Glossary

Power

240

240 V Power cable. Has standard 10amp plug (termed “male”) one end and 10amp socket (termed “female”) on the other. Plug can have a socket behind it for “piggy backing” other 10amp plugs (as seen in picture).

 

IEC

Power lead with an IEC plug (also referred to as “Jug Plug” or “Kettle Plug”.

 

Clover

Power lead with a clover connector

 

Figure 8

Power lead with figure 8 connector

 

IEC 16 amp

Power lead with 16 amp connector

 

15 Amp plug

Australian 15 amp plug

 

10 Amp plug

Standard Australian plug

 

32 Amp Plug

Plug used in 3 phase applications

 

Powercon

A power connector developed by Neutrik for the entertainment industry. Looks very similar to “Speakon” connectors used on some speaker cables.

 

Green power outlets (Conditioned power)

Power sockets that are usually green in colour. Indicates a clean power source that prevents power related audio, vision and lighting noise. Noise is another term for interference. It is usually caused by unclean power source, faulty cables, faulty connectors or faulty equipment. Unclean power  sources and faulty cables are the most common causes of noise.

 

 

Distro

Power distribution unit. Usually have individual circuits. Can have multiple socket types. Typically connects to a 3 phase power source.

 

RCD

Portable residual current device. Power outlets are protected by earth leakage circuit breakers. Used by Crown Casino.

 

 

Lighting

SOCO or Socapex

A Soco or Socapex cable refers to a cable that has Socapex connectors on its ends.

In lighting, Socapex are used for power cables. The connector is normally attached to a multi-cored power cable that can carry 6 channels of power.

Socapex connectors are also used for audio multi-cores.

 

Soco Tails

Socapex lighting tails normally have 6x 10amp plugs at one end converging into a female socapex connector at the other end.  Tails are normally plugged into a channel on a lighting dimmer. Each 10amp plug will have its own number starting from 1 and ending at 6 to assist in distinguishing channels.

 

Soco Headers

 Socapex lighting headers normally have 6 female 10amp power sockets at one end converging in to a male socapex connector at the other end. The headers split the power out of the soco power multi-cored cable so that the lighting can be plugged into separate power channels. Each female socket will have its own number starting from 1 and ending at 6 to distinguish the 6 power channels.

 

Wieland

Wieland is actually a brand name, but it refers to the multi-pole connecter used for both motor cables and multi-cored power cables.

Wieland Tails

 The same Soco tails above, but with a multi-poled Wieland connector

 

Wieland Headers

Same as Soco headers above, but with a multi-poled Wieland connector.

 

 

Dimmers

Dimmers are devices used to vary the brightness of a static (or generic) light. By varying the voltage and hence the available power to the lamp it is possible to vary the intensity of the light. Modern dimmer systems respond DMX signals from lighting desks that control the lamp’s brightness.

 

 

DMX

Refers to DMX512 which is a digital lighting control protocol. DMX lighting fixtures are assigned an address which distinguishes one light from another. What can be controlled by DMX depends on the fixture type example ...DMX data sent to a MAC2000 mover can control colour, gobo, iris, intensity and movement.

 

 

Lighting Plot

A Light Plot is a drawing that indicates the placement of lighting equipment in a venue. The primary purpose is to depict, in scale, the exact location of all lighting fixtures being used in a production. It contains information about instrument type, colour, and control. The plot includes a legend describing the symbols used on the plot and a title block that contains information about the production.

 

Enlarge Image

5 Pin DMX

DMX was developed using a 5 pin XLR connector. Many manufactures also use a standard 3 pin XLR on their devices.

 

3 Pin DMX

This uses a 3 pin XLR connector... the same as in the audio field. Please note: the voltage of audio and lighting equipment is different. Connecting an audio device into a lighting device (or vice versa) via a 3pin XLR will cause equipment damage

 

DMX Cable

DMX cables with 3 pin XLR connectors are different in impedance to 3 pin XLR audio cables. Even though a 3 pin XLR audio cable will still carry DMX data, it is not ideal as you can get data errors due to this impedance mismatch.

