May 26, 2014

May 2, 2014

Calgary PetExpo

Last weekend, we were able to help out with the 14th annual Calgary PetExpo at Spruce Meadows.

While we won’t be able to show all of the events that took place throughout the weekend, we can discuss some of the ways we helped a few of the performing exhibitors.

The first organization we helped with was the Canadian Search and Disaster Dogs Association, who trains their pups to rescue disaster victims. Upon hearing the “search” command, the dogs seek out their intended targets and bark, brilliantly trained as if it were a game.

Because this was a rather haphazard setup, and there is a certain unpredictability in how dogs will behave, we ensured that the speakers wouldn’t pose a risk to any of the organizers, audience members, or dogs involved. So, we ran our cable behind the storage area of the floor, and taped over the several entrances where exhibitors were loading gear.

At one point, a rescue dog had barked at our attending tech, thinking that we were the audience volunteer who needed rescuing, but the trainer whistled and the dog raced off to find the participant.

Another group performing on Sunday was Dachshund Races, with Alberta Dachshund Rescue and Calgary Lowriders.

The large dachshund on the left sat out this very close race, but you can tell these little creatures were fast. These organizations host quite a few other races coming up throughout the season, and are constantly looking for ways to help out with rescue dogs.

Paradise Kennels Agility had also presented, with the pooches raced happily through their slalom. The pups involved seemed super stoked, even competing against some young volunteers from the audience.

We also assisted Jennifer Tomlin (left), of Tomlin Trick Dogs. While we had a few connectivity issues with the headset at first, the issues were diagnosed, and she was able to continue speaking with her headset and working with the audience.

Overall, this was a relatively easy setup.

We had three inputs – a handheld Shure 58, two wireless Shure mics – the lavaliere and wireless headset, and an auxiliary input. We also run the headset through an equalizer, making it easier to manage the problem frequencies that are common when using wireless headsets.

As you can imagine, it was pretty funny walking away a bit more shaggy wearing a bit of inevitable dog hair :)

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.

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