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A-2 Overview for Local 16 Employees. Tom Adams Lisa Woodward. What does an A-2 do?. Represents Local 16. Communicates with the A-1. Asks questions. Follows instructions. Interfaces with client and talent. A-2 is in charge of:.

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A-2 Overview for Local 16 Employees

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A-2 Overview for Local 16 Employees

Tom Adams

Lisa Woodward

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What does an A-2 do?

  • Represents Local 16.

  • Communicates with the A-1.

  • Asks questions.

  • Follows instructions.

  • Interfaces with client and talent.

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A-2 is in charge of:

  • Audio power distro, snake runs, hanging speakers, wireless mics, stage mics, backstage monitors.

  • Audio to and from: video, computers, press, prompter.

  • Intercom.

  • Micing the talent.

  • Monitoring all of the above during the show.

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What an A-2 does not do:

  • Mix the show.

  • Choose the equipment.

  • Redesign the system.

  • Whine about the equipment.

  • Give the client/talent “a piece of your mind”.

  • Read the newspaper by the wireless rack...

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Represent Local 16

  • Attitude.

  • On time.

  • Proper tools.

  • Proper attire.

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Communicate with the A-1

  • Get information!

  • Give information!

  • Get a stage plot.

  • Get a patch sheet.

  • Don’t know? Don’t guess…. Ask!

  • Keep track of info, take notes and tell the A-1.

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Follow Instructions!!!

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Interface with client

  • It’s all attitude: you represent us all!

  • Be polite.

  • Be calm yet attentive.

  • Be discrete.

  • Be efficient.

  • Be proactive.

  • Be accommodating yet firm.

  • Be persuasive.


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Power Distro

  • Find out from Electrician where comes from and goes.

  • Have someone (if not you) meter before any equipment is turned on.

  • You are in charge of getting power all audio equipment AND keeping others off our circuits to prevent ground loops.

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  • SEND is the snake from the stage to the FOH. MALE ends (pins) to the FOH! This is for mics and playback.

  • RETURN is the snake from the FOH to the stage. MALE ends to the stage.This is for: amps, monitors, record, press, com, etc.

  • FOH audio AC power is run with these as well. Female to FOH.

  • Keep Audio snakes away from AC power other than our own!

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Amp Set Up

  • Find out from A-1 or stage manager/TD where they go.

  • Find out from A-1 which one will be for mains, delays, fills, monitors, subs.

  • Label them.

  • Consult A-1 about settings on each. He/she may not want them automatically set at full.

  • Biamp & Triamp systems.

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  • Get patch sheet from A-1.

  • LABEL, LABEL, LABEL!!!!!!!! Label at the male & female end of a mic cable. Label at the male end of a return feed at the snake, and the extension cable. Label all mult boxes and DA’s at the box and the out going end of each cable. Label rec sends at the male end.

  • Did I mention labeling?

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Speaker Cabling

  • Find out where the speakers go and find the simplest, most efficient, safest path to lay the cables. Remember the out!

  • Did I mention labeling?

  • All cables should be labeled at the amp end (at least).

  • Any cable in the air should be labeled at both ends.

  • Powered Speakers.

  • Be neat. It looks good, tends to be safer and goes out faster.

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Hanging Speakers

  • An A-2 must be lift certified. Period.You will spend a lot of time in a lift.

  • Learn 3 knots: clove, bowline, taught line hitch.

  • Hardware and hanging technique should have been figured out by the vendor. Find the vendor and ASK. The head rigger and/or A-1 get paid to answer them. Someone’s life could depend on you.

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Hanging con’t.

  • Label all cables in the air. Pay extra attention when patching in the air. Double check all connections.

  • Generally we hang speakers upside down. Why?

  • Speaker focus will be called by A-1 from the ground. This is where your protractor will be a helpful tool. A radio would be good, too.

  • What is a “delay” anyway?

  • Double check your labels and connections before moving on to the next one!

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Stage mics

  • Know your mics!

