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Author Topic: New Venue: Dos & Don'ts  (Read 3072 times)

Mike Caldwell

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Re: New Venue: Dos & Don'ts
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2018, 01:12:05 am »

I'll second good bright work lighting!!

Also are they going to have a couple of qualified people on staff to manage, operate and maintain the system.

Helge A Bentsen

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Re: New Venue: Dos & Don'ts
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2018, 03:37:59 am »

Do not build a permanent FOH booth.

It's the nr. 1 PITA with small clubs.

I manage a small club that had a permanent booth, constant issues with space at FOH when someone decided to bring a console or two. Got rid of the whole thing, put the desk (Pro2c) on a small cart so it can be moved easily.
Now we use less space with a guest console in place even if I have to have our console up and running for the openers.
I also made sure we had a easy way of pulling multis from stage to FOH, didn't bother about installing any permanent extras, people ask for different things all the time. I tell them to bring their own and help them lay it down, so far people have been happy with that.

Second ting we did was building a stage with a heavy "sandwich" type floor and put a carpet on top of it. Dual layers of MDF and plaster board. Works wery well, the stage is totally dead even if the subs (SB1000z) is placed inside of it.

Third thing was putting a lot of sound absorption in the roof above the stage. Really helpful with drummers who play at "11". Sadly we can't put anymore in the roof in front of the stage. Makes it difficult sometimes during soundcheck but once you get about 1/4 to 1/3 of the crowd indoors, the room dies down.

Fourth thing. I'm lazy. I don't want to do the same thing over and over again just to get to the point where I can start rigging. So, all the mics live in drawers on stage R with the stands on a shelf beside the. The monitor amps and stage rack is also located there. There is a small drop snake with power, 2 monitor speakons and 8 inputs on SR, another one with 2 speakons and 4 returns for IEMs centered in the rear where the drummer goes 95% of the time. There is also a 12 channel drop snake there. Everything ends up at the amps/stage rack so I can wire and patch from stage. All this makes it possible to run the whole stage with short cables and be up and running for soundcheck really fast. That usually means a shorter soundcheck, happy musicians and more dinner time for me.

Fifth thing. Sort out all "DJ" needs in advance.
In this venue we have a Mackie mixer in the bar so the bartenders can play music. I made a multicore with two XLRs and power, it's long enough to reach everywhere on stage and in front of it if they wish to have the DJs on the floor. It's permanently wired to channel 1/2 on the desk so they can have a DJ show without a tech. If they put the DJ on stage and need a monitor they just rotate one of the outfills and use it as a monitor. I don't see any reason why they should have to bring in a tech to babysit two channels, so I gave them the option to invest some money in a solution now, or have to pay for a tech every time they put in a DJ. There is also a cheap wireless wired on ch 3 so every Sunday when it's movie night the presenter can talk to the audience without issues.

As a final touch, I wired the outputs from the Mackie in parallel to the house console and the PA inputs, so when I switch the PA to FOH mode (two switches on the wall, I think they cost me $2 each.) I can fade out/in the house music/DJ before and after the show.



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Philipp Diesenreiter

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Re: New Venue: Dos & Don'ts
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2018, 08:41:36 am »

I always enjoy pannels with cat6, optical Fibre, some xlrs and such in all corners of the venue, but especially on booth sides of the stage and foh.

Also enough room for empty cases is often a problem.
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Roland Clarke

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Re: New Venue: Dos & Don'ts
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2018, 12:49:25 pm »

All the venues in London with balconies and small throws from stage, seem to be moving to distributed systems.  Outside of the slight comb that is to be expected, because of the eveness of coverage, the clubs like it as volume is more even and doesn’t drown out the bar areas.  Worth considering due to your room geometry.
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: New Venue: Dos & Don'ts
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2018, 01:17:40 pm »

Tons of great suggestions here.

I second the sound treatment above the stage.
On a tall ceiling venue, I suspended some panels 10' or so over the stage.  What an improvement!
At a small beer garden stage with a low tin roof, a few 2" fiberglas panels virtually eliminated feedback from the stage.

If you do have a permanent FOH, leave it as open as you can get away with.  A 'room' sucks.
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Peter Kowalczyk

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Re: New Venue: Dos & Don'ts
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2018, 02:31:01 pm »

Thanks SO much for all these great suggestions - just what I was looking for. 

