Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

From the Little Theatre in the Woods


Boyd
 Share

Recommended Posts

from_the_little_theatre.png

 

Thought I'd follow up since some of you enjoyed the photos I posted of my little theatre. Finally got together with my family for a long-postponed video shoot last month and had a fantastic day. We spent about 6 hours out there and shot two hours of footage with two cameras rolling most of the time. Here's a little three minute "trailer" (for a non-existent "film") with some of the highlights. It includes a few clips of my son in law playing the 2008 J-50 and a couple (mercifully) short clips with me on the 1965 J-50. But as you will see, these were not the high points of our little concert... not even close! :)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks! My family has appeared on a number of other stages, but this little one is just about having fun which makes it special. :) My European director friend wants to come and do a more serious video shoot in the little theatre however.

 

Here are three generations of Gibsons - 1965 J-50, 2016 Maestro and 2008 J-50.

 

gibson_family.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's awesome! Great time with the family, great time with music - hope you get many more occasions to use the theater. The kids a ham, she should keep growing that, and the pipes on the mom!?... when I try to sing, I try to say words with style... that's singing, good for her. ...and of course I'm a homer, love the guitars best of all - great stuff!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fantastic... Great J50s... Great talent... and a great version of Melissa....

 

My son Billy did Shakespeare In The Arb in Ann Arbor for three summers.... I have been to each one. There is something about experiencing performing arts in such a natural setting.

 

A family grounded in song. Just awesome Boyd....

Edited by ThemisSal
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone, really glad that you enjoyed it. :)

 

Regarding voice coaching... Violet played the title role in a kid's version of "Annie" a few months ago, so her diction really stands out in "Maybe". Eden has a BFA degree in Musical Theatre and is no stranger to the stage. She is now Operations Manager for a large firm in New York however. Clint is a musician and actor with several national TV commercials under his belt as well as stage roles.

 

As for my own playing, it sounds pretty good in a 15 second clip. B)

 

Glad you liked the audio, it's something that I concentrated on this year.

 

soundboard.png

 

No utilities out there, so the Goal Zero Yeti 400 on the left powers everything - after 6 hours we had only used half of its capacity. The Zoom F8 field recorder is on top in the middle, an impressive little box that records 8 tracks with very clean preamps, 8 XLR inputs and 3 stereo outputs. The TC Electronic M-100 effects processor is under it, providing a nice stereo reverb that I recorded separately on two tracks and also fed to a pair of stage monitors. My iPad is on the right in a keyboard case, running the Zoom app that controls the recorder.

 

We had a pair of Shure SM-58 mics for vocals, a pair of Shure Beta 57a mics for the guitars and a pair of Rode M5 condenser mics for general use at the front of the stage. Wind screens are a must in this kind of environment! For the songs that involved pre-recorded accompaniment, a long cable connected to a phone and was patched into the same channels as the guitar mics.

 

I sent a stereo mix to the camera, but went back to the original 8 audio tracks and did realtime mixing in Logic pro for the final video. This was my first serious attempt recording separate audio, and it was easier than I expected. Final Cut Pro compares the waveforms from the camera and recorder to automatically sync them. Camera 2 (wide shot from the rear of the audience) was actually my iPhone mounted on a tripod. Again, Final Cut Pro had no trouble automatically syncing it.

 

The little stage was originally built for a 5 year old and feels very crowded for the whole family, so I've just begun an expansion project that will more than double its size. Have also added another row of seats, just to make it seem more real. Had to chuckle the other day, all 57 of my theatre seats cost less than just one of those "guitar stools" mentioned in another thread here. ;)

Edited by Boyd
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The seats are 18 inches wide, so two people could share a seat if their butts are only 9 inches. [biggrin]

 

You should really view this as a "film set" and not a "theatre". No intention of inviting an audience, it's just intended for a small group of family and friends. So far, there have never been more than 4 people there at the same time. This is what makes it special.

 

It wouldn't be practical to come anywhere near filling all 57 seats, I don't have parking space or bathroom facilities for a crowd. Since the audience area is flat and the stage is only about a foot high, someone sitting in front of you would block a lot of your view. I think about 12 people is the largest crowd I'd want to have. However, quite a lot of people could enjoy a show on video in the comfort of their own home.

 

Think of it this way.... some people build a playground or a swimming pool for their kids. I built a theatre. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What an awesome place that would be for a few friends doing an open-mic kind of thing, eh?

 

Thanks for describing your audio setup. I was specifically wondering what you used for the reverb when I watched it. Nicely done.

 

I had to chuckle at your swimming pool analogy. When I was a kid, I used to day dream about building an awesome Whiffle-Ball stadium in the back yard. [biggrin]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here’s a bit more about the reverb setup, if you’re interested. This is the m-100:

 

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1348421-REG/tc_electronic_000_cah01_00010_multi_effects_processor.html

 

It has a variety of effects like delay and chorus, but I only use reverb. There are several different settings such as Concert Hall, Club, Studio, Gold Plate, etc. I used the “Club” setting here. For each of the effects you have two additional parameters: decay and brilliance. There are also separate knobs for input level ,output level and wet/dry mix. So it’s very versatile and can provide either a subtle, realistic effect or a stylized, exaggerated one. The the stereo processing is very nice - you can send a mono signal to it from a single mic, and the output will be stereo that simulates the sound from the singer bouncing off the walls in 3d space.

 

The Zoom F8 gives you a lot of control over the three stereo outputs - one of the reasons I got it. There’s a “patch screen” for each output that lets you choose which of the 8 inputs are routed to it - each input can be set to pre-fader, post-fader or off. So I routed the two vocal and two guitar mics to the m-100 for reverb. I didn’t send the two floor mics to the reverb because that could create feedback problems with the stage monitors.

 

The output of the m-100 was sent back to the Zoom F8 and recorded on channels 7 and 8 as a stereo pair. I had the m-100 set completely to “wet” - in other words, it was only ouputting the reverb effect with no direct sound mixed with it. This let me record the “dry” microphones and add whatever amount of m-100 reverb desired by just running up the slider on channels 7/8.

 

The main stereo mix included all the mics and the reverb and was sent to the video camera with a pair of XLR cables.

 

I used the third stereo output from the Zoom F8 to drive a pair of 5” studio monitors pointed at the stage (they are hidden under the first row benches). This output was similar to the main stereo mix, but without the floor mics, to avoid feedback. That little remote control in my photo above is for the monitor speakers, and it was a handy way to let each performer set the monitor level they desired. Those are just cheap monitors from Best Buy - I didn’t want to put expensive speakers down in the dirt, and most “real” studio monitors draw a lot of power which could be a problem. I was actually impressed with them, especially when Clint was playing his acoustic bass - the monitors had quite a punch! They can work with bluetooth, but I used a wired connection since I think bluetooth would have a lot of latency. One nice thing about this whole setup is there was zero latency with the zoom and the m-100.

 

So the end result of all this is that I recorded eight separate tracks - two floor mics, two vocal mics, two guitar mics and the stereo reverb. The files were transfered to my computer (via SD card from the recorder) and imported into Logic Pro. This let me create a custom mix and also add EQ and other effects to each track as desired. I could have used the reverb plugin-ins in Logic, but it was just easier to use what I recorded from the m-100 and I liked the way it sounded.

Edited by Boyd
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...