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What to purchase for communication with sound technician during performance?

 
I am searching for a head set/microphone device that will enable me to communicate with my sound person during a performance. Our school programs range from Kindergarten to High School Choir, Band, Hand Chimes, Musicals or Dramas...you name it, we do it. Right now, I simply have a few hand signals that are hit or miss....or a person that will scoot to the back with a request. Inefficient!!
Suggestions, anyone?
 
Thank you!
Mary
 
on December 27, 2011 3:06pm
Mary:  Headset systems certainly exist--probably a good many of them by different manufacturers--and are standard with sound companies.  I've been away from that side of the business long enough that I can't recommend specific makers, but I would suggest consulting with your school's audio-visual director, any local drama or theater company, or a professional sound business.
 
When I conducted "King & I" I had a headset with a mic in the pit, and I actually called the curtain pulls because the tech backstage couldn't read music to time it correctly.  Some of our conductors have used headsets and others have not.  But our sound technicians take care of obtaining and setting them up.
 
Just don't expect professional equipment to come cheap.  And don't expect cheap equipment to work well!
All the best,
John
on December 28, 2011 6:35am
 
I'm not promoting this brand, as I've actually never heard of them before.
I just did a quick search and found this.   It's not that expensive, but may be over your budget.
This may also give you an idea of what you're looking for.
 
I hope it helps.  If I'm not mistaken, the brand most big houses around my area use is Plantronics.  They may have something that will work for you.
on December 28, 2011 9:46am
Our school had that problem for years. Kids running outside the building, around front, in through the house and up to the booth. Not efficient, professional or pretty. I started using walkie-talkies w/headsets from the pit to run the show and it worked pretty well. You have to be sure the channels don't interfere w/wireless mics, but that never was a problem for me. Biggest problem was all the necessary chatter going on from the booth and backstage while I was conducting. Sometimes it would be a minor distraction.
I'm happy to say we have a sound wizard living in our little alaskan community now, and he came in and hooked up a simple system with minimal effort and cost because the basic equipment was already in place. You may want to ask someone from your local music store for to point you to a sound person to come in and snoop around.
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