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Wireless Microphones

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RF Basics

  • Transmitter

  • Receiver

  • Carrier Wave

  • FM-Frequency Modulation

  • Frequency Range

    • VHF

    • UHF

  • Diversity

  • Intermodulation

  • Squelch

  • Tone Key andDigital Code Squelch

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Setting up a RF mic system

  • Set up receivers

  • Place antennae and cable to receivers

  • Connect audio output to sound system

  • Choose and program frequencies on receiver

  • Program transmitters

  • Choose mics

  • Test

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Antennae and Cable

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Antennae Placement

  • Maintain a line-of-sight between the transmitter and receiver antennas.

  • Avoid placing antennae where metal or other dense materials may be present.

  • Avoid placing the receiver near computers or other RF generating equipment.

  • Point the antenna tips away from each other at a 45° angle from vertical.

  • Maintain a distance of at least 10 ft between the transmitter and receiver to prevent overloading the receiver.

  • Keep diversity antennae at least 10 inches apart.

  • Do not let antennae touch.

Source: http://www.audio-technica.com/using/wireless/quicktip/oneplus.html; uhf_en.pdf at www.shure.com

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Cable Type




Length for 30% Range Reduction

Length for 50% Range Reduction

Length for 30% Range Reduction

Length for 50% Range Reduction

Lo-cost RG 58

33' (10 m)

65' (20 m)

15' (4.5 m)

30' (9 m)

Quality RG-58

54' (16 m)

107' (32 m)

24' (7 m)

48' (14 m)

Lo-cost RG-8

70' (21 m)

140' (42 m)

31' (9.5 m)

63' (19 m)

Quality RG-8

110' (33 m)

220' (66 m)

48' (14.5 m)

96' (29 m)

Foam RG-8 (Belden 9913)

165' (50 m)

330' (100 m)

75' (23 m)

150' (46 m)

Source: http://www.audio-technica.com/using/wireless/advanced/cables.html

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Shure UA830

  • Antennae amp

  • 50 ohm cable only (RG8)

  • Up to 25’ use the 3 dB gain

  • Up to 50’ use the 10 dB gain

  • May gang two together for more than 50’

  • No more than two ganged together

Source: http://www.shure.com/pdf/userguides/guides_wireless/ua830_en.pdf

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Directional Antennae

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Antennae Dividers or Distros

  • Allows several receivers to use just 2 antennae.

  • Connect the antennae to the input of the distro.

  • Connect the antennae outputs of the distro to the inputs of the different receivers.

  • Terminate unused outputs with 50 ohm BNC terminators (but not inputs!).

  • Use cascade output ports to connect additional distro together.

  • Be sure to check that frequency range is compatible with the rest of the system.

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Connecting to the Sound System

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Gain for Receivers

  • Mic/line level

    • Shure “mic/line” switch in the rear

    • Sony “level” switch –20 on the front

  • Output gain knob all the way clockwise

  • The set the “mixing” switch on Sony receivers to OFF

  • Use XLR connectors when ever possible

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Sony “Mixing” Switch

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Programming Receivers

Shure UHF and Sony UHF 800

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Programming Shure Receivers

Source: uhf_en.pdf at www.shure.com

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Programming Sony Receivers

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Choosing Frequencies

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Band Number



30 - 300 Hz


Extremely Low Frequencies


300 - 3000 Hz


Voice Frequencies


3 - 30 KHz


Very Low Frequencies


30 - 300 KHz


Low Frequencies


300 - 3000 KHz


Medium Frequencies


3 - 30 MHz


High Frequencies


30 - 300 MHz


Very High Frequencies


300 - 3000 MHz


Ultrahigh Frequencies


3 - 30 GHz


Super-High Frequencies


30 - 300 GHz


Extremely High Frequencies


300 GHz - 3 THz




Frequency Bands

Source: http://www.testeq.com/charts/freqclas.lasso

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Frequency Ranges of Popular Brands

  • Shure UHF

    • “UA” series: 782.125-805.875 MHz

    • “UB” series: 692.125-716.000 MHz

  • Sony 800 UHF

    • TV Channel 64: 770 MHz to 782 MHz

    • TV Channel 66: 782 MHz to 794 MHz

    • TV Channel 68: 794 MHz to 806 MHz

  • Sennheiser 3000

    • Range: 434 - 960 MHz

Sources: http://www.Shure.com; http://bpgprod.sel.sony.com/proaudio/index01.htm; http://www.sennheiserusa.com/

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Frequency (MHz)


 Frequency (MHz)


 Frequency (MHz)









































































































































TV Frequencies in the US

*Currently allocated for Radio Astronomy only.

