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Sound at The Studio, Part 2

Oct 5, 2011 3:38 PM, with Bennett Liles

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Does anybody do any video recording in there at all?
Yeah we get a lot of that. We've actually done some movie shoots with Paramount in there and we've done a lot of TV—the occasional artist will bring two or three cameras in and do a shoot for the show as well. Well now having the Eclipse, if they want I can just have them bring a hard drive if they want the audio or I can send it to track out but we also have the three-way mic split as well. If we get a TV truck I can give them their own split. [Timestamp: 6:17]

Now on the power situation sometimes lighting and audio can have problems with each other—how has that situation sort of evolved at your place?
It's not bad. I don't have...I have a whole separate for the lighting because there are 96 dimmers and they're separate from audio. Now as far as audio goes, I'm only running it off of 100 amps because the L-Acoustic amps—two LA4's are only 30 amps—they're less than 30 amps actually because they're entirely separate feeds too. I've never really run into too many problems that way. [Timestamp: 6:51]

OK you've got main house and a separate monitor mixer. Where do you put the lighting control?
There's actually a lighting booth up in the balcony. Most of the time there or else we'll set up...there's enough room up at FOH. If they prefer to do it from the floor then we'll set them up right next to FOH too. I can patch in downstairs. There's a DMX patch on the first floor in the balcony and in the booth. [Timestamp: 7:13]

Well, it sounds like a pretty easy place to handle everything without any huge challenges.
Most of the problem is it's a 32x16 stage so the biggest challenge really is when I get a really large number of people on that stage and then we're trying to wire everything and keep it clean and give everybody a little bit of space. That's the biggest challenge I've ever really come up with. We had an awards show where I had 12 bands and video and podium mics, and that's when the digital console really started to shine for me because I soundchecked 12 bands in the morning in any order they could show up and then just sequenced it inside the play list and sequenced all my MC mics and my video playback and everything, so by the time rehearsal was over with I just pressed "next" for the entire show. [Timestamp: 8:06]

Do you have any really fast turnarounds in that place where you have to do a substantial reconfiguration just right away?
Yeah a couple of times—we've even had a university convocation. The local university's outgrown their local theater and I had a show where we loaded out convocation by 4:30 and we're doing load in by six o'clock and that was with the FOH and monitor mix positions they had to be restored—the stage had to be restored. So I've had a couple days like that and generally we throw more labor at it to make it possible. [Timestamp: 8:41]

Well it's great that you can be flexible on that. Do you send audio feeds anywhere in the place, say in a separate sound environment?
We do through the paging system. The paging system on both theaters will talk to each other. It's the original system that when they built the house and the patch bay in the theater next door will also talk to a patch bay that I have too so I can send program sound to any dressing room in either theater and occasionally we've had to do that from the opposite theater. We'll use my theater as rehearsal and staging area kind of thing so we'll have the Com and paging system all patched together. [Timestamp: 9:21]

Well, it sounds like it would be great working in a place about that size with as many different performers. It would be just enough to keep things interesting.
Oh yeah for sure, for sure. I'm really enjoying it. Some days are a lot of work but it's a rewarding job and I've got to work with...up close with some really great artists. [Timestamp: 9:39]

All right. Steve Foster with The Studio at Hamilton Place, Ontario thanks for taking the time out to tell us about how you do things there.

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