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Addendum to Independent Study in Sound Design and Sound System Compone

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Addendum to Independent Study in Sound Design and Sound System Component Operation

Arnold F. Bilotta III

18 December 2000

This past year (2000) I have been working in the sound booth for The John Lyman Center for the Performing Arts. Here at the John Lyman Center (JLC) we have been going through a time of transition. The former resident technical guru who had taken care of JLC's happenings had retired, leaving the JLC in a semi chaotic state. The dance school season was just about to start which happens to be our busiest time of the year. The administrative staff here at the JLC was franticly trying to find a replacement while interim Chris Hudacs fought his was through the perilous dance school season.

Finally, when all the hullabaloo was over David Starkey, formally serving as Technical Director of the Theatre Department at Southern Ct. State Univ. was named the new title of Events Manager. When David was still working in the theatre department I had approached him when it was pointed out that there was no one person on staff who knew how to fully operate the sound system. The idea I had come up with was to design an independent study which would allow me to be in the sound booth and empirically discover how to operate the sound system and all of its support components. He agreed that it was a good idea because Greg had never explained anything but remedial board operation. Since I first started working at the JLC I had wanted to work on the sound system, now I was being given the chance.

The independent study was written up as follows:

Independent Study in Sound Design and Sound System Component operation


-To demonstrate competence in properly operating the sound system and all its individual components in Lyman Auditorium. Which includes but is not limited to the following:

Ё Sound board

Ё Tape player

Ё DAT player

Ё Mini disk player

Ё Compact disk recorder

Ё Compact disk player

Ё Digital effects processors

Ё Patch bay

Ё Wireless microphones

Ё Digital synthesizer

-By the 8th week be prepared to work with the head sound designer in developing a sound design for the crescent players fall production of "three penny opera". The sound design should incorporate as many of the listed devices as possible to ensure that a high quality production is obtained.

The learning process I have been going through has included help from many people. I would sit and pick the brain of every sound engineer that came through here. Finding out what you did with an Omni DriveТ or how to use the feedback detector and the graphic equalizer to get rid of feedback. One technician said it best when during a show an audience member asked him how long it took him to learn everything on the board. He replied "I'm still learning, there is always more to play with." I believe that to be a very good point that you should not think you know how to do everything. An example of this is when the oracle said Socrates is the smartest man but when asked Socrates denied this saying that he knew nothing. It was exactly this understanding, that he did



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