An Introduction to Live Audio Production

May 6, 2017

12:30~1 informal meet and greet and microphone talk
1~4 class

At Kittredge Theater on the Warren Wilson College Campus

The class is being hosted by WWC student and Theater Crew member Caroline Daniels
with Weogo directing the teaching.


We will cover the basics of:
Safety, AC Power
Listening, Acoustics, Live Recording
Audio Equipment, from Microphone to Speaker
Decibels, Audio Measurement
Feedback, Troubleshooting
And More!

This class is for:
) Aspiring Live Audio techs, whether in the concert, wedding, theater, church, dance or corporate world
) Anybody interested in how Live Audio production happens
) Musicians who want to better communicate with mix techs

Bring a notepad

Seeya soon! Weogo

Hi Folks,

Audio for a new dance, from the beginning:

The Asheville Monday Night Dance has moved to a new location at:
The Center for Art and Spirit at St. George’s Parish Hall
One School Road, Asheville, NC 28806–contact-info.html

The first dance in the new location will be January 2nd, 2017.
Come on out and dance!

LiveEdge Audio is managing audio for this series.

With a nice, hardwood dance floor, and mostly hard surfaces for the walls and ceiling,
venue acoustics are lively, and Caller intelligibility may be a bit of a challenge.

Overall, the maximum dance floor space is 35′ wide x 43′ long.
The stage area is a nice 16″ above the dance floor.

First things first:
On a recent afternoon a crew met and carried in audio test equipment.
This was for some VERY basic testing. (Yay crew!)

Two speakers were used for initial testing.
Speech intelligibility metering was done at:
a front corner, front-center, center, and back/center of hall.

A) The first test was with a speaker in both of the front corners.
Fair intelligibility overall, except poor at the front center of the hall.

B) The second test was with speakers spaced about 20′ apart.
Poor intelligibility overall, except fair at front corner and center.
The picture above is this test scenario.

C) Single speaker in center.
Best intelligibility overall, though only fair at front corners.

(A fourth scenario will be tested:
The EV ELX15 boxes in the corners will be used to cover most of the hall,
with a small center-fill speaker at the front/center of the hall.)

For the first dance, A Danley SM60F will be in the center of the hall,
on the stage, covering most of the venue.
The SM60F is a pretty high intelligibility speaker, with
pattern control that goes a couple octaves lower than
many common speakers used at Contra dances.
It will be mounted in a yoke, allowing the speaker to be
optimally tilted for dance floor coverage, while minimizing spill to the ceiling.

An EV ELX15 will cover each front corner, running at fairly low volume.
These will be mounted on customized tilters that maintain the
speaker’s weight center over the center of the speaker stand,
while aiming sound down on the dancers.
For one of these speakers, the low frequencies
will be boosted to give a little bit of low end oomph.

The dance floor will accommodate a little over 100 dancers, so
a small blessing is that the noise of the dancers on the floor
will be less than a large hall that can fit over 250 dancers!

For now, David Hayes and LiveEdge are providing audio equipment.

Long-term, the Asheville Monday Night Dance Management
would like to help the Church install a useful audio system.

If you have a donation, even a mic cable or SM58 microphone,
we would be happy to have them!

Updates to this post will come as we test various speaker configurations with actual dances.

Thanks to Beth Molaro, Manager of the Asheville Monday Night Dance,
and all the volunteers making this dance happen!

Good health, Weogo

Some microphone cables I bought used around 1991 from the old Greenville, SC Memorial Auditorium, are still in very good shape.
Take care of your cables and they will serve you well for a long time.

Cable cleaning:
) Check that the outer cable jacket is in good condition.
) Dip the rubber part of the cable in a tub filled with soapy water. Scrub with a sponge/scrubber. Keep connectors dry.
) Rinse, dry with old towels. Lay out in sun to make sure cable is completely dry.

Cable storage:
) Learn how to over-and-under cables. This is a cable coiling method that minimizes twisting of cables.
Good video showing over/under:
) Put velco ties on the male end, or use black cotton trickline.
) At a venue you can store cables on pegs.
) Or store cables on a reel. My issue with reels is I have 5′, 10′, 15′, 20′, 25′, etc. cables. Using a reel means I may have to pull every cable off the reel, even though I might only need half the cables on the reel for a particular gig.
) Do not wrap cables around your elbow. Do not wrap cables around your elbow. Do not wrap cables around your elbow.

Cable testing:
) The ultimate test it to plug a condenser mic in a cable, talk on the mic, and wiggle the cable ends at the mic and mixer.
) Simpler is a basic cable tester.
) Another test is running a cable though your closed hand, feeling for insulation tears, kinks, leftover bits of tape, etc.
) For minor abrasion and tears, wrap with a bit of tape for a quick fix, or better, put a piece of shrink tubing over it. For bad damage, cut cable in half, add connectors and now you have a couple shorty cables.