This space is actually the SECOND of two music rooms in this single building.  The first, much smaller, is scheduled to open next weekend.  Progress on the larger space depends on the success of the smaller one...  I joined too late to influence layout and design decisions for this smaller room, and so adding acoustic treatment to the stage area has become a headache.  We'll Absolutely prioritize this for the larger room.

Sounds like I should advocate that the stage be centered along the wall rather than in the corner... I was starting to come to that conclusion myself already; thanks for confirming.

I'll sort through these comments and forward to the owner and project manager.  Lots more fun in store here.  Thanks again!
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: New Venue: Dos & Don'ts
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2018, 04:08:29 pm »

Thanks SO much for all these great suggestions - just what I was looking for. 

This space is actually the SECOND of two music rooms in this single building.  The first, much smaller, is scheduled to open next weekend.  Progress on the larger space depends on the success of the smaller one...  I joined too late to influence layout and design decisions for this smaller room, and so adding acoustic treatment to the stage area has become a headache.  We'll Absolutely prioritize this for the larger room.

And the horn they create means that the PA will have to fight stage SPL more than usual.  Bah, humbug.
Sounds like I should advocate that the stage be centered along the wall rather than in the corner... I was starting to come to that conclusion myself already; thanks for confirming.

I'll sort through these comments and forward to the owner and project manager.  Lots more fun in store here.  Thanks again!
Corner stages SUCK.  Uniformly, always, and forever.  They *seem* like a good use of space but as has been mentioned, they leave zero room for empties, access from dressing rooms and make for awkward seating for the audience.
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scottstephens

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Re: New Venue: Dos & Don'ts
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2018, 04:45:24 pm »

 What I like to see

1.  Good work lighting and separate lighting for the show
2.  As Helge said: a completely dead stage
3.  Electric dedicated for the stage
4.  Acoustic Treatment above the stage
5.  An out of the way place to run the snake but make it accessible to the crew; there is a local venue here where we have to run the snake up over every open beam and then take it down after the show which requires getting a ladder and adding 30 minutes to every in and out.

6.   make sure every staff member knows that a band is coming in and that they require food and a lot of room for the cases
7.   no stairs
8.   good parking
9.   a wide door to ease the ins and outs
10. If you have a ramp up to the stage door, make sure that it is not covered in ice, cases of beer, staff members who are on break, and general crap that has no other place to go.

Scott
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Robert Healey

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Re: New Venue: Dos & Don'ts
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2018, 05:56:27 pm »

Many thanks for your thoughts!

- Hire an architect that has done this before.
- Make your architect hire a reputable acoustical consultant.
- Make your architect hire a reputable AV design engineer. This is the person that will take your needs and translate them into things that need to be built into the building - conduit, power, etc. You aren't looking for someone who writes a performance spec - you want someone who will create bid drawings and specifications for the electrical contractor and the AV integrator. It could also be your acoustical consultant - many of the reputable firms do both acoustics and AV design.
- The project's electrical engineer may not have experience with performance lighting. I understand that this isn't a higher-end venue, but if you want high-end lighting (movers, etc) you may want to make the architect hire a theatrical consultant to be your house lighting designer and stage lighting designer. They would design rigging, locate performance lighting and dimmer racks, design the house lighting with performance-friendly features, and design an architectural control system (which would let you control the house lighting).

Disclosure: I work for a firm that does the last (3). We are probably too far away to effectively help you though, based on the location in your profile.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 05:58:40 pm by Robert Healey »
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Geoff Doane

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Re: New Venue: Dos & Don'ts
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2018, 08:39:43 pm »

Corner stages SUCK.  Uniformly, always, and forever.

I just did a gig this past weekend at the exception that proves that rule.

Normally, I would agree with Tim, but this particular room defies logic.  Except for carpet on the floor and acoustic tile in the ceiling, the stage is not particularly dead either, with stucco on the walls.  But the bands seem to actually enjoy the "live" quality that the finish imparts, and it's never been a problem out front.

But one thing they didn't get right was the location of the range receptacle (NEMA 14-50R).  They installed it half way up the wall, right behind where the drummer would usually sit.  A 14-50R is a relatively inexpensive amenity to provide for anybody who comes in with their own distro, but please put it slightly off stage, on one side or the other, where it can be used more easily.  They also located the breaker panel at the back of the stage rather than some place which can always be accessed easily, as previous posters have mentioned.

GTD
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