Today is Manifest, Columbia College’s end of the year celebration. It features many artistic presentations of Student work from the year. Part of this is a Mainstage for musical performances where I worked patch engineer on stage. I was in charge of making sure that everything on stage reached the house and monitors console. To do this we had the snake box pictured below.
There were 5 stage boxes on stage that connected back to a main snake rack, one on each side of the stage and at the DJ table. Each of these boxes connect back to a large box on a panel. There is a break out connected to the end of each snake and can be connected to a split that goes to both the house and monitors console.
There are a number of ways to set this up. We connected each mic to the closest stage box and then patched that to input on the split that matched the input list. After load in, we needed to add a few extra mics for a choir and a sax. so we added them into the closest stage box and patched it on the split rack. This is a lot of work for the patch engineer, but keeps everything smooth for the console operators. It has the disadvantage that it is hard to tell what input on the stage rack goes to what input on the console.
Another way of dong it is to label each stage box with inputs for vocals and instruments. Patch them one to one on the split rack and then soft patch them to where each engineer wants them on the consoles. The advantage of this is each stage box input always goes to the same input on the console so it can easily be soft patched and anyone on stage can figure out which input on the consoles it is going to.