Source: http://www.flyingwombat.com/usa_tv_freqs.html

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San Francisco

Mt. San Bruno







City of


From MHz

To MHz














San Jose

San Jose











Mt. Sutro









San Jose








Santa Rosa










Bay Area TV Stations

Source: http://www.lns.com/sbe/Bay_Area_TV.html

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Groups, Channels andTV stations on Shure and Sony

  • Groups and channels are arbitrary designations to make frequency choices easier.

  • In both Shure and Sony choose channels within the same group so frequencies will not overlap.

  • The Shure A/1 and A/2 are master groups and cross all other groups (1-7). Groups 1-7 also cross each other with in the same series.

  • The Sony 00 group is a master group and crosses all other groups (11, 12, 13, A1, A2, A3). Sony groups cross each other within the same TV channels.

  • Sony TV Channel 66 and TV Channel 68 overlap Shure series “UA”.

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Example of Cross Frequencies

Source: Spread sheet by Jim Risgin of On Stage Audio

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Choosing Clean Frequencies

  • Manually scan through frequencies

  • Contact other operators

  • Use the same group for all frequencies

  • Frequency separation

  • Frequency intermodulation

  • Shure website at www.Shure.com

  • Audio Technica website at www.audio-technica.com/index2.html

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Transmitters and Mics

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Shure Transmitters

Default setting is –6

Start with gain all the way down

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Power Lock and FrequencyLock on Shure Transmitters

  • Power Lock :

    • Press and hold the SET button, then press and hold the MODE button. Hold both keys down until “PoL” (for power locked) is displayed.

    • To unlock, repeat the steps.

  • Frequency Lock :

    • Turn the transmitter power off.

    • Turn the power back on while holding down the SET button until the fuel gauge on the transmitter is active. “Fr L” will appear momentarily, until you release the SET button.

    • To release, repeat steps.

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Lavalier Mics

  • Mic selection

    • Cardioid: Shure mx185

    • Hyper Cardioid: Shure mx184, sennheiser 104

    • Omni: Shure mx183, sennheiser mke2, countryman trams

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Polar Patterns of Mics

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Sennheiser Lavalier Mics

mke 104

mke 2

Source: www.sennheiserusa.com

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Countryman ISOMAX

Source: Countryman website

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Mic Capsule

Exercise the connections of both mic and antennae

Seat batteries firmly or tape them in

When using “combo packs”, make sure that only the handheld or the belt pack programmed to the same frequency is on at one time.

Walk the room to check for RF dropouts

Test every mic on stage through the speakers before the audience arrives

Check for Failures

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Have talent remove badge and/or jewelry that may hit mic

Clip mic just under tie in the center of the body

Some clips can be rotated

Leave a little slack if dressing through clothing

Turn off cell phone

When double micing, place belt packs on either side of back

Mic and Belt pack Placement

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Other Topics

Shure Scanning Software

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Shure UA888

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UA888 Software

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Wireless Resources on the Web

  • Audio-Technica http://www.audio-technica.com/

  • Sennheiser http://www.sennheiserusa.com/

  • Shure Brothers http://www.shure.com/

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Backstage Monitors

  • Bkstg Monitors are to help people backstage (including yourself) hear the show.

  • They will most probably be needed by at least these stations: A-2, Video, Graphics, Teleprompter, Dressing Rooms.

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Bkstg Monitors Con’t

  • They are generally small, self powered speakers and tend to need adapters for their input cable(xlr to 1/4in) and an edison ground lift.

  • They are best fed from the FOH return snake to a DA or mult box at your station. Label the out going cable at both ends!

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XLR Mult Box

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To & fro pop quiz

  • By the way, what is a:

    • Press pool?

    • DA? Are there different kinds?

    • DI? Are there different kinds? Why are there usually two 1/4” input/output jacks on a DI?

    • Why a stereo mini from a computer?

    • Which out put from a computer, head phone or line out?

    • Iso transformer?

    • An imp splitter?

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Audio to and fro!

  • You will run the audio feeds to and from: Video, computers (on and off stage), press pools, webcast etc.

