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Author Topic: Musings on a rural barn wedding on a cold night  (Read 1195 times)

Rob Spence

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Musings on a rural barn wedding on a cold night
« on: October 15, 2018, 01:11:38 pm »

I spent my Saturday in a barn in western MA providing for a wedding. I supplied 2 systems. One for the reception band, an 8 piece from NYC, and one for the ceremony. We relocated the DXR10s to the after party where the guests just plugged in a phone to my Radial SB-5 with apple headphone adapter and they had fun while we loaded out the reception pa.

Power was provided by a very nice movie quiet generator supplied by Limelight productions.

The ceremony pa was a pair of DXR10s, an SQ-5, some ULX wireless and a pair of Shure MX150 mics (thank you Brian Maddox). The engineer clipped one mic to a folder the officiant used and a second to the groom. Turned out the mic on the folder worked great and the one on the groom was not used.

The speakers were placed plenty far from the ceremony proper and everything said was easily heard by the whole audience of 150, outdoors by the barn entrance (complete with blankets and propane bar patio heaters - it was in the mid 40s late afternoon).

There was a string trio to play before & after the spoken ceremony but due to the cold, they asked to be moved into the barn. That meant we needed to mic them. So a pair of KSM137s were placed to get the 2 violins on either side of the cello which was picked up fine. A couple of 100í XLRs back to the SQ-5 and all set.

For the reception, I used a GLD80 with an AR2412 stage box, a pair of ZXa5s over KW181s on K&M distance poles and new production Blue Anglers (thanks Dave) set at 10 degrees.
Monitors were JBL MRX512s for the front line and a pair my Wizard Sound festival wedges for the horns and keys. Three QSC PLX1804s provided power while being relatively light. A side note, I tried the Iwo Jima method for the first time (still two people to do it safely) and it made getting the speakers up on (and off of) the poles much easier.

Mics included Shure ULX58s for vocals, an SM57 for trumpet, a clip on provided by the sax player and Heil mics on the drum kit. PR48 on kick, handi mic on snare, PR28 on rack Tom and PR31BW on floor, hat and ride. Overheads not needed here. Plenty of crash in the vocal mics. Rounding out the inputs were a PR31BW on the guitar players Fender Delux, Radial JDIs for electric guitar & keys and a direct out from the bass head.

The band was easy to mix. I had worked with some of them before. No complicated fussing on monitors.
Good thing. We had no sound check as most band members arrived after quiet time started (ceremony started). We were all a bit unnerved by doing a festival start on the newlyweds first dance. Yikes!
During the cocktail hour down stairs, we were saved by the couples arrival in the hall asking if the band could play the first dance song so they could practice their moves. Whew!

The event went well. Clients were happy. We got compliments on sound which is satisfying.

Issues included the usual difficulty understanding the topology of the site and where things would be so cable planning could be done. Fortunately I was traveling to NYC the weekend before and decided to just add a few hours to the trip to advance the venue.

I canít stress enough the value of seeing a venue in person well before a gig. It removes so much uncertainty.

In this case I was very fortunate. They were setting up for a wedding that evening. A local sound guy was dropping off a pair of speakers for an after party. He does this venue often and he took the time to give me a tour, show me how they distribute power and that I just needed to tell the lighting folk (they & catering rent the generator) where I needed it.
Again, good fortune, the same caterer was there and I got to meet the person working our after party.
Well worth the time to visit.

While the visit didnít remove any work for load in/out, it at least let me know just how much work it would be. Forewarned is four armed - yes, that means another crew member. It was a long difficult push up hill with some grass (and mud) but at least I knew what we were up against so I adjusted plans to arrive a little earlier.

Long day. Left home at 9am Saturday and arrived back at 5am Sunday.

Oh, I managed to cram all the gear into my crew cab pickup truck (with cap over bed). For grins I weighed the truck yesterday and I had 1700 lbs of gear.

Now to go unload it.

I hope some of you find this helpful or at least amusing.
Comments & questions are welcome.




Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
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rob at lynxaudioservices dot com

Dealer for: AKG, Allen & Heath, Ashley, Astatic, Audix, Blue Microphones, CAD, Chauvet, Community, Countryman, Crown, DBX, Electro-Voice, FBT, Furman, Heil, Horizon, Intellistage, JBL, Lab Gruppen, Mid Atlantic, On Stage Stands, Pelican, Peterson Tuners, Presonus, ProCo, QSC, Radial, RCF, Sennheiser, Shure, SKB, Soundcraft, TC Electronics, Telex, Whirlwind and others

Kevin_Tisdall

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Re: Musings on a rural barn wedding on a cold night
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2018, 01:38:25 pm »

I spent my Saturday in a barn in western MA providing for a wedding. I supplied 2 systems. One for the reception band, an 8 piece from NYC, and one for the ceremony. We relocated the DXR10s to the after party where the guests just plugged in a phone to my Radial SB-5 with apple headphone adapter and they had fun while we loaded out the reception pa.