Cable straightening:
) When a cable gets kinky from bad coiling, being jerked, wrapped oddly around a stand, etc., lay it out in the sun.
) When it is warm and soft, knead out kinks, and carefully re-coil, with no twists. The cable will (mostly)forget its bad ways.

Mice & Rats:
Over the years I have seen mic cables, snakes and other cables gnawed on by Mice or Rats.
Usually this is near the ends, where th cable is handled, and salt and oil transfer from skin to cable.
) Storing cables where rodents can’t get to them is advisable.

Cable paging:
Some singers spin the mic in their hand, or walk in little circles on the stage, while holding a mic. This puts twists in a cable.
I know one dance caller that will on average put a dozen twists in a cable per night.
) If you ask them to stop doing this, they might.
) If you regularly work with someone who does this, you can start the dance with some reverse twists in the cable.
) Or just know you will have to undo this at the end of the dance.
Cable labeling:

There are at least a couple reasons for labeling cables:

1) One being so you know who owns a cable:
If you label the male end, then the female end will look good for performers, and on camera.
<> These days my first choice is an ultra-fine paint pen. Depending on use, once-a-year touchup might be needed.

<> Adhesive labels are another option, or shrink tubing that has your name and contact info printed.

2) Another use for labeling is so you know what cable goes to what channel:

<> Put a small bit of tape on a cable end and mark the channel number.
Have a plan for the stage crew to keep track of what cable is where.

<> Use different color cables. In addition to black, blue is commonly available.
You can also get pretty much any color of the rainbow.
) Brown can sometimes be hard to tell from black.
) Red might be desired by some folks, but I try to use it only on the floor,
for going to a direct box, a foot switch, or maybe a shorty mic stand, etc.
) Orange is like red.
) Yellow definitely stays on the floor
) Green look ok on a stage to me, as long as it isn’t bright lime green.
) Blue is good, as long as it isn’t some neon blue.
) Violet works, but be careful, the less noticeable hues start looking pretty close to black.
) Gray, in the darker shades, can work, but again be careful how close you are going to black.
) White will look dirty very quickly.
) Some stage lighting makes colors hard to see.
) Short, bright colors can be handy for patching the back of a rack.
You may have very different color sensibilities than me!

<> If you are using Neutrik connectors, there are various colored sleeves available.

<> A couple inches of colored shrink tubing at each end can identify a cable.
But you have to remove a connector from the cable to install it, or have this figured out when building cables.
Or buy high-ratio shrink, that can go over a connector, and then shrink down to cable size. Can get kinda pricey.

<> Colored electrical tape.
Though I have done this in the past, it is my least favored solution.
If you go this route, don’t leave the tape on very long.
I recently removed some tape from some cables(not mine!). Adhesive was starting to come out around the edges of the tape.
GooGone got rid of most of the remaining residue, but some tape that had been on a LONG time left a hard crust that only yielded to steel wool.
Even then, the adhesive had permanently etched in to the connector.

What mic cable care advice do you have?

Thanks and good health, Weogo

ContraSF, Contra Sound Forum was started in 1998 as a simple e-mail forum for
folks who run sound for Contra dances.
Dance organizers, Callers, Musicians, Dancers, really just about
anybody interested in audio production for any form of Folk Music is welcome to participate.
We entertain questions from the most basic up to fairly sophisticated.
Posts are appropriate for all age groups.

Contra dance sound has some demanding aspects:
A clear caller and music need to be heard on the whole dance floor, at modest volume.
The music is live and there may be several microphones wanting to feedback.
Venue acoustis are often poor.
Budgets are generally limited.
Sound equipment is often hauled to a dance, set up, run, taken down and stored in a spare room.

The Forum is moderated, meaning all subscriptions are approved, so spam is not an issue.

Wanna get involved?!  Send an e-mail to:
Please note a little about your interest in the Forum,
maybe the name of your local dance, etc. so
the moderator knows you are a real person who is not a spammer!
And your subscription will be approved.
Any issues, please see me contact page and get in touch.

Un-Subscribing is even easier than subscribing:
To be automatically removed, simply send an e-mail to:

Join us!

For contraSF,  Weogo Reed,  Asheville, NC


Hi Folks,

Have been designing, specifying, preparing and teaching audio for the upcoming Southeast Wise Women Herbal Conference:

These folks do great work, and are great to work with!

If you have any interest in this kind of thing, get in touch with them.

I’ll be on-site setting up/striking before and after the Conference.  If you’re there, say hi!

Thanks and good health,  Weogo


Every year during July and the first week in August, Weogo is doing one thing: running sound and enjoying great music at the Swannanoa Gathering, a series of week-long music workshops held at Warren Wilson College.

This year was kind of a repeat of past years, great instructors and administrative staff to work with and fascinating students from all over.  Gorgeous campus.

One thing different this year was the rain.  Lots of rain.  And more rain!  Amazingly everybody stayed good-humored about it all.

Next year you too can join the fun: