Tour Blogs

Addams Family Tour: Console

“Could you talk about your console routing in more detail? What pieces of the SC48 do you feel you are really leveraging to make the show that much better?”

The console is actually a Profile. We have 84 inputs and 21 physical (non-internal) outputs. Both of those counts are low for a typical Broadway show. The input count is low because all sound effects playback is handled completely outside of the desk by LCS/Wild Tracks. The output count is low because we are only sending “stems” out of the Profile and into LCS. LCS is handling all of the matrixing to 40+ outputs.

The group output stems we are sending to LCS are Principle Vox, Ensemble Vox, Band L, Band R, Band to Subs, Vocal Verb, Band Verb, and a Test Bus that is used for speaker check and trouble shooting. We also use Aux outputs directly from the desk for foldback, backstage program, IR (assisted listening), and press/archival sends.

“What processing do you typically using on leads? On chorus? etc Buss compression? Parallel compression?”

We have an entire suite of Waves plugins installed, along with a couple other fun toys. Processing for the lav mics is surprisingly minimal. The combination of Sennheiser SK 5212 transmitters and DPA 4061 lavs sound pretty good out of the gate for most people. The channel strip EQ is all that is necessary for most of the vocal mics. A few people get multi-band compressors (Waves C4) to combat sibilance or other peculiarities that may result from mic placement. Instruments get channel strip EQ and compression as needed. There is no bus compression for the vocals. The general theory is that you don’t want one hot mic to squash the entire bus. I have worked on shows where we will put a tube compressor plugin (or actual tube compressor back in the analog days) over a vocal bus. This is more of a tonal choice than a dynamics choice. The idea is that when you really start pushing into a particular bus the result will be a little more pleasant and “warm” sounding. That’s probably about as far as I should go on that topic.

“Are you utilizing snapshots/scene recall? How are you managing all your inputs on your 16 available faders? VCA’s?”

We are using snapshots heavily. I think there are somewhere around 140 snapshots in the show. The vast majority of these serve one of three purposes. First, to send a midi command. These commands are used to recall sound effects in LCS or sometimes to trigger the lighting console for simultaneous light and sound cues. Secondly, to reassign vocal mics among the VCA faders. Outside of a few dozen pushes of a specific instrument, which I do on the input fader, everything is mixed from the VCAs. We have routed all of the band instruments through the Stereo L/R bus which more or less gives me a 9th VCA to ride the band level. I have bank safed the band verb on the fader just to the right of the stereo fader so that my right hand can work these two levels at the same time. The last big category of snapshots are used to change the band mix from song to song, or even within a song.

Hopefully that answers your questions.

What function keys (user defined)or GPI inputs do you use for the show? Do you re-assign them for different uses when you're programing or during load-in?

Do any other devices trigger your console or are your tracks the starting point for any combined cues?

Thanks for the blog, really enjoying it,
thomas d.