Theatre Sound Jobs & Responsibilities

From VPA Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Sound Designer:

  • You are in charge of everything. If anything goes wrong it is your fault. If any planning is done or isn’t done in time it is your fault. You are responsible for the quality of every aspect of the production. You are responsible for all sound content to be played during the show. You are responsible for sourcing, creating, generating, programming, sequencing, producing, editing, and mixing this content. You are responsible for meeting with the director in advance of the start of acting rehearsals, and getting any sounds possible into rehearsals well prior to tech week. Actors need sounds to rehearse with just as they need rehearsal props, and if your sounds don’t arrive till tech week, you are very late. If it impacts the sound quality of the show in any way you have a say (sound of set pieces, props, etc). Attend rehearsals throughout the rehearsal process to examine how your sound content is working (or not working). Attend all designer read throughs and run throughs. Work with System Engineer/Designer to plan system and insure it will meet your sound delivery needs, and will be installed on time. Attend all tech and dress rehearsals. Attend opening night. Work strike. You must insure the proper archiving of the production assets. For more detail review all of the other sound jobs below.

Composer:

You are in charge of creating the music for the show and for how it sounds as part of the show. You will:

  • Pre-Production:
    • Meet with the director and sound designer to plan the sound of the show.
    • Create and revise the music and attend early rehearsals to refine the sound of the music before tech.
  • Production:
    • Attend all tech and dress rehearsals to insure the integration of the music into the performance.
    • Attend opening night to confirm levels with an audience.
    • Attend shows with reviewers
  • Post-Production:
    • Help with Strike
    • Archive the production assets.

System Designer:

You will get the system goals from the sound designer including a rough sketch of the loudspeaker locations. Then you will:

  • Pre-Production
    • design the system, including com
    • create the paperwork necessary for the systems installation
    • insure that all available equipment and materials are procured for the show
    • especially wireless mic supplies, which often need to be ordered
    • schedule and supervise the installation, testing and tuning of the system
    • produce “as-built” drawings that are accurate to how the system is ultimately installed, and that can be used during the production as reference
    • plan and schedule all loadin/testing/tuning activities
    • insure that all systems are properly working and all speakers are tuned PRIOR to the start of tech rehearsals
    • create pre-show and post-show checklists to insure that all aspects of the system, including com, operate smoothly
  • Production
    • attend all tech/dress rehearsals and shows to be quickly available to solve all system problems at any point during tech and run of the show.
    • respond to any issues in the rehearsal or show reports
  • Post-Production
    • Plan and execute strike
    • Schedule Crew
    • Develop a plan for how to best use a large crew (put certain people in charge of sections of the strike - stage speakers, mix position, booth racks, backstage racks…)
    • Insure that all items are properly put away and that all show labels are removed

System Engineer:

You are in charge of installing and testing the sound system.

  • Pre-Production
    • Make crew contact list with all members of the audio production team listed, and include email and phone numbers for all parties. Anyone on the audio crew should be able to contact any other member of the audio crew at all times. **Distribute this sheet to your full team prior to the start of loadin.
    • Set call times for your installation crew, based on written plan prepared by you and/or the System Designer
    • Review the system drawings and make sure you will have all the necessary equipment and cable. Check that you know where to get all of the equipment from.
    • Make an expendables plan (batteries, wireless mic dressing, etc), that includes all supplies you anticipate needing for tech week and the show’s run, plus a 5-10% contingency. Check supplies against your plan. Order more if needed, **with enough time to get them delivered to the Keweenaw before tech week starts.
    • schedule and supervise the installation, testing and tuning of the system
    • produce revised drawings that can be used as reference for the show
    • create pre-show and post-show check-lists to insure that all aspects of the system, including com, operate smoothly
  • Production
    • attend all tech/dress rehearsals and shows to be quickly available to solve all system problems at any point during tech and run of the show.
    • respond to any issues in the rehearsal or show reports
  • Post-Production
    • Plan and execute strike
    • Schedule Crew
    • Develop a plan for how to best use a large crew (put certain people in charge of sections of the strike - stage speakers, mix position, booth racks, backstage racks…)
    • Insure that all items are properly put away and that all show labels are removed

System Crew:

  • work all crew calls
  • dress properly for all calls (no open-toed shoes, no loose flowing clothes or jewelry, long hair tied back, bring any personal protective equipment you’d like to have with you)
  • wear a hard hat whenever there is anyone working in the space above you (ie you are on the ground and someone is working in the catwalks)
  • work hard and safely to install the sound system
  • label all cable connections as they are installed
  • run cables in a safe and logical fashion (ie not laying across walkways, running parallel to lighting cables, etc). tie all cables to appropriate anchor points as they are being run.
  • work any rehearsal calls requested by the Sound System Designer or Engineer
  • work strike
  • throughout the process learn everything you can about the system and be as indispensable as possible.

Mixer(A1):

  • Work with System Designer/Engineer to plan layout of console patch prior to loadin and tuning.
  • Attend loadin as available.
  • Required to attend tuning.
  • Attend all tech rehearsals/shows, wearing tech blacks (if show is a musical, or will be particularly complex for the mixer, attend a few rehearsals with the designer prior to tech).
  • Mix all sound sources to the direction of the Sound Designer.
  • Stay for some after-tech notes as needed.
  • Work strike.


Playback Operator:

  • Attend tuning if possible.
  • Attend all tech rehearsals/shows, wearing tech blacks.
  • Execute programming as desired by designer.
  • Perform playback operations as directed by sound designer.
  • Stay for some after-tech notes as needed.
  • Work strike.


Wireless Lead:

  • Meet with System Designer/Engineer prior to start of tech to go over show requirements.
  • Attend all tech rehearsals/shows dressed in tech blacks.
  • Work with Sys Eng/Des to create wireless running book.
  • Lead all wireless efforts on the production--making sure mounting is done properly and repeatably, working with actors and the costume department to insure the optimal mounts and setups.
  • Understand wireless monitoring software, and monitor actively during all rehearsals/shows to insure fresh batteries and proper operation.
  • Have spare supplies at the ready for emergencies.
  • Set up and maintain an orderly "wireless world" backstage for all wireless supplies where actors come to get mic'ed up (this may be more than one location depending on the show).
  • Care for/clean all wireless devices on the production.
  • Work strike.


Wireless Technician:

  • Work with Wireless Lead to execute RF plans for show.
  • Attend all techs/shows in blacks.
  • Work strike.