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Hi, I am studying stage management and technical theatre, specialising in SM and LX design. It's a two yr course but I am fast tracking and doing two years in one. So I have to do some things (ie sound!) which I dont know all that much about. I was wondering if anyone could help me with a project question I have? I need to list the sound personnel who would work on a large scale west end production. I don't really knwo where to begin as I am aware many different variations could exist. Anyone got a good idea as a general rule? Thanks :) xx
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First of all, :) to the Blue Room


The reason why its been so quiet for your first post, isn't because we're naturally not very welcoming, but instead due to the way in which it has evolved that members seem to really want to genuinely support new entrants into this industry, however they want to be offering you a job in a couple of years time, safe in the knowledge that you've got great problem solving skills and are able to work independantly to come up with a solution, rather than just have to get it spoon fed to you by someone else.


Anyway, I can't really find any info on the interweb either, so maybe it is valid.


Fundamentally, in any show you need someone to design the sound system, and set the delays, EQs and all that jazz - i.e. the sound designer. You also need someone who's a little bit cheaper to operate it day in, day out. Often called the board op or "A1" or the like. You also need a minion to sort out radio mics and stuff during costume changes etc. Often called by the slightly less derogatory title of "A2" etc. In many theatre type shows, there is also an element of creative design involved, and there may be a seperate sound designer who works with the director to design the Sound FX to play on the system.


Here is some wikipediage on sound design (scroll down to theatre)


I've never worked in the West End, I just wanted to give you a few pointers in the right direction, since your post looked quite lonely.





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Apart from the Sound Designer, who doesn't work the shows themselves, you would traditionally have a Sound No. 1 (who mixes the show), a Sound No. 2 (who works backstage, fitting radio-mics etc. as well as deputising for the No. 1) and, for the bigger shows, a Sound No. 3 (who also helps backstage). Sometimes nowadays these roles are called Head of Sound, Deputy Sound and Assistant Sound, though No 1, No. 2 and No. 3 are still popular titles. It's perfectly possible to have still more on the sound crew. Mary Poppins, for example, has a Sound Op, Deputy Sound Op and 2 Assistant Sound Ops.


On a show with a lot of playback, the No. 2 may work FOH on playback while the No. 1 mixes the show.


Hope that helps.

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