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Heavy-duty Audio Upgrade at Eisemann Center, Part 2

Feb 23, 2011 2:23 PM, with Bennett Liles

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OK, low-loss and it doesn’t have to get moved around. With the Lectrosonic system, one of the best things about it seems to be the software. How does that work for you? What sort of features does it have?
Valerie: Well the software is designed to simply set up and enable continuous monitoring during operation of the system. A summary of each receiver system is displayed with real time indications for essential levels and settings on each installed receiver module and you can basically right click anywhere on the receiver pane and bring up a popup menu that allows you to alter the settings, add or delete a receiver, start a walk test recorder or even perform a spectrum scan. The spectrum scanner allows us to find clear operating frequencies should we experience any interference. We haven’t yet but it’s nice to know we can do that. And also if we have touring road companies we can use it to determine the best frequencies for them to operate in without changing or using our own existing frequency assignment. [Timestamp: 6:24]

Yeah obviously one of the main reasons that so many wireless mic companies have incorporated that feature into the system it’s great to be able to just instantly spectrum scan without having to use a bunch of outboard equipment and just do it right there in the system. So what else have you got in the PA? What kind of a main house mixer are you using?
Virgil: We have a Crest X8 analog console 56-channel and it’s still crankin. [Timestamp: 6:48]

And how far from the stage is that?
Virgil: It’s about 65-70ft. line-of-sight but cabling-wise it takes us about 125ft. to get there. [Timestamp: 6:57]

And how do you do your stage monitoring and all that? I would think that monitoring would be one part of it that would have to be pretty flexible to deal with the wide variety of performers at the Eisemann center.
Virgil: Yeah, correct. Concurrently we’re on a house normal situation. We’re mixing back monitors from the board at FOH and then we have QSC amplifiers driving Tannoy concentric 12in. monitors and that’s what we do for a good 75 percent of our clients but on the writer specific shows that need a separate monitor mix on stage we arrange that through either their equipment or we’ll rent it—cross rent something. That’s one of our next goals is to get a more of a more capable on stage monitoring mix. [Timestamp: 7:41]

Yeah that can be the source of a lot of pleasure or pain for the performers. What sort of tech crew do you have there? Is it just the two of you or do you have others helping out?
Virgil: Well we have three other people on our staff and we break off into essentially departments like lighting and we have staging—staging/decking fly man—that’s one person and then we have a video technician and each person will get assigned to a client for a period of time over the duration of their show and oversee our stagehand crew which we hire in locally through a company who provides our labor for the shows. And they interface with—if the show brings in their own crew to run specific areas of the show like light board, sound board, deck hands or fly man and that kind of thing, they implement or interface with them and either work alongside them or at some cases work for those show crew people. So those are all numbers of bodies that we have to figure out before the actual show gets in to make sure we have enough people in place for each particular client or each particular type of show. [Timestamp: 8:53]

Do you do any video recording of these shows?
Virgil: No not yet we have the city of Richardson, who were a city of Richardson facility, has a television station and they come out and record many of our performances—almost 98 percent of our presenting series, Eisemann Center Presents, they record as well as some client shows they’ll record. [Timestamp: 9:17]

What do they do for audio? Do they take a split off the mics or do you feed them out of an aux on the board?
Virgil: We feed them off of a matrix off the FOH board or we can give them a feed off of our…with the hearing assist feed which is a room…a mixture of the room microphone mixed with the signal coming off the board and they have a…actually they have a Lectrosonics wireless…camera setup where they can send a mono signal from our board wirelessly to their camera anywhere in the house. [Timestamp: 9:47]

Well how’s it been so far as far as the feedback from performers and everything? Has all the tech stuff seemed to fall into place or have you been making some tweaks as you go?
Valerie: We really haven’t had any complaints or problems with the system. All of the equipment performs very well and the operators…they just simply had to get used to it, if nothing else to figure out how the batteries came out of the transmitters and otherwise it’s been performing very well. [Timestamp: 10:14]

Well it’s certainly not a bad thing when you have to get accustomed to using better stuff than you had.
Virgil: Yeah.

Virgil Justice and Valerie Clark of the Eisemann Center it’s been great having you here to talk about the Lectrosonic’s digital wireless mic system upgrade and it sounds like a very interesting place to work. It’s been fun thanks for being here.

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