Our setup is unusually large. Typically the musicians are set up on the stage, angled from the edge of the projected film, toward the front corner of the stage (nearest the audience). If there isn’t room on the stage, the musicians can be set up in an orchestra pit, or in the aisle at the front corner of the audience.
The musicians can set up either stage left or right. They should be able to see the screen from their instruments, even if at a very oblique angle. If the Orchestra cannot see the screen from where the instruments are set up, video monitors are required to display the projected film image.
Dimensions of Percussion Rack (without synth):
- 12 ft. long
- 6.5 ft. high
- 6 ft. deep
The Synth player (one person sitting at a single synthesizer) needs to be somewhere near the percussion, either on stage or just off it.
Musical equipment rental (Backline) – not required when Alloy travels in it’s own van.
Alloy Orchestra Sound System Specifications
Alloy Orchestra is typically done with modest size sound systems, typically 10 – 12 inputs.
The sound system should be capable of moderately loud volumes with full bass, like the volume of a typical movie screening, or jazz concert. This can usually be done with a moderate sized and powered system. A single pair of 15 inch main speakers is sufficient for a small room. Several times that size is recommended for larger halls.
Monitors are important! Three good monitor speakers are required with 1, 2 or 3 sends. Typical 12′ floor monitors are ideal.
Volume – The volume of our concerts can easily get to be too loud. The engineer should try to match the volume of the mains to mix with the acoustic instruments and not be painfully loud.
Mains: Stereo if possible.
Monitors: (3 ) floor monitors – 12 inches woofers preferred. On 1 – 3 sends.
(2 -5) Direct Boxes for Synth, spring reverb (used on stage) and CD player (also controled from stage. The number depends on the film.
- Metropolis requires 5 DI’s.
- Lost World, Wild and Weird, and Man with a Movie Camera require 4 DI’s.
- Nosferatu requires 3 DI’s.
- All other films require 2 DI’s (or only 1 DI, if the house sound system is mono)
Microphones: 8 – 10 mics needed.
Stands: Booms are best on most mics. A medium sized stand is best for bass drum. A few short stands are useful for musical saw, and metal pans.
How to Mic Alloy Orchestra
Suggested: 8 microphones and 5 DI’s (or less depending on show)
(2) Direct inputs from synth
(2) Direct input for CD player (cued from the stage by musicians – only in some shows).
(1) direct input for spring reverb effect
(1) Musical Saw
(2) overheads spread out along the outside of the rack
(1) Bass Drum
(1) Tom Tom (micing 3 drums)
Many Alloy Orchestra performances use 35mm prints which are in the old silent film APERTURE (full frame, with no sound stripe). For best projection, the proper lens and aperture plate combination should be matched to the particular film being screened. Most films run at 24 fps, a few run at slower speeds (18 fps). Increasingly shows use Blu Ray, DCP or DVD projection.
35mm print film speeds, times & aspect ratio
- Metropolis – digital projection only (available in a variety of formats), 154 min.
- Last Command – 24 fps, silent film aspect, 89 min.
- Underworld – 24 fps, silent film aspect, 80 min.
- Lonesome – 24 fps, with occasional dialogue (projectionist must learn cues to turn up sound).
- The Eagle – 24 fps, movietone aspect (image is the same width as 1.33, but taller) 72 min
- Blackmail – 24 fps, silent film aspect, 82 min
- Phantom of the Opera – 24 fps, 1.33 aspect ratio, 78 min
- The General – 24 fps, 1:33 aspect ratio, 79 min
- Nosferatu 18 fps (can be projected as well at 24 fps) – silent aspect ratio, 85 min
- Arbuckle Shorts – 18 fps – silent aspect ratio (each film is 20 – 25 min)
- Black Pirate – 24 fps – 1:3:3 ratio, 84 min
- Speedy – 24 fps – Silent aspect Ratio, 85 min
- South – 21 or 24 fps – Silent aspect ratio, approx 80 min
- Earth – 24 fps – Silent aspect ratio
- Masters of Slapstick – 24 fps – mixed ratios (silent and 1:3:3)
- Steamboat Bill Jr. – 24 fps – silent aspect ratio, 67 min
- Dragonflies, the Baby Cries – 24 fps, 1.33, Optical soundtrack, 11 min
PLEASE DO NOT SPLICE FILMS UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY! If splices are necessary, never cut into the frames with an image. Always splice in the blank frames.
Each music stand will have a small light (which we will bring). Since we don’t want to spill light on the film projection, very little extra light should be added. When possible 2 or 3 dim spotlights illuminating the Orchestra can be used to make the Orchestra more visible to the audience. Spotlights are not required – the stand lights are sufficient for the orchestra’s needs.
Because of the large amount of equipment Alloy carries, when the presenter is providing transportation it will need to be either a van or a truck. Typically, if Alloy is moving all equipment (including drum set), a full size van with at least 2 seats removed is required. If Alloy is only moving the basic equipment (with no drums) a large mini van is acceptable (Dodge Grand Caravan is recommended because of the “Stow and Go” seating. It is also possible to move Alloy and their equipment in two vehicles – one ordinary Minivan or SUV, and another passenger vehicle
Please check with Alloy about details of exactly what is being transported and what vehicles will be required.
When traveling, Alloy will require storage for their equipment from the time of arrival until the time of departure. It is the responsibility of the presenter to facilitate this storage.
Preferably, the equipment will be stored upon arrival at the Theater where we will be performing, The same is usually true after the performance, until departure.
The goal is to minimize the moving of equipment. It is possible, in many cases, for Alloy to store equipment in their hotel rooms. but this generally requires moving the equipment at least one or two extra times for every performance, and is not preferable. When storing at a hotel, the access should be free of stairs (with either an elevator or first floor access).
Whenever possible, it is preferable to avoid carrying the equipment up and down stairs.
If the equipment is being stored at the theater after the show, Alloy will require entrance to the theater to retrieve the equipment when departing that town (often fairly early in the morning).