Power was provided by a very nice movie quiet generator supplied by Limelight productions.

The ceremony pa was a pair of DXR10s, an SQ-5, some ULX wireless and a pair of Shure MX150 mics (thank you Brian Maddox). The engineer clipped one mic to a folder the officiant used and a second to the groom. Turned out the mic on the folder worked great and the one on the groom was not used.

The speakers were placed plenty far from the ceremony proper and everything said was easily heard by the whole audience of 150, outdoors by the barn entrance (complete with blankets and propane bar patio heaters - it was in the mid 40s late afternoon).

There was a string trio to play before & after the spoken ceremony but due to the cold, they asked to be moved into the barn. That meant we needed to mic them. So a pair of KSM137s were placed to get the 2 violins on either side of the cello which was picked up fine. A couple of 100í XLRs back to the SQ-5 and all set.

For the reception, I used a GLD80 with an AR2412 stage box, a pair of ZXa5s over KW181s on K&M distance poles and new production Blue Anglers (thanks Dave) set at 10 degrees.
Monitors were JBL MRX512s for the front line and a pair my Wizard Sound festival wedges for the horns and keys. Three QSC PLX1804s provided power while being relatively light. A side note, I tried the Iwo Jima method for the first time (still two people to do it safely) and it made getting the speakers up on (and off of) the poles much easier.

Mics included Shure ULX58s for vocals, an SM57 for trumpet, a clip on provided by the sax player and Heil mics on the drum kit. PR48 on kick, handi mic on snare, PR28 on rack Tom and PR31BW on floor, hat and ride. Overheads not needed here. Plenty of crash in the vocal mics. Rounding out the inputs were a PR31BW on the guitar players Fender Delux, Radial JDIs for electric guitar & keys and a direct out from the bass head.

The band was easy to mix. I had worked with some of them before. No complicated fussing on monitors.
Good thing. We had no sound check as most band members arrived after quiet time started (ceremony started). We were all a bit unnerved by doing a festival start on the newlyweds first dance. Yikes!
During the cocktail hour down stairs, we were saved by the couples arrival in the hall asking if the band could play the first dance song so they could practice their moves. Whew!

The event went well. Clients were happy. We got compliments on sound which is satisfying.

Issues included the usual difficulty understanding the topology of the site and where things would be so cable planning could be done. Fortunately I was traveling to NYC the weekend before and decided to just add a few hours to the trip to advance the venue.

I canít stress enough the value of seeing a venue in person well before a gig. It removes so much uncertainty.

In this case I was very fortunate. They were setting up for a wedding that evening. A local sound guy was dropping off a pair of speakers for an after party. He does this venue often and he took the time to give me a tour, show me how they distribute power and that I just needed to tell the lighting folk (they & catering rent the generator) where I needed it.
Again, good fortune, the same caterer was there and I got to meet the person working our after party.
Well worth the time to visit.

While the visit didnít remove any work for load in/out, it at least let me know just how much work it would be. Forewarned is four armed - yes, that means another crew member. It was a long difficult push up hill with some grass (and mud) but at least I knew what we were up against so I adjusted plans to arrive a little earlier.

Long day. Left home at 9am Saturday and arrived back at 5am Sunday.

Oh, I managed to cram all the gear into my crew cab pickup truck (with cap over bed). For grins I weighed the truck yesterday and I had 1700 lbs of gear.

Now to go unload it.

I hope some of you find this helpful or at least amusing.
Comments & questions are welcome.




Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro


Good summary - glad it went well.   I see some parallels to a wedding on Block Island RI that I did back in September.  Notably that plans change.   Everyone wants to get the most possible out of the day so I had to be pretty flexible. 

First, the job was booked too late to get my own ferry reservation to get out and back.  So the band hauled the PA and lights and band gear in one van and I walked on the ferry.   Arrived at the venue to be told that the single 14/3 extension cord was for "the band" and it ran to a generator (contractor grade 6500 watt).   I did some tracing of cables and found the extension actually went to shore power in a garage.  So I found another circuit for PA and lights and we survived without electrocution.

Reception was in a tent, band is 5 piece rock/hip-hop/dance outfit and we were in a tent about 50x80 with stage centered on a long wall.   A 3-piece subset of the band was to play a cocktails set on the uncovered deck of the house.  Power 100ft away.......  Glad I bring lots of power cables. 

This all worked fine until it began to rain 10 min into the cocktail set.    So we took the speakers and xr18 and monitors inside and played someone's ipod over the reception pa in the tent.   It rained pretty hard and the tent leaked some but not on any gear and the reception went really well.   Loaded out into the van which they took back to shore next day via reserved ferry and I caught a walk-on ferry separately and then went to pick up the gear from the van.

Lots of work and logistics but it was worth it.  Bride happy, band happy, guests happy.

