Author Topic: CALLING: Executing both light and sound cues?  (Read 4472 times)

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zayit shachor

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CALLING: Executing both light and sound cues?
« on: Jul 05, 2007, 10:30 pm »
My sound board op left for the last week of the show, so I am running both the sound board and the light board now.

It went well tonight, but it was pretty hectic on my end.  Has anyone else ever had to do this?
« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 01:23 am by PSMKay »

PSMKay

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Re: Executing both light and sound cues?
« Reply #1 on: Jul 06, 2007, 12:16 am »
Sure, lights on 2-sc preset plus sound on dual deck plus multiple CDs... with no script.  Fortunately the sound rig was relatively simple and the LX plot consisted of about 15 instruments total.

We do improv here in Chicago.  Quite a bit of it.  It moves so fast that you don't have time to call it to anyone but yourself.

I'd suggest going to live with the soundboard for a bit after hours and run the sound cues with the light cues in a pitch black room.  What's going to count is the muscle memory and with only a week to go you won't have time to acquire it without practicing.  Set up the boards in a manner so that one hand works the sound deck and the other works the LX board, with your script in the middle directly below your view to the stage.  Move around in the dark room or with a blindfold on until you can turn and hit any button in any order.  Spend some extra time on fading with both hands at different paces if such at thing is required.  Once you've gotten that down, spike your chair, including the height if it's adjustable.


Trevor7

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Re: Executing both light and sound cues?
« Reply #2 on: Jul 06, 2007, 01:02 am »
I have had to do this on a few shows.  Although I think it is easier to have a board op for both, it is a luxury that we don't always enjoy.  My suggestion is just put warnings before each cue in your script show you know when a cue is coming before hand.  This has always helped me a lot.

Matt.L

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Re: Executing both light and sound cues?
« Reply #3 on: Jul 06, 2007, 08:21 am »
I've found that doing both lighitng and sound can have its advantages, especially when working on something like a small dance show. Mainly because of lighitng cues based around timings and phrases in the music. I've done this many a time.


Rebbe

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Re: Executing both light and sound cues?
« Reply #4 on: Jul 06, 2007, 05:59 pm »
I'd suggest going to live with the soundboard for a bit after hours and run the sound cues with the light cues in a pitch black room.  What's going to count is the muscle memory and with only a week to go you won't have time to acquire it without practicing.  Set up the boards in a manner so that one hand works the sound deck and the other works the LX board, with your script in the middle directly below your view to the stage.  Move around in the dark room or with a blindfold on until you can turn and hit any button in any order.  Spend some extra time on fading with both hands at different paces if such at thing is required.  Once you've gotten that down, spike your chair, including the height if it's adjustable.

I’d spike your equipment, too; sometimes it helps to have different colored  spike tape on or around buttons you need to hit often so they are easy to find quickly.  If you’re switching CD or minidisks or something, make sure they’re all clearly labeled, stack them in a helpful order before the show, and have a place to stick them when you’re done using them so they’re out of the way.  Also idiot-proof your space by blocking off dials or buttons that you don’t want to mess with but could easily hit by accident.   I’ve often seen half an altoids box used to cover the C/D master faders on a light board when we’re using only the A/B.  Or you could tape a big X over portions of the board you’re not using.  Make sure you have a good pre-show checklist for sound so you don’t have any mid-show surprises (check monitors, headsets, and speakers if your board op was doing that before they left). 
"...allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster."  (Philip Henslowe, Shakespeare In Love)

kiwitechgirl

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Re: Executing both light and sound cues?
« Reply #5 on: Jul 11, 2007, 04:27 am »
We only ever have one operator on a show (except for the annual musical, when a radio mic operator comes into play!) and they always run sound and lights, and occasionally AV as well.  We have made it easier for ourselves by almost always programming LX to run off a GO button, and recently have switched from minidisc to Sound Cue System so that sound is all off a GO button as well.  SCS is a brilliant piece of software - dead simple to use, but very powerful! 

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Re: Executing both light and sound cues?
« Reply #6 on: Jul 11, 2007, 05:44 am »
It all depends on your setup - if it is well set up to be run on skeleton crew then it is easy, if it is not, then it can be a pain in the rear end.

Some basic tips:
* If you are running off of a 2 scene preset desk - check to see if it has a grab master. That will allow you to preset 2 scenes in advance - it takes a while to get the hang of it, but it basically works like this (I call the presets red and yellow, so bare with me). Set Red for LX1, Set Yellow for LX2. Red master up on LX1, hit the record button for the grab master, bring it up, bring down red, set red for LX3. On LX2, bring down Grab master whilst bringing up yellow master, hit the grab master record, and bring the Grab master up, then drop the yellow master and set yellow for LX4. Some desks come with two grab masters - I usually just use Grab Master 2 for a houselight preset for emergencies etc.

* Try to preset sound as much as possible. Many desks have Mute Groups which is great when a lot of your sound cues are for mics - so basically if in scene 1, actors 1->4 are on stage, whilst 5->10 are off stage, then scene 2, actors 1,2,4,6,8 are on stage the rest off etc, you set up the mute groups accordingly, then it takes one button press to change between mics 1->4 on to 1,2,4,6,8 on only.

* If you have lots of audio - make sure it has been mastered correctly - if not, see if you can get it remastered. Basically, you want to be able to hit play for each cue instead of hit play as well as ride the faders.

* Set up your work area well. I learnt that really quickly when I did my first few corporate gigs - where you often have 2+ laptops, 2 DVD players, cue monitors and a switcher for vision, plus sound desk, LX desk and a prompt script, along with odd things like voting interfaces or autocue controls, and usually only one operator.

tombo_17

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Re: Executing both light and sound cues?
« Reply #7 on: Nov 10, 2007, 03:19 pm »
I have had to do this on a few shows.  Although I think it is easier to have a board op for both, it is a luxury that we don't always enjoy.  My suggestion is just put warnings before each cue in your script show you know when a cue is coming before hand.  This has always helped me a lot.
I agree with trevor7 on this one. I had to run lights and sound for my last show and as long as you have a warning before your sound cue(and i've found it helps to hilight it), you should be able to have it ready to go by the time the actual cue comes around. As long as you stay on top of it you should be fine
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