit at the extreme edges of the audience area (front and back corners, both sides and middle: front, center, rear), particularly listening for clarity of voices. You can use pre-recorded music (with vocals) for this testing (which will eliminate the uncertainty of variations in balancing live voices vs. backing music).
Then do the same thing with just one extension, and then with both extenders.
If the voices are clear, but the bass sound is weaker than you'd like, you can try positioning the L1 directly on the floor against the front edge of the stage to see if that helps improve the bass response throughout the room. With this positioning, you will definitely want to use both extenders.
Do you have any pictures of the place you can post here? (One picture can be added as an "attachment" to each reply you make in this discussion.) Or a link to a web site which has pictures? I'm making a lot of assumptions behind my comments and suggestions, and pictures might help to clarify a number of questions and issues.
Thanks again for your kindly message, Dan.
You're right. The area is closed by three walls. Only the entrance is wide open.
You're right also in the ubication of the stage. It will be at the rear end of the parking lot (you may see it at the photo as the shaded area). The measurement of that wall is 20 meters.
I've listened some music in that space several weeks ago, during a friend's celebration. They put two 250 w. speakers and they sound really good. There were almost 1,000 seated people dinning, speaking and laughing and the sound was still pretty good. I'm not an expert in echoes and quality of sound. In fact, this will my very first theatre approach. But I'm very enthusiastic with our project.
With actors we will have the 30 rehearsals that marks the "rule of thumb" for theatrical crews. But I'll make a lot of technnical "trial and error" before rehearsals. So your suggestion of putting "pillow" audiences will be very useful. I can make it without any trouble since the parking lot remains unused from monday to saturday and the musical season will start on April, 2010. So I have a lot of time on the moveable stage for light and sound proofs. The pillow call sounds like a "pijama's party" so it will be very funny!
I will follow your directions about the better position for the L1.
I'm thinking about putting a large courtain (20 x 5 meters) at the front end of the roof to "close" the theatre area. I don't like it very much as this will look like a circus, but I don't have a better idea. Wood panels are only 2.40 m. high. Does this will help to the quality of sound?
Thanks again for all your support and patience.
Very cordially, Fernando PerezThis message has been edited. Last edited by: Fernando Perez,
Thanks for the picture, Fernando; it helps a lot to understand what you are working with. (Edit: fix name!)
After seeing the picture, a few additional thoughts:
Getting down to some more of the details of the equipment (rather than the building acoustics):
Do you have a mixer yet that you plan on using? What are you using to play the backing tracks?This message has been edited. Last edited by: Dan Cornett,
Thanks again for all your advise, Dan.
Answering your questions:
1. No, I don't have a mixer yet. I'm planning to buy a six channels small one from Tascam. I only plan to use three or four wireless headset micros and another one wired.
2. The music is played from a laptop. I have designed a "buttons cue system" for the sound operator. It will be very easy for him to play the right track at the right moment. I'm really proud of my design, since I have found it is pain for amateur theatre productions. I bought the tracks from The Music Bakery (very nice music and reasonable prices).
You're right. I'll have a lot of time for experiment, but remember that sound is not the only thing I have to deal with, I need to learn how to set up and operate the lights, the stage, the security, the marketing, the performance, the team work, etc. etc.
I'll post something that could be interesting for the thread, since it will be my very first time using the L1 Compact system. I hope to succed.
God bless you, Dan.
By the way, a little of humour: you misspeled my name and put "Frenando", that in spanish means: to stop, to restrain. I hope it isn't a "prediction" (LOL)
Very cordially, Fernando.
Whooops ... sorry about the name 'typo' (letter reversal!)
Since you are planning on 4-5 mics and the audio output from a laptop, I would suggest this:
-- connect the laptop directly to the L1 Compact Channel 2 (e.g.: via the 1/8" connections on each, most likely). The volume of the music can be controlled from the laptop. That way you don't have to worry about how to get from stereo-to-mono ... it's handled by the Compact input. The only concerns here are:
(a) have the Compact and the laptop on the same power circuit (to prevent ground-loop hum).
(b) check out if the laptop has a 'noisy' audio output when plugged into ANY A/C power (some do!! ... they are only 'quiet' when run on battery only).
-- Check for the mixer having a 'mic-level' output; the smaller mixers often do NOT offer that option (e.g.: with a switch). What I would do is get a -20db "pad" (see this link for more in the Wiki), and use that to connect the mixer output to microphone input (Channel 1) of the Compact. That will allow the voices to take advantage of the "Vocal mic Preset" built into Channel 1 -- so they will sound the best. A few things here, too.
(a) You may have to get some adapters or a not-so-readily-available cable for the mixer output to connect to the "pad" on the Compact input, if the mixer does not have XLR outputs.
(b) You will essentially only be using 1/2 of the mixer (e.g.: the Left channel, if that's the one you connect to the Compact).
(c) Start with the Compact Channel 1 volume very low ... practically off. Turn up the mixer volume to there 'nominal' (i.e.: what ought to be real loud) levels. Then, if you need more volume, turn up the Channel 1 control on the Compact. Once that "real loud" level is set on the Compact, you can then control everything back on the mixer and shouldn't have to change anything on the Compact.
(d) As with the laptop, also have the mixer on the same circuit as the Compact.
Note: that process as described in (c) is also applicable to Channel 2 and the laptop output, too.
NOTE!!!!! Try to get a separate electrical circuit for the lights!!!! Not just a separate cord from the same wall outlet. This will go a LLLLOOOONNNNGGG way to minimize any problems between the lights and the sound ... and also minimize chance of tripping a circuit breaker (or fuse).
You are going to be busy! I'm sure you've already thought of this: I would suggest you recruit a couple of people (perhaps 2-4) to learn the sound and lights along with you (they can assist you during the 'testing') and have them run the lights & sound during the shows. You'll be busy enough as the "producer"!!!
I've been following your ecellent directions.
I only want to comment you that the computer has a "noisy" output sometimes and sometimes not. It's funny, but I really don't know when the computer will be "noisy". Sometimes it's very quiet, even if it's connected to the A/C power. And sometimes it very noisy, even if it's working with the battery. Perhaps it deppends on another devices connected nearby.
Really funny, indeed.
The process for the mic's is working allright. They sound great.
You're right, Dan. We will need a large crew (I think about 40 people working during the play, some of them in the lights and sound)
Thanks a lot, Dan.
Indeed it might be nearby devices. On the other hand, it might also be things inside the computer -- such as an internal fan.
Some D.J.'s have dealt with similar problems by making sure that there is nothing else running on the computer other than what is need for "sound" -- no Internet, no Bluetooth, no other devices not being used (such as extra external disk drives). The details can be pretty complicated, and I'm not a Windows guru to even attempt to describe them (if that is what you are using ... now, if using a Mac, maybe I can help!).
Are you connected via the analog output (i.e.: headphone output) from the computer? If that problem (unpredictable times of noisiness) persists, another option to consider is getting a small USB audio device to put between the computer and the L1. (I don't have a specific at this point, but there has been some discussion about such devices on this forum before that someone may be able to refer to -- if you need to try something other than the direct computer headphone output.)
Another thing to try is using a different model/make of computer; that 'audio noise' issue also seems to depend on the particular model of computer -- some models have that problem and others don't.
I'm glad things are going well for you so far, otherwise!
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