April 22, 2014

Flamenco Chill in Kensington

Filed under: Events, Mixing — Tags: , , , , , — Kyle Napier @ 6:24 pm

We loved helping out with Calgary’s Second Annual Spanish Festival at the Kensington Plaza, hosted by Alma Flamenca and Kari Alba as part of the 2014 Spanish Festival event.

The festival showcase featured local, national and international flamenco artists, such as the renowned guitarist Ricardo Diaz (middle) and acclaimed singer Celedonio Garrido (left) – both originally from Spain.

Rhythm and dance seems to be a large part of the authentic sound in flamenco music.

We placed a boundary mic at the front and centre of the stage, in an effort to best share capture the sound of the dancer’s steps. This mic was particularly responsive to higher frequencies, so we had to equalize the resonating frequencies out from the digital mixing board.

We had also set up two light trees on either side of the stage, run through a computer interface program and daisy-chained out. This allowed us to set the uniform red wash that the event organizer preferred, and then gradually darken or brighten the stage, which acted as house lights.

We ran 10 inputs from the stage to capture all of the performers, including the boundary mic, two vocal mics, three instrument mics, two condenser microphones and a few stereos DIs.

We had also placed a few condenser mics above a few of the performers to capture the percussion  from their clapping.

While preparing, we knew we would have to be versatile and adaptive to a style of show with performers moving spots and exchanging instruments. To coordinate this event, we sat next to the organizer to understand and prepare for the next stage performance, how the lighting would look, and which music to play in-between sets and during the intermissions.

It was a fantastic night of dancing, performing, and even a few surprises.

There was even a performance from an eight-year-old who had been performing flamenco guitar since he was two years old. It’s great seeing such emerging talent coming from Calgary.

Four setups at the Science Fair

We set up four simultaneous audiovisual systems for this year’s Calgary Youth Science Fair, and – due to the coordination of the organizers – was an absolute breeze.

The judge’s zone

This cordoned off area is where the judges were able to discuss their votes over coffee and continental breakfast.

It was a relatively easy system, with a projector set on a stand and three speakers on stands around the judge’s zone. This is also the first time this projector screen had been used, and is one of two new 6′ x 8′ FastFold additions to our projector screen family.

We also had three inputs – standard auxiliary input from a music device, and two wireless microphone’s from the presentations. While the speakers were short in their presentations, we still wanted to ensure that they went perfectly.

Although the third speaker isn’t visible in any of these pictures, it had been daisy chained from the speaker on the right of this set up to the right side of this seating area. Withs its height and appropriate extension, it was able to provide audio to the whole area while not competing with any of the other setups.

The judge’s voting area

This was the smallest set up, which sat in between the judge’s zone and the main area. Here, judges from their specific science were able to discuss the projects and awards more privately.

The main area

We set up four three-way QSC towers, with the two nearest the stage (above) on crank stands, with the two speakers in the middle on the lowest setting of our standard speaker stands. This ensured that the speakers would be safe for those around them, yet would still carry sound enough to reach all of the audience in the stands.

Those familiar with the Olympic Oval at the University of Calgary will know of their in-house, widescreen LED display.

We plugged into a notebook used by one of the organizer’s. Unfortunately, this specific computer compressed the aspect ratio of the visuals intended to fit to the screen, but we were able to use our Roland V-4EX video mixer to fix the output from the video source to the LED display.

Here’s an underexposed photo of the visuals, but you will be able to see the effect, and use the top photo to view the original compression from the computer desktop’s visuals.

The science fair

We also ran an eight-speaker system throughout the science fair exhibition where the youth had posted their trifold presentations.

Because of the wireless microphone source, and the large, echoing, reverb-y hall, we ran an equalizer to take care of a few of the resonating problem frequencies. This was certainly mostly on the low end, and by punching the mids above the other frequencies, we were able to carry a loud and clear signal which was less prone to feeding back or rumbling.

We also set up two speaker pairs across the exhibition, which were high enough to carry the signal across the hall, but wouldn’t deafen any of the youth. Setting up eight speakers instead of four was a last-minute decision we made as a courtesy to the organizer’s of the science fair, and also as a way to further ensure that sound would extend as far as it needed to.

Also, here are just a few of the really amazing looking awards that they had available to the winning scientists who all brought a bit of their ingenuity and practice to the fair.

Congratulations to all of those who presented, and we hope to see you all again next year,

- the Calgary Sound Rentals team

April 7, 2014

Baby and Tots at BMO Centre

Filed under: Events — Kyle Napier @ 12:35 pm

We’re proud to have helped out with the Baby and Tots show at the Calgary Stampede BMO Centre last weekend.

The main stage featured performances by My Little Pony, Play-Doh’s Doh Doh, the Stampede City Gymnastics ClubDeano the Magic Man, and Sparkle Fitness with Zumbini for Babies & Parents.

We knew the main stage would be loud, but we also had to be considerate of the ears of young attendees and the other stage we had set up within earshot. So, we raised the speakers and lowered the volume of the floor monitor so they wouldn’t harm the eardrums of any nearby attendees.

In the brief moments of setting up the seminar stage, the My Little Pony event organizers had tied colour-coordinated balloons to our speakers’ IECs. I personally think it’s a nice touch :)

We’d set up the two event areas the day before, which were essentially two of our Public Address Packages, but using wireless headsets and mics with a more capable mixing board, equalizer and compressor.

It was inspiring working with such spirited organizers, event coordinators, parents and ponies. It was also nice having the session seminar schedules, so as to work the timing out so only one audiovisual tech would be required between both stages.