Monday, August 15, 2016

Russ Freeman and The Rippingtons - Stage Plot - 2016

As a sound technician, I have always been curious about the stage plots for all kinds of bands and artists. So, when I was visiting the updated web site for the band "The Rippingtons" one of my favourite jazz groups, I noticed a link for a downloadable version of the band's 2016 Stage Plot. This stage plot is NOT your typical 4 piece rock band setup! Many more instrument mics and monitor mixes than your typical band. My dream as a sound technician would be to have the opportunity to work on show for a jazz group like The Rippingtons. 

Click on this link to view a PDF version of The Rippingtons 2016 Stage Plot;

The Rippingtons have been a band since 1985 and they have a large discography of great work.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

QSC Amplifier Selector

Which Amplifier Is Best For My Speakers/Subwoofers/Stage Monitors???

QSC Audio has a great resource tool on their web site called "Amplifier Selector". It is great tool to determine which QSC branded power amplifier you would use to power "your brand" of speakers and subwoofers. It is really easy to use.

Step 1: Select your brand of speakers then select your speaker model. Once entered you will see a list of specific QSC model power amps that would work with your particular speakers. I chose Yamaha loudspeakers as my test. Here is a screenshot of the result:

(click on image to enlarge)

Step 2: Select your brand of subwoofers then select your subwoofer model. Once entered you will see a list of specific QSC model power amps that would work with your particular subwoofers. I chose Yamaha subwoofers as my test. Here is a screenshot of the result:

(click on image to enlarge)

Lets say your speaker brand is not listed in the choices in the drop-down menu. Here is what you do:

Step 3. You can click on the box marked "or Enter the Loudspeaker Specifications". The menu changes and asks you to choose Impedance in (Ohms) and Watts - Continuous (RMS) or Program. There is also a selection for "Two Loudspeakers Per Amp Channel". For my test I chose 8 Ohms, 350 watts (program) and 2 speakers per amp channel. Here is a screenshot of the result:

(click on image to enlarge)

Step 4: Repeat the same procedure for the subwoofers: I chose 4 Ohm, 1000 Watts (program) and 1 subwoofer per amp channel. Here is a screenshot of the result:

(click on image to enlarge)

***At the bottom of the web page QSC has a disclaimer stating that the amp selector is only to be used as a guideline to choosing amps for your speaker systems.***

This is great tool that every sound technician should check out on web site. Here is the link to get your there:

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Improvising With Sound When You Don't Have Enough Inputs

Once again, Mr. Craig Leerman has provided us with yet another excellent article on how be creative with less when working with sound. This article highlights how to maximize mixing console layouts for those time when you don't have enough inputs on a show. Sometimes it happens when you are given tech rider for show and then things are changed on show day and you may not have enough gear to support those changes. That is when you need to improvise and make thing work. Read this great article and find out some solutions to help you out when you are stuck on a show.

In the article, Craig Leerman talks about always carrying a compact "utility" mixer to every gig which can be put into service as a sub-mixer to the main console, a distribution amplifier for outputs, a press mult, and even an adapter to interface a device to the main mixer.

Personally, I have a BEHRINGER XENYX 1204 USB mixer that sports 4 - XLR mic inputs, one-knob compressors on mic inputs, 2 - stereo inputs, 2 - pairs of main outputs, control room outputs, ALT3/4 outputs and RCA inputs for interfacing an mp3 player, laptop or tablet with a simple y-cable.

Almost every mixing console manufacturer has a line of compact, utility mixers available. Here are a selection of a some below:


This mixer packs a load of features in a small footprint!
4 -XLR Inputs, 3 - Stereo Inputs, 7-band Graphic built-in, EFX processor built-in, 3-band EQ on every channel, USB Input with level control, RCA inputs and outputs with level control, Monitor Send, EFX Send, Stereo Return Inputs, and Phantom power.


Similar features to the Mackie Pro8FX with the addition of 2 extra XLR inputs with stereo inputs when you need just a couple more mic inputs. Also included is a Hi-Z switch on one of the mono input channels that will allow to you patch in a high impedance instrument without the need for an additional DI box.


Similar features to the Mackie, Yorkville, and Behringer mixers above.
Includes 2 in/2 out USB functions for connecting you laptop for audio or recording with included Cubase AI DAW software download version. For those times when you need to make a simple recording of a presentation or other audio feed on on show.


Soundcraft took the best features from some of the past, analog mixing consoles and designed it into the Signature Series. Even in the the smallest model Signature 10 you get the famous Ghost mic preamps, Sapphire British EQ with sweepable mids, Lexicon branded effects engine, dbx Limiters (High Ratio Compressors on inputs channels, Hi Pass (Low Cut) filters and 48V Phantom Power on all mic channels, 2 in/2 out USB playback and recording, Switchable Hi-Z inputs for guitars, basses and other instruments, and GB Series Audio Routing functions.

As you can see there is so many features that can be packed into a compact mixer and you should always carry one with you to every show or gig your work. Think of it as your sound safety net that will help out in a pinch when you don't have enough inputs. Happy Mixing!!!