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Topic: To Mr. Garritan: Nutcracker's technical production

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  1. #1

    To Mr. Garritan: Nutcracker's technical production

    Dear Mr. Garritan: First of all I want to thank you for creating such wonderful and useful tools as GPO and JABB (I have both). I use them in a daily basis as a professional arranger and musical producer.

    I am sending you this email after reading at Garritan's webpage the information regarding Los Angeles Ballet production of The Nutcracker, where live players are combined with GPO.

    As I am facing a similar situation with a musical production that needs more musicians than an orchestra pit can accomodate, I would like to know -if possible- how this task was technically approached in terms of sound reinforcement?, were the conductor and any other musicians following a click track?, how was the GPO monitored at pit itself?, how has the sound routed from the DAW (in this case Cakewalk)?, and any other information than could be useful.

    Many thanks in advance and best wishes.
    Pedrito López
    Pc, AMD Sempron 2800, 2 Gb RAM, Protools Le (7.3), Sibelius 5.25, GPO, JABB

  2. #2
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    Re: To Mr. Garritan: Nutcracker's technical production

    Pedrito,

    I created the MIDI sequences of the Nutcracker ballet that were used by the LA Ballet.

    The original sequences were modified to remove the instruments that were going to be performed live. We then did tempo maps to the CD that the ballet were rehearsing with. The click was then generated from the tempo maps. Then each section was mixed down to audio tracks and transfered into Vegas with the click also being a separate track.

    The computer with Vegas (plus a backup computer running at the same time) were then sent to the monitoring system. Each musician and the conductor had control over their own monitor mix so they could blend the amount of each section and the click.

    The sequence audio was also sent from the monitoring system to the main mixing board. The live instruments were miked. The soundman had complete control over each live instrument and the sequenced sections. The sound was then mixed to the main PA speakers, fill speakers, subwoofers and other room speakers. All the speakers were time aligned.

    Hopefully this answers your questions.

    Jim

  3. #3
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    Re: To Mr. Garritan: Nutcracker's technical production

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedrito Lopez
    Dear Mr. Garritan: First of all I want to thank you for creating such wonderful and useful tools as GPO and JABB (I have both). I use them in a daily basis as a professional arranger and musical producer.

    I am sending you this email after reading at Garritan's webpage the information regarding Los Angeles Ballet production of The Nutcracker, where live players are combined with GPO.

    As I am facing a similar situation with a musical production that needs more musicians than an orchestra pit can accomodate, I would like to know -if possible- how this task was technically approached in terms of sound reinforcement?, were the conductor and any other musicians following a click track?, how was the GPO monitored at pit itself?, how has the sound routed from the DAW (in this case Cakewalk)?, and any other information than could be useful.

    Many thanks in advance and best wishes.
    Hi Pedrito,

    Welcome to the forum!

    It's amzing what can be done now with music production. There are different ways you can do what you need to do to sync to pit musicians.

    The way the musical director did it with the Nutcracker was as follows:
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Andreas
    Sequenced by Jim using Sonar 3-5 (upgrades over the 3 years)... I tweaked and rendered the sequences using Sonar 6. All the samples are from Gary Garritan's software.

    Performance playback uses Vegas Video - with two-track mixes of woodwinds, brass, fr horns, percussion, strings, celeste & chorus and a mono click which was generated via Sonar using the Urei click option built into the programs metronome (Urei is the click used in most recording sessions).

    All the players wear headsets which are plugged into an Avium system which allows each player to make & save his/her own mixes between the tracks and click.

    I run two PC based work stations simultaneously, so we have a backup running at all times (no Jessica or OJ moments we hope). The backup is not sync'ed to the master because I didn't it to slave to a computer that if it went down, would bring down both running sequences.

    Michael Andreas
    Music Director
    Los Angeles Ballet
    Also:
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Andreas
    The sequences were all assembled in and rendered from Sonar 6 using only Garritan instruments (including an, as of yet unavailable, boys choir).. The computer I am using is nothing too special these days. Pentium 4 2.8GHz with 2 gig RAM running WindowsXP-Home Edition. This sufficed... but I think a dual processor with a few more gig of memory would have facilitated matters when I had 7-8 instances of Garritan VST running and was assigning each section - woodwinds, brass, fr horns, etc its own two track mix, each with 2 or 3 audio FX plug-ins... my CPU started stressing out. Once all the stems were rendered, I loaded them into Vegas Video... (because I use it to assemble my CDs... and am comfortable with it) and assembled Act I and Act II as individual Vegas Files. For performances, I assigned the mixed tracks to buses that corresponded to the Digital I/O on the Motu Convertor Hollywood Sound had provided. I brought my home workstation computer to the theater and used it to run the show... and had my laptop running a 2-track mix as a backup... should things go south. Thus far... we haven't needed it... my fingers remain crossed. The mixing console is a Yamaha digital board... but, for those, mic and other sound reinforcement specs... I'll leave it up to Bill Daly to fill in the requested info. He has promised to do so... soon!
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Daly
    With regard to the sound system design;

    The Console is a Yamaha M7CL
    For monitoring we are using the AVIOM 16 channel personal mixers allowing the musicians to establish their own mix of 16 sends. (Click, Conductor, tracks, etc.)
    Reinforcement of the pit is accomplished with 4-Apogee AE-5 facing straight up vertically,from L/R positions on top of 2 Apogee AE-10 subs. Immediately behind the pit, acting as primary front fill are 6 Hollywood Sound full range mounted cabinets.

    In the case of the Wilshire Theater, we also fed directly into their L/R mains (EAW 850's), center cluster, under balcony, and delay systems. All were time aligned to the mounted front fill (zero time) and delayed to pull the image directly into the pit.

    Instruments were panned to correspond to live seating positions.

    FOH Monitoring was on Genelecs, and both Yamaha internal reverb and Lexicon were used to create boundary reflection of the recorded track to mimic the live reverberation of the pit musicians.

    Timing of the system was the key to creating the proper point source of the tracks. The L/R Apogees needed to be delayed to anchor the image directly to the stage apron where the live musicians were seated. Once this was accomplished, continual adjustment of the delays, and zone EQ allowed the sound image to appear natural throughout the theater. EQ would remain dependant upon seating, and adjustments were made on the fly to compensate for open areas without audience...Bill
    A good sequencer for live performance is Ableton Live, MIDI Maestro and Home Concert Xtreme. Home Concert Xtreme let's you play on a MIDI keyboard to a MIDI score. It knows there you are at in the score and coordinates the accompaniment tracks to match your playing on the keyboard. You can change the tempo at will and the accompaniment tracks will follow according to the tempos, fermatas, rubatos, dynamic expression etc.

    Hope this helps.

    Gary Garritan

  4. #4

    Re: To Mr. Garritan: Nutcracker's technical production

    Mr. Garritan and Tom: Many thanks to both of you for sharing this complete and useful information. I will try all your suggestions and I will let you know of the results. I think this post will be very enlightening for many musicians out there. Why don't you turn this information as a "sticky"? I'm sure many people will thank you as well.

    Best wishes for all of you guys in this New Year's Eve, hoping that 2007 will bring us all SALUD, PAZ Y AMOR (HEALTH, PEACE AND LOVE).
    Pedrito López
    Pc, AMD Sempron 2800, 2 Gb RAM, Protools Le (7.3), Sibelius 5.25, GPO, JABB

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