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Thread: Post your pit setups

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    Quote Originally Posted by SOTSDO View Post
    When I play alongside student performers, I try to urge them to play out (the biggest problem) and to hit as many of the notes as they can. Playing through performance anxiety is something that will come in time; practice makes perfect (or nearly so).
    If I ever get to have the chance of being musical director for a high school or college, I will always promote to the musicians the idea of not only blending in to sound as one, but to play out if 1) i ask them to or 2) the music says so. Even if they aren't seen, they're at least heard; I'll have some more power and control with the show, too. Another thing that appalled me was that our conductor for the same musical told the keyboard 3 player that if something was too hard she didn't have to play it. It goes back to playing out.

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    My pit setup for 9 to 5. I am on Reed 2 for this production (flute/clarinet/bass clarinet/tenor/bari). The book is clarinet/tenor/bari heavy and quite light on the flute/bass clarinet. I am covering the flute and bass clarinet parts on my clarinet (which is almost visible in the picture). I've also learned that sometimes covering bass clarinet on a soprano clarinet is a big no-no, but it is too far into rehearsals to change now. But next time I will (hopefully) use a bass clarinet for pit when a woodwind part calls for one.
    IMG_20130628_163129.jpg

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    Here's my pit setup for Anything Goes. This is the Tony-winning Roundabout Theatre production which is on tour at the moment. Toronto has the show for a month (we close Aug. 18th.)

    L-R: Linton English Horn, Renard 330 oboe, Jupiter Parisienne Clarinet, Jupiter Artist Tenor.

    I'm using Stuart Dunkel EH reeds, my own oboe reeds, Walter Grabner K13* m/p w/Vandoren V12 #3.5 reeds, Vandoren V16 T7 m/p w/#3 V16 reeds.


    Untitled by Merlin Williams, on Flickr

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    I was on reed book 4 and still got to play the sop sax solo, it was so nice.

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    Reed 5 book on the Family Guy Live show in Toronto:


    Untitled by Merlin Williams, on Flickr

    Flute/clarinet/bassoon/baritone sax.

    Here's the entire section:


    Untitled by Merlin Williams, on Flickr

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merlin View Post
    Reed 5 book on the Family Guy Live show in Toronto:


    Untitled by Merlin Williams, on Flickr

    Flute/clarinet/bassoon/baritone sax.

    Here's the entire section:


    Untitled by Merlin Williams, on Flickr
    Gold and shiny saxes galore. Glistening in the light. I also just noticed that the woodwind setup is setup like a jazz band. Well, sort of. And where was the orchestra?

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    Quote Originally Posted by snakeman5001 View Post
    Gold and shiny saxes galore. Glistening in the light. I also just noticed that the woodwind setup is setup like a jazz band. Well, sort of. And where was the orchestra?
    It was a big vee setup. Big band on stage left, expanded rhythm section centre stage, and the strings were stage right.

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    I use the same setup occasionally (when staging room dictates something other than the lopsided rectangular one that is the norm), except I use it to partially escape from the racket that comes out of the brass. That separation and angling make all the difference in the world, and they also focus the attention of the audience on the vocalists, who work (for the most part) out of the center of the "vee'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merlin View Post
    It was a big vee setup. Big band on stage left, expanded rhythm section centre stage, and the strings were stage right.
    Judging from the microphones in the picture, you guys were backstage. Is that right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by snakeman5001 View Post
    Judging from the microphones in the picture, you guys were backstage. Is that right?
    I don't know how you could make that judgement just from seeing the mics. We were onstage.

    The theatre seats over 3000. Everything was mic'd.

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    I'm simultaneously surprised & relieved, that you dont (apparently) play the pipes Merlin. meaning theres a chance for me yet, in some production requiring these skills

    I;m also noticing a preponderance of Shure SM 57's in your pics...hmm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merlin View Post
    I don't know how you could make that judgement just from seeing the mics. We were onstage.

    The theatre seats over 3000. Everything was mic'd.
    Just judging from all those mics. The only time I've seen mics in pit is when the orchestra is backstage and they're mic'ed so they can be heard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snakeman5001 View Post
    Just judging from all those mics. The only time I've seen mics in pit is when the orchestra is backstage and they're mic'ed so they can be heard.
    Not when I'm the sound man . There are lots of tricks for making a band sound natural in the house. Also, choreographers are crazy. They always want the 'bumps' by cowbell, ratchet, and or woodblocks to be larger than life. There's no greater compliment than to have someone ask why the orchestra was not miked--because it was.

    For me, if a single instrument or voice is miked, then everything gets a mic. It's the difference between miked and unmiked sounds that draws attention to the fact that there is sound reinforcement. It's better to have a mic and not use it, than to have the producing director say 'more oboe', and not being able to comply because you didn't mic up the oboe. Saying 'I can't' to a producing director practically guarantees that you won't be called again.
    'This is faster than anyone has been gone before'
    -George Tirebiter

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    Seeing all these awesome setups is making me excited to return to a real city so I can do some doubling again. In a few months will be in Windsor Ontario looking for some pit work and fun times doubling. Craziest list of instruments I ever did was clarinet, flute, piccolo, bass clarinet, bari sax, bassoon & kazoo for a variety show. Man I miss those musicals - they just aren't happening in this small town I'm living in now.