  • For professional video playback you will be patching from the deck into your SEND snake with the male end of the xlr. For vhs decks you will need a rca to xlr adapter and possibly a DI.

  • For computer playback you will be patching the same as above and will need a stereo mini plug to a DI to xlr adapter configuration.

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Distribution Amplifier or DA

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Passive DI

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Active DI

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To & Fro Con’t

  • It is often the case that you can pick up a ground hum from video or computer playback sources. It might be a bad connection in the adapters or you may have to add iso transformers.

  • You will be providing the feeds for video record, webcast, press pools etc. You can also pick up a buzz here, the solution would be the same. It would be best if they came from the FOH RETURN snake to a DA and fed out from there. Label the cables….

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Intercom: (whatever flavor)

  • Two most popular brands: Clearcom and RTS.

  • Base station usually lives with Stage Manager at FOH. Feeds to you for distribution come from the RETURN snake. Com is sent with the male (pin) end of the cable.

  • There is voltage on the com line. Do not mispatch and send it to the board or other equip.

  • You will most likely be sending com to: video, graphics, prompter, asm, yourself, dimmers, follow spots, cameras, head carpenter, webcast etc.

  • Multichannel systems

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Com con’t (forever…)

  • Find out who gets what (dual, single, biscuit, which channel) from stg manager, TD or A-1.

  • Interfacing multiple systems: Clear Com, Telex, RTS, Wireless etc.

  • Did I mention labeling? No? Well, well, well…Label cables, belt packs, biscuits, mult boxes. Label labels just in case...

  • Trouble shooting: volume, gain, feedback, hum, antennas etc.

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Clearcom vs RTS

  • clearcom pin out:

    • Pin 1 Circuit Ground

    • Pin 2 +VDC

    • Pin 3 SIGNAL

  • rts pin out:

    • Pin 1 Circuit Ground

    • Pin 2 CH 1 + Power 32V

    • Pin 3 CH 2 + Dry or 32V

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3 Models of Clearcom

  • single channel

    • 501 beltpack

    • 3 pin xlr

    • effects of phase reverse of pins 2 and 3

  • old style dual channel

    • 502 beltpack

    • 6 pin xlr, 6 pin xlr-3 pin xlr "y" adaptor

  • new style dual channel

    • 502TW beltpack

    • 3 pin xlr

    • twc-10a box

    • call light only works on the "b" channel

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501 and 502 Belt Packs

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Old Style 502 Belt Packs

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  • dual channel

  • 3 pin xlr

  • BP 300 beltpack is programmable via dip switches inside beltpack

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Interfacing Intercom

  • clearcom TW-12B

    • isolates both systems

    • eliminates ground hums

    • matches gain

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Wireless Intercom

  • Popular Brands

    • Clearcom WBS-6

    • Telex BTR series

    • HME 800

  • Be sure to note what frequencies the units use and coordinate them with your wireless mic system!

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Telex BTR-200

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Telex BTR-500

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Telex BTR-600

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Clearcom WSB-6

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Good practices

  • Label clearly

  • Don't daisy chain the whole system, use multi boxes and y's when possible

  • Don't leave belt packs and headsets near video monitors

  • Don't wear headset while using cell phone

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Intercom Resources on the Web

  • Clearcom http://www.clearcom.com

  • Telex http://www.telex.com/

  • Systems Wireless http://www.swl.com/

  • PL Systems http://plsystem.com/index.htm

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Micing talent

  • You have a chance to make or break the show here. Your attitude, appearance and skill define the moment.

  • Try to find talent ahead of time. Inform A-1 of names, order of appearance etc.

  • Pre label mics with name & number.

  • Be polite and firm. Try humor with discretion.

  • Once miced, contact A-1 to confirm signal.

  • Monitor signal and RF reception continually during show.

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Micing con’t

  • Always have a standby mic ready.

  • Special micing situations: Be prepared.

  • Try to find out in rehearsal what they’re wearing for show.

  • Always try to get the mic in the center not the lapel.

  • Women’s issues: clothes and modesty. Be discrete, polite, professional and creative...

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Relax and have a good show!

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Elton Halley

Margaret Murray

Gary Erwin

Scott Clark

Projection, Inc.

BBI Engineering

Local 16

Web Resources:









Thanks to:

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