TheatreMix helps you mix sound
for theatre shows on digital mixing consoles using DCAs
It creates and runs DCA cues: automating tedious snapshot programming so you can focus on the mix
What is DCA theatre mixing?
When using lots of wireless microphones in musicals, it's impossible to manually ride the faders for all of them, especially when they're split across multiple input layers.
DCA (or VCA / control group) style operation allows you to bring the faders for each scene or musical number to you, and then put them back when no longer required.
This ensures you are always mixing the correct microphones in logical groups for each scene or musical number.
- Adam Savage's interview with Hamilton mixer Kevin McCoy
- Theatre Sound: Towards Digital Mixing by Andrew Bruce, a history of mixing consoles on the West End (also see related articles at the end)
- Mixing a Musical: Broadway Theatrical Sound Techniques by Shannon Slaton (particularly chapter 16 "Mixer's Job", section "VCAs/DCAs/Control Groups")
- TSDCA's Paperwork for a Musical with Stephanie Farina (particularly from 37:00)
- Some YouTube videos demonstrating DCA mixing
How does TheatreMix work?
TheatreMix manages DCA assignments and mutes for up to 48 channels on a console, typically those controlling wireless lavalier or headset microphones. Optionally, it can also recall channel delay & pan in position presets, channel EQs & dynamics in profiles, and channel FX bus assignments.
TheatreMix takes over assignment and labelling of DCAs, but does not recall DCA fader levels, so you're always in control of the mix. It completely bypasses the console's inbuilt scene management so console scenes can be used for other elements as desired (e.g. effects parameter changes).
TheatreMix also monitors input meters of selected channels for dropouts and clipping, identifying potential problems with wireless microphones before they affect the show.
Why should I use it?
TheatreMix allows rapid offline programming of a show: you can program cues using a laptop and mark up the script at the same time, instead of dragging out a console (or battling with a complicated offline editor!). TheatreMix then connects to your console, runs cues, monitors channels, accepts live edits... without having to load anything into the console's scene management.
TheatreMix allows you to focus on the show: the script, characters, and musical numbers are important, not esoteric programming issues.
Helpful features enhance your console making it easier to manage lots of wireless microphones – assisting you through tech week when there are only a few rehearsals to get the mix right.