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    Default Beauty and the Beast

    Hello, everyone. I know it's been a while since I've been on here. I got my first pit orchestra gig in three years. I'm playing Beauty and the Beast for a theatre company called the Rising Star Theatre Company, a local community theatre in Dubuque. I'm playing Reed 3 for the production (flute/clarinet/bass clarinet). It's a really great book. The flute has some great harmonies with the Reed 1 player who's playing flute and piccolo and there are some great solo clarinet parts. I will say though that the key changes are numerous and the fast tempos plus high altissimo notes in some numbers can be quite an ordeal sometimes. All in all though, a great book and it feels great to be back doing pit orchestra. The link below is my setup from the sitzprobe tonight. Tomorrow we move into the pit.

    http://i.imgur.com/NON3rQS.jpg


    I'm using my Selmer Series 9 clarinet (serial number Y5641), a Yamaha bass clarinet that can go down to low Bb (04372), and a Yamaha CXL flute I believe (M745429). I borrowed the bass clarinet and flute from one of my music professors. And if you're wondering why I don't have a bass clarinet stand, don't worry. That is getting worked out as of now. I may have to borrowing one from the local music store.

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    I'll post what I had in Legally Blonde then, as I didn't know of this topic's existence until now.
    Noblet Bb Clarinet, Vandoren 5RV
    Yanagisawa B6, Yamaha 5C
    And I wasn't the one playing flute in that book because I'm bad at flute, even if I own one.
    Stands were a Hercules stand that I borrowed from my school for Flute/Clarinet and Piccolo, which googling tells me is a model DS543BB. And for Baritone, I had another Hercules, model DS535B.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hakukani View Post

    Another time, I was climbing out of the pit after a dress rehearsal day (taking down mikes). It had been a 16 hour day for me, and I didn't have the strength to climb out of the pit for the 21st time that day. I fell back into the pit. Luckily I missed the harp--but I took out the harp stool!
    A few years back my wife and I were at the theatre for a performance of Figaro. The theatre was silent as the first few bars of the overture played, when suddenly there was an almighty crash from the pit, followed by a burst of remarkably un-musicianlike language, with words that I didn't even know that I knew. The pit was a sunken area in front of the front row where we were seated, so I peered over the rail to see what was happening. The percussionist had stumbled over a power cord and fallen headlong across most of his gear, and then he and the gear had fallen off the slightly raised plinth on which the percussionists stood. He'd taken out several players and as far as I could see wrecked several instruments. The performance started half an hour late, and the orchestra sounded a bit thin that night.
    Tony F.

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    OK, I see someone revived this thread, I'll play along. My pictures didn't turn out well, so I won't post one, but last February I played Books 3 & 4 for Guys & Dolls. My gear included: soprano, tenor, & bari sax, as well as clarinet.

    I'm about to start rehearsals for The Wizard of Oz. Again I'm doing the Reed 3 book. For that I'll be playing soprano & bari sax, as well as clarinet.

    Since I'm not as strong a clarinet player as I am a saxophonist, I tend to substitute soprano for the highly technical clarinet parts--when the range makes this possible. The plus side is that I've learned how to generate an amazingly convincing soprano sax sound, that blends really nicely with the clarinets. In this case I use my Mark VI soprano sax with a Runyon Custom M/P (sans spoiler), and a Legere Signature Series reed.
    One day the bass saxophone will make a comeback and rule the world.
    Bassic Sax (The Website) The Bassic Sax Blog (The Weblog: part of website, but updated daily) Bassic Sax Pix (Lots and lots of pretty sax pics)

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    Default A Much Better Pit Setup

    It's Blake again. I just would like to post my Beauty and the Beast setup again now that I have a bass clarinet stand (I'm borrowing it from one of the band directors in the school district who is also my clarinet instructor). If you're wondering what kind of stand it is, it's a Hercules stand; it feels much better than having to use a chair to prop it up. I must say that I do enjoy this book. For the most part, I play a lot of harmonies with the flute and the oboe as well as have some pretty good clarinet solos. As for the bass clarinet, I mostly play with the low strings but there are a few times where I have a couple solos. It feels good to be back in a pit again Here's my pit setup

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    I see by the pic it's the older style Hercules bass clarinet stand. I just picked one up for my bass, but it's the newer model bass clarinet/bassoon stand
    DS561B.

    hercules-bass-clarinet-or-bassoon-stand-ds561b-657px-657px.jpg

    The only drawback is its footprint. I can't see from your photo how much floor space your stand takes up, but it appears to maybe be a little less.
    One day the bass saxophone will make a comeback and rule the world.
    Bassic Sax (The Website) The Bassic Sax Blog (The Weblog: part of website, but updated daily) Bassic Sax Pix (Lots and lots of pretty sax pics)

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    Yeah it wasn't much. I had enough space for the instruments, stands, and my flute and clarinet case; the bass clarinet was outside the orchestra pit up against the wall. Thankfully, I was given a locker in the men's dressing room to keep the instruments. I had a very low ceiling though so I couldn't stand up straight. I was also directly below the stage so I couldn't see what was going onstage. Thankfully, I'll be getting a video copy of the show as the contract allows it.

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