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Author Topic: BALCONY FOH MIXING  (Read 2151 times)

DAVID J. SYRKO

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BALCONY FOH MIXING
« on: April 07, 2014, 11:55:29 am »

I know this subject has been kicked around a lot, but I have a few questions.

For those who have had to mix FOH under a balcony, Was there ever a point where the balcony was high enough above you that it didn't adversely effect what you were trying to mix or what you were hearing?

Has anyone ever had FOH  up on the balcony and what was your experience?

Thanks for your thoughts!
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Cailen Waddell

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Re: BALCONY FOH MIXING
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2014, 12:12:55 pm »

The theater I used to run had an underbalcony mix position. Clear line of site to main speakers from the mix position.  We took some measurements... Mostly there was about 5 dB of shading at the mix position. Our sound ops knew how to compensate. 
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: BALCONY FOH MIXING
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2014, 12:36:27 pm »

I know this subject has been kicked around a lot, but I have a few questions.

For those who have had to mix FOH under a balcony, Was there ever a point where the balcony was high enough above you that it didn't adversely effect what you were trying to mix or what you were hearing?

Has anyone ever had FOH  up on the balcony and what was your experience?

Thanks for your thoughts!

Our local PAC Concert Hall has the worst road show position, under the balc, far house left.  The plaster is about 6' above standing head level, and both it and the flutter echo off the house right wall (under balcony) absolutely color the sound.  For the mixerperson, though, it's a 15 second walk down the side aisle (continental seating) to be free of the balcony overhang.  I'm not sure much matters, as the hall has such funky acoustic problems.  Things sound very different about every 3 or 4 seats across the width; front to back is less of an issue until you get under the balcony.

Most of the rooms with front balcony mix positions have iffy coverage there.  Some designers try to keep HF off of the bull nose or fascia and miss the meat puppets in the first couple of rows, others assume that the main PA will cover.  The acoustic space is different and will have a different sonic impression.  Ivan or Brad W can tell us how they deal with system voicing for this coverage and how it differs, if so, from voicing for the orchestra level PA.
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kristianjohnsen

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Re: BALCONY FOH MIXING
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2014, 12:49:27 pm »

Our local PAC Concert Hall has the worst road show position, under the balc, far house left.  The plaster is about 6' above standing head level, and both it and the flutter echo off the house right wall (under balcony) absolutely color the sound.  For the mixerperson, though, it's a 15 second walk down the side aisle (continental seating) to be free of the balcony overhang.  I'm not sure much matters, as the hall has such funky acoustic problems.  Things sound very different about every 3 or 4 seats across the width; front to back is less of an issue until you get under the balcony.

Most of the rooms with front balcony mix positions have iffy coverage there.  Some designers try to keep HF off of the bull nose or fascia and miss the meat puppets in the first couple of rows, others assume that the main PA will cover.  The acoustic space is different and will have a different sonic impression.  Ivan or Brad W can tell us how they deal with system voicing for this coverage and how it differs, if so, from voicing for the orchestra level PA.

Just want to throw this out there:
If mixing in a room where there seems to be different sound in every few seats.
When does one reach the point where one just mixes on monitors or even headphones and just tries to feed the system a good mix and lets chance determine who gets what parts of it?
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: BALCONY FOH MIXING
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2014, 12:54:00 pm »

Just want to throw this out there:
If mixing in a room where there seems to be different sound in every few seats.
When does one reach the point where one just mixes on monitors or even headphones and just tries to feed the system a good mix and lets chance determine who gets what parts of it?

Not sure I'd mix over monitors or headphones anything that had its own acoustic contribution to the sound in the hall.  At some point one must decide what mixing compromises must be made at FOH to make the "average listener" happy (or least unhappy).  You can't do that when you're isolated in headphones or concentrating on near-field monitors.
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Jim McKeveny

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Re: BALCONY FOH MIXING
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2014, 02:22:39 pm »

Underbalcony is hopefully only a few steps from a better listening position. I cannot remember the name of one particular hall, but mix was In the balcony, and the ramp/stair layout was such that an elevator ride was the faster way to listen to anything in the main seating area. 
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frank kayser

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Re: BALCONY FOH MIXING
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2014, 05:13:02 pm »

FWIW, I've been to a theater where on the orchestra level, sound was quite good, but in the balcony, all one could hear was overpowering bass, and little if anything else.  Literally sounded as if the subs were the only operating component of the system.
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Jay Barracato

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Re: BALCONY FOH MIXING
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2014, 06:11:42 pm »

Underbalcony is hopefully only a few steps from a better listening position. I cannot remember the name of one particular hall, but mix was In the balcony, and the ramp/stair layout was such that an elevator ride was the faster way to listen to anything in the main seating area.

I had one like that. And was in a booth as well. I ended up dropping a reference mic out the window and down to head height just to get a reference on my measuring system.
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Jay Barracato

DAVID J. SYRKO

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Re: BALCONY FOH MIXING
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2014, 11:21:03 am »

FWIW, I've been to a theater where on the orchestra level, sound was quite good, but in the balcony, all one could hear was overpowering bass, and little if anything else.  Literally sounded as if the subs were the only operating component of the system.

Thanks for the responses so far.  Could you tell me if the PA was stacked or if it was a line array?   If it was an array, was it high enough or just the layout of the theater not good for the  PA?

I would like to build a venue in my area.  I know some of the things I  want to do.  There are a lot of things that still need to be worked out. That is why I am asking all of you out there what your experiences have been out there. Hopefully I can avoid a lot of issues.  Much work to do yet.
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Jim McKeveny

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Re: BALCONY FOH MIXING
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2014, 07:36:00 am »

And was in a booth as well.

Been there. "We always have problems with visiting mixers being too loud". Whose idea was it to put the mixer in a booth 200 feet from the stage? A good location for followspots is not generally a wise mix position.
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