--Kevin
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Jeremy Young

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Re: Musings on a rural barn wedding on a cold night
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2018, 02:17:13 pm »

Thanks for the report Rob, advancing a gig if it's a venue I'm not familiar with always reduces my blood pressure on load-in day. 

I'm glad the microphones worked out well for you for the ceremony.  Curious whether the MX150 mics were the cardioid version or omni-versions?  Seems they are available both ways.  I imagine omni would work better in that application but would have less GBF. 

Thanks for taking the time to tell us what worked and what didn't.
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: Musings on a rural barn wedding on a cold night
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2018, 02:18:21 pm »

Oh, I managed to cram all the gear into my crew cab pickup truck (with cap over bed). For grins I weighed the truck yesterday and I had 1700 lbs of gear.

Now to go unload it.

I, too, use a pickup (standard cab, 8' bed, high cap). I've found that if I just unload it as soon as I pull in the driveway, no matter how tired I feel, I always feel better about it the next day because there isn't a big job hanging over my head that I'm avoiding.

But, then again, I've never rolled in after midnight.
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brian maddox

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Re: Musings on a rural barn wedding on a cold night
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2018, 02:24:31 pm »

Thanks for the report Rob, advancing a gig if it's a venue I'm not familiar with always reduces my blood pressure on load-in day. 

I'm glad the microphones worked out well for you for the ceremony.  Curious whether the MX150 mics were the cardioid version or omni-versions?  Seems they are available both ways.  I imagine omni would work better in that application but would have less GBF. 

Thanks for taking the time to tell us what worked and what didn't.

Omnis.  I only know 'cause they were mine.  :)

I actually have a pair of the Cardioid version as well.  TBH, the pattern control on them is, like most tiny mic elements, nothing to write home about.  The good news is that a skinny piece of tape wrapped around the port section of the element turns them into Omnis.  :)
« Last Edit: October 15, 2018, 03:32:56 pm by brian maddox »
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Rob Spence

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Re: Musings on a rural barn wedding on a cold night
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2018, 03:22:20 pm »

I, too, use a pickup (standard cab, 8' bed, high cap). I've found that if I just unload it as soon as I pull in the driveway, no matter how tired I feel, I always feel better about it the next day because there isn't a big job hanging over my head that I'm avoiding.

But, then again, I've never rolled in after midnight.

Mine is a crew cab 6í4Ē bed with a cap. I can put 3 wedges on top of the subs at the front. In the back seat with the seats folded up and the flat floor down I got 3 of the EWI C040 series cases on edge & the SQ5.

I unloaded all the top stuff and things at the back today.
I canít get the subs out by myself anyway. The EWI cases (we call them pull toys - labeled as PT1 through PT3) are loaded mostly with cable so again it is safer to have help pulling them out.

It would have been much easier if I didnít need 6 monitor mixes.



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Jeremy Young

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Re: Musings on a rural barn wedding on a cold night
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2018, 03:57:37 pm »

Omnis.  I only know 'cause they were mine.  :)

I actually have a pair of the Cardioid version as well.  TBH, the pattern control on them is, like most tiny mic elements, nothing to write home about.  The good news is that a skinny piece of tape wrapped around the port section of the element turns them into Omnis.  :)


Thanks Brian!
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Mike Monte

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Re: Musings on a rural barn wedding on a cold night
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2018, 04:20:46 pm »



The engineer clipped one mic to a folder the officiant used and a second to the groom. Turned out the mic on the folder worked great and the one on the groom was not used.

I tried the Iwo Jima method for the first time (still two people to do it safely) and it made getting the speakers up on (and off of) the poles much easier.


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Two techniques that I use all of the time...Iwo Jima and clipping a lav to an officiant's binder..
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brian maddox

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Re: Musings on a rural barn wedding on a cold night
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2018, 04:22:55 pm »

Two techniques that I use all of the time...Iwo Jima and clipping a lav to an officiant's binder..

Yeah, Iwo Jima is the way to go.  Although i do remember about a hundred years ago the first iteration of KF300s had plastic stand cups that would break EVERY time you did the Iwo Jima trick.  We replaced them all with metal and i haven't had an issue with that trick ever since.
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David Morison

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Re: Musings on a rural barn wedding on a cold night
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2018, 07:50:22 am »

Yeah, Iwo Jima is the way to go.  Although i do remember about a hundred years ago the first iteration of KF300s had plastic stand cups that would break EVERY time you did the Iwo Jima trick.  We replaced them all with metal and i haven't had an issue with that trick ever since.

I've used it a time or 2 and been happy with the results too.

I do remember some suggestion years ago when I first heard about it that it could also put more stress on the leg joints of a tripod stand, potentially shortening their lifespan due to the lateral load as the stand is being lifted.
Has anyone noticed any issues like that if they' use this method often?
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Re: Musings on a rural barn wedding on a cold night
¬ę Reply #9 on: October 16, 2018, 07:50:22 am ¬Ľ


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