Sound can wreak a show. I’ve seen it happen. I’ve been at the sound board and felt helpless as the sound in the theatre made the ears of some folks close to the stage throb while performers on stage were saying the music still wasn’t loud enough. I’ve seen audiences wince at feedback and bumps, crackles and pops from our microphones. No matter how good your performers or production may be, bad sound will be what an audience will remember. Proper balance of sound is absolutely essential for the success of any theatrical production. The audience must be able to hear all performers, music and sound effects clearly and in a volume that is loud enough, but not to the point of being uncomfortable. Performers must be able to hear their music adequately so they are able to stay on pitch and in rhythm. How does one find that happy medium especially when your volunteers only seem to know enough about running a sound board to be dangerous? You call for help, that’s what you do! Lucky for us, Mike Thompson was the man we called. He patiently taught our volunteers about sound and the importance of balancing the sound. He gave us the tools to measure the optimal db limit and then instructed us on how to set our board such that we wouldn’t exceed the acceptable level. With his help we were able to balance the sound such that no matter where you sat in the theatre, the level was constant and pleasant. He took our microphones and taught us how to sweeten the sounds using EQ levels so that our performers could sound their best. He taught us how feedback happens and how to avoid it. He explained to us every part of the sound system such that when someone unsuspectingly changes a setting, we know where to look to see if a volume level has been altered (as happened during the run of one of our shows- and we weren’t even aware someone had come in and set all our amps to their highest settings!). The sound board, the mics, the amps stack, the speakers, are no longer a black box to us, but tools we can manipulate to provide our audiences with crystal clear, unobtrusive, balanced sound. We can’t thank Mike enough for his help. I heartily recommend his expertise to anyone wanting to tame the sound beast!
Carolyn Corsano Wong
Artistic Director and Executive Producer
Address: Conroe, Texas 77302