Freelance Sound Engineer
RSS icon Email icon Home icon
« Return to my Blog
  • Autumn Time

    Posted on November 12th, 2011 No comments

    Again I am rubbish at updating this thing regularly, so here is yet another massive post covering some of what I have been up to over the Autumn months.

    UK School’s Games
    Tim Speight got me involved in this job, which is my first job for RG Jones, and what a lovely one it was! Me and about 15 other engineers headed for Sheffield to provide commentary and music systems for the UK Schools Games, a kind of young persons mini Olympics. It featured competitions such as athletics, swimming, cycling, judo and fencing as well as other sports such as the highly dangerous wheelchair basketball and Rugby Sevens. It even had its own opening and closing ceremony!

    I was in doing the Volleyball which was great fun. I was with 2 commentators who were active in UK Volleyball who took the time to teach me the rules and ins and outs of the game and was interesting to learn something new. My chosen team, North West Boys unfortunately lost, but at least everyone beat Wales!

    My role was spent mainly playing stings for points as well as pre match build up music, and announcements all of which was nicely straightforward.

    But the best part was that I was up there with a great team of people and of an evening we all had a great laugh. Highlights included Owen’s cocktail flight case, the 3 of us riding in the back of the truck in-between venues “Vietnam Style” and swapping hotel food allowance for beer!

    It was a pleasure… Until next time chaps.

    Yes Prime Minister… Again
    So ignore my previous post it turns out that it wasn’t the last time I would move Yes Prime Minister, as it ended up moving across the road rather fittingly into the Gielgud where I started with the whole thing!

    Day one was a pre rig, installing surround and delay speakers into the Gielgud (oh how I didn’t miss there in house wiring!). Day two consisted myself Jack O’Brien and operator Matt Russell getting all the gear out of the Apollo and into the Gielgud. Most of the empties were sent back to Stage Sound Services after we moved into the Apollo, so things were packed as best they could for the “long” journey across the road! We moved pretty fast, and by 2pm we have everything out and into the Gielgud. (My first YPM get out!), spending the rest of the day getting boxes in place.

    After that I was joined by YPM guru Tim Speight for two days to get it installed and enjoy the “fun” of installing plasma screens on boom arms one last time together! It all went in fairly well and bar a comms issue (which turned out to be a dodgy multi line), opening night went fine, and so has the rest of the run.

    Now really is the last time to go and see it this year! Then again I said that last time!

    I have been away 3 times with CSE over the last few months, all shows for the Royal Navy. Firstly was Bahrain where we did a show in the American Naval base with my festival stage friend Ian Wood. I remember the bar order being Heinken and Expressos! A late night and good times were had!

    Then I headed to Sicily where we did a show in a deserted hotel where everyone spoke Italian, with a supplier we’ve never used before, in a cinema massively oversized! Incredibly it worked really well and we put on a great show, I even learned some Italian and found out that I could get a Panini at midnight. Downside was Panpipe music at meals…

    And finally an amazing trip to Jordan where we did a show in a beach side hotel that was after an 8 hour stop over on the way out, which involved us camping out in a 24 hour bar. It was one of these gigs that balances out the overnight load outs and rain soaked festivals! Brilliant and an excellent supplier, nice to see some Martin Audio kit elsewhere in the world! Sounded brilliant.

    England vs Wales RFL
    This was a job for dBS Solutions, providing the PA for the England vs Wales rugby league match at Leigh Sports Village. The system from us was made up of 16 wedges around the edge of the pitch, and utilising there in house PA to provide some coverage for the very top of the stands. The performance would take place both pre match and at half time and would take the form of a solo singer, a brass band and a choir. I went with a combination of Rode NT5 mics and Rode Shotgun mics to get the coverage of the brass band and the choir with the solo singer being on a wired SM58 (with a spare just by her feet).

    We didn’t have very long to install the system although simple had some very long cable runs, especially between the amp rack positions. And to complicate things as well as the pitch inputs I had to take multiple feeds from both in house and broadcasters SIS Live as well as providing feeds to them from me for TV, as part of our performance was the National Anthems! (No pressure for me then!).

    Our major issue was that as soon as the performance was finished we needed to have the pitch clear, likewise at half time we needed to be ready to go ASAP. Thankfully with some careful prep and planning were able to come up with a controlled way of getting the gear on and off which meant it was done quickly and that no one fell over on TV!!

    Qlab provided playback for the cheerleader dancer performances, which once again worked flawlessly! Alongside me was the clubs DJ and MC who did a great job doing all the announcements and in game stings.

    Everything went without a hitch and the day was a great success, especially because England won!

    Liverpool Lantern Festival
    Myself and dBS Solutions were back on hand to provide the PA for the Liverpool Lantern Festival in Sefton Park. This year was the first outing for our brand new Trables PA towers, which allowed us to fly the TRS up to 4.5m high, using only subs as ballast (in certain wind conditions). The 4 towers allowed us to get a move even coverage than last year and more importantly to the director keep the PA out of the sightlines of the audience. This was combined with ground stacked wedges underneath each tower to cover the first few rows of people.

    There was also 4 separate mini stages within the main body of the audience, each with different action going on that formed the finale to the parade. We had speakers in each zone with the matrix of the LS9 allowing us to send different signals to each area, on instruction of the musical director. On top of this was a 6 piece band for me to control, who were radio miced up with DPA 4061’s and played on a central stage in the middle of the audience and in front of the PA!

    It was a brilliant show and when all the fireworks went off at the end it looked magical! The PA and indeed the new Trables towers worked a treat and I was able to translate the MD’s soundscape as required. Bar the mud it was another job well done. Hopefully see you all again next year.

    Anyway sorry for the massive long post again! Below is some of the pictures from all of the above. Enjoy!