Mixing the Lumiere soundscape

Seriously? No really. Lumiere! has a heck of a lot of sound cues; a combination of music, ambient drones, and foley-sound effects. This is an image of my desktop from when I ran sound for the premiere of Lumiere! at ODC last month.  I’m not a sound designer by any means, but the sound mixes that I create get more and more complicated with every show.  Instead of using Q-Lab application, the industry standard, I used an ad-hoc combination of iTunes and Quicktime files…and arranged them visually so I could move between the two.  Q-Lab would require that the timing of fades be preset in advance, whereas this ad-hoc system allowed me to be more spontaneous with sonic transitions.

It’s important to me to have control over the sound in my shows, because, from the outside, it’s one way for me to control the mood and the flow.  I like to mix from the audience because I can imagine I can get a sense of how the work is being perceived.

However… shifting back and forth between these many windows felt very tenuous, and at any moment I could click on the wrong thing by accident. Stage Manager Matisse convinced me that I would have more peace of mind if I switched to QLab.  There will still be some sense of spontaneity in that I will have full control over WHEN transitions happen, and overall the sound scape will be smoother. So for the next show… the desktop will look more like this:


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