If your school is going to be giving a presentation in the Oak Hills PAC and you will need to operate the sound booth this guide will give you a general look at how to get things set up. I also highly recommend watching the video linked below this paragraph as it will give you a visual on everything you will be doing, and will cover a couple things not in this guide. I've attempted to arrange this guide for use as a quick reference for getting setup; and in chronological order according to what devices will need to be powered on, in what order, and how to use them.
Getting In The Sound Booth
The sound booth is kept locked to prevent students from wandering in. If your school will be giving a presentation and you need access to the sound booth, get in touch with us over at Oak Hills so we can let the night custodian know to unlock/open the door to the sound booth for you. There is a large bag of batteries just inside the door you can use as a door stop if you'd like.
Opening The Sound Booth Window
Once inside the sound booth there is a blue box to the right of the metal window grate. Hit the OPEN button to open up the window so you can see out to the stage.
Powering On - Black Box Audio Rack
First, in the back of the sound booth is a tall black box with an array of different mixers. Look for the panel with the white "POWER" sticker as shown in the photo above, and flip the rectangular switch to the on position first. Then, press the "START" button directly underneath the "POWER" sticker. The red lights to the right of the POWER/START button will begin to turn on in sequence and you will hear clicking sounds as it turns on. To power off the black box properly, make sure everything else in the audio booth is turned off then hit the "START" button first, then flip the rectangular power switch to the off position.
Powering On - Audio Line Mixer
The big silver console in the front of the room has a power switch you need to flip on the back right corner, flip it to the ON position, and the Audio Line Mixer will start up.
Where To Find The Stage Microphones
If you need to find the stage microphones they are inside a metal cabinet underneath the right side of the sound booth desk. Inside of the top drawer are the microphones, some are in bags, some are not. Go ahead and turn the microphones on with the small switch on the side of the microphone. There is a small display on the microphone that displays the charge of the battery inside. If you need a new battery, you can check around in the boxes on top of the sound booth desk, and in some of the cabinet drawers for extra batteries. The blue painter's tape on the handle of the microphone will have a number on it that will correspond to what audio line it is assigned to on the Line Mixer, more on that later.
Audio Line Mixer - Main Slider
The MAIN slider is located towards the right end of the mixer, and is just a couple buttons to the left of the big rubber tray on the right side. The MAIN slider is the "master" volume control, it will control the audio from all the lines at once. This is good if you need to quickly turn down the volume from all lines at once and then fine tune one or two lines afterward as needed. You don't want to start with the MAIN slider all the way up, but you don't want to have it all the way down either, so somewhere in the middle should be good and you can adjust as needed. When you are done for the night using the line mixer, return the main slider to the bottom and flip the power switch on the back to the OFF position.
Audio Line Mixer - Line Sliders
Each microphone or sound source is assigned to an audio "line" with its own slider that will control that microphone or sound source's volume. Starting from the left of the Line Mixer, you have Line 1, then Line 2, Line 3, and so on.
Audio Line Mixer - Avoid Audio Clipping
Above the volume slider for each line is an audio level display, and this photo shows Line 1's display. The display is color coded with GREEN, ORANGE, and RED bars. In this photo I gently tapped the microphone with my finger which produced one green bar, meaning it is very quiet. The main thing you want to avoid here is having the levels go into the RED, where you will start to experience audio clipping. If I moved Line 1's slider up, the volume would go up, and there would be more green bars. If I go too far up, I might see orange or red bars. Again the main thing you want to avoid is the red bars, but if you hear feedback and it's somewhere in the orange adjust the volume down a bit to see if this fixes your feedback issue.
Light Mixer - Powering On
If you will need to adjust the stage lighting you will need to power on the light mixer. Look for the box on the right side of the sound booth desk that is shown in the picture and hit the silver power button in the top left corner. It will glow blue after pressed and the screen will power on and say "ION."
Once the power button on the light mixer is pressed, the two monitors above the mixer will go through a boot up sequence. Once they are finished booting up they will look like the picture above.
Light Mixer - Adjusting The Main Stage Lights
To adjust the main stage lights, simply adjust the slider labeled "ML1" on the left side of the light mixer up or down. Adjusting them UP makes them brighter, and adjusting them DOWN makes them dimmer. The video linked at the top of this article also shows how to control the lighting presets for the lights in the performing arts center. Note that the light preset switches are located on the front wall of the sound booth just in front of the right corner of the sound booth.
Light Mixer - Powering Off
It is VERY IMPORTANT that when powering off the light mixer you first turn the ML1 slider all the way down. If you don't turn the ML1 slider down all the way before proceeding with the power off process the main stage lights will remain on and run the risk of burning out.
After turning the ML1 slider all the way down, use the mouse next to the light mixer to click on the icon with the two upward facing arrows on the screen of the left light mixing monitor.
Clicking the icon with the two upward arrows will open this box. Click "Power Off Console."
Then it will ask if you really want to power down the console, click "OK."
You will then be taken to a screen that looks like this, click "Shutdown." Wait a minute or two, be patient, and verify that the silver button on the light mixer has also turned off and is no longer illuminated. If it doesn't automatically turn off go ahead and press it to turn off the light mixer console.
Using The Projector - Control Panel
The projector control panel is located at the left edge of the sound booth desk on the wall. To turn on the projector hit the ON button. It will blink several times and will take a minute or two to turn on. Once the projector has finished warming up and is powered on the ON button will stop flashing and will remain lit. If you are bringing a laptop or something similar to project from make sure that you press the PC button to swap it to the appropriate source. Currently we have an AUX cable and a VGA cable for hookup so if what you're projecting from doesn't have those ports you will need to bring your own adapters. When you are done projecting make sure you hit the OFF button.
Using The Projector - Bringing Down The Projector Screen
To lower the projector screen you will need to leave the sound booth and go behind the stage curtains. After walking through the curtains turn left and on the wall is a white switch. Press the switch down to bring the screen down, and press it up to bring it back up. When you are finished with the screen raise it up, and return the switch to the neutral position in the middle.
Once the show is finished make sure you turn off the line mixer, and the light mixer, before turning off the black box mixer. On your way out please close the window grate again so nobody can get into the sound booth through the window, and turn off the light.