Sound Check

December 30, 2010

This is something you’re going to have to insist on if your theatre has body mics. Schedule it EVERY time you have body mics on, rehearsals and performance. It’s like the pre-flight check a pilot runs on the airplane. All the actors who have body mics go out on the stage at a pre-arranged time and deliver a speaking line and a singing line, while the sound person adjusts the board and tries to find a level that works roughly for both speaking and singing volumes. I have seen lots of these in my time, and invariably one or even most of the mics do not function properly. This is why it is imperative that you schedule the sound check, because if you don’t someone’s mic will not work for the first scene, or maybe even the entire first act.

The sound check is also a time for the sound person to reiterate her instructions to the cast: whether the mic should always be on or whether it is turned on and off, (smarter to leave it on, but that’s the sound guy’s call) the position of the antenna, etc. It also is like a warm-up for your sound person to remember the positions of the actors on the board and get used to tweaking it. There really isn’t any reason to be figuring these things out as the show is running. Schedule a sound check.



  1. Wait…you’re supposed to check levels BEFORE the show?

    • Only to make sure the pit isn’t too loud.

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