 

 

Static, Conventional or Generic lighting

There are 2 categories of static fixtures. Traditional fixtures which are normally focused manually and controlled by a dimmer. Typically the dimmer controls the brightness of the light via DMX data received by the dimmer from a lighting desk. Examples of traditional fixtures are Fresnels, Strip lights, Par cans, Profiles, Pin Spots, Multi-Pars, etc.

Category 2 would be the LED static fixtures. These fixtures do not require a dimmer and can receive DMX directly which can control brightness and colour. Examples are... LED Strip lights and LED Par cans.

 

 

Fresnel

A Fresnel is a generic light that gets its name from the Fresnel lens it uses. The lens produces a wider, soft-edged beam of light, which is referred to as a wash.  The focus alters the size of the beam. Fresnels are often fitted with distinctive “barn doors” to control the spill and shape the beam. “Barn doors” are large metal flaps that may be mounted just beyond the colour slot at the front of the light. Fresnels range from 150W to 2000W in lamp power.

 

 

Profile

Profiles produce clearly defined spots of light and are the most focusable and versatile generic light. They have a lens (some have two), a lamp, a reflector, shutters and a gate.

Profiles can project shapes by using gobos placed in the gate between the lamp and the lens. Some profiles only have one lens and two sets of shutters. One shutter set gives a hard edged beam and other a softer edge. These are known as bifocal profiles.

Profiles with two lenses (zoom profiles) are best for projecting gobos due to size and sharpness of the beam being fully adjustable. A zoom profile is known by the range of its beam angle (e.g. Prelude 16°/30°, Cantata 18°/32°)

 

Bifocal  Source 4 Profile 19°

Par can

This light is simply a "can" in which the PAR lamp is contained (hence "Par can"). The PAR (Parabolic Aluminised Reflector) lamps are available in a range of beam angles depending on the amount of diffusion on the front lens of the lamp. The lamp is a sealed beam unit consisting of a lamp, reflector and lens in one.

Par can sizes are indicated by a number which relates to the diameter of the lens in eighths of an inch. The most common is the Par64 (1000W). Other sizes are the Par 16, Par 36, Par 38 (150W), and Par 56 (300W).

Parcan

Par Lamps

Multi-par (called a “Source 4” by Staging Connections)

A multi-par is an upgrade from the traditional par can as it does not require a stock of individual lamp varieties to achieve various beam angles. The lamp is more efficient ...575 W globe has the same brightness as a 1000W Par64.

The fixture allows for beam and field adjustment using interchangeable lenses. There are 5 interchangeable glass lenses for multi-pars.

  1. Extra Wide Flood (XWFL)
  2. Wide Flood (WFL)
  3. Medium Flood (MFL)
  4. Narrow Spot (NSP)
  5. Very Narrow Spot (VNSP)

 

 

Follow spot

 A follow spot is a profile that is operated by a person and therefore has additional controls, extra handles, sights, built-in colour changer and an iris.

 

 

Strip light

A traditional strip light usually consists of a row of lamps. A single strip light is usually wired internally into either 3 or 4 circuits. Each internal circuit consists of several lamps evenly spaced within the unit. Often, a lighting designer will use gels to make the lights different colors. The unit can then be wired into several different circuits, allowing each bank of coloured lights to be controlled by its own dimmer channel. Strip lights are often used to light drapes and walls.

LED Strip lights are more common due to DMX control, greater colour variety without using gels and energy efficiency. Common LED traplights are Stage bars and Honeycombs

LED Stagebar

LED Colourblaze

Flexible LED Striplight

Pin spot

These are small PAR cans (PAR 36). They made in both lamp and LED versions.

Blinder, Audience Blinder or Crowd Blinder

Bright light used to flash at audience for dramatic effect. They are usually white lights as this creates a more blinding effect. They are made in lamp and LED versions. These lights can also strobe.

Data Flash

 LED Audience Blinder

Q.I.

Security halogen flood light. Very cheap and often used as a crowd blinder. Output ranges from 100W to 1500W.

 

Strobe

A fixture that produces regular flashes of light. Used to give the effect of slow motion. Can also be used as a blinder. Some strobes are capable of flashing hundreds of times per second.

UV Light/

Black light/

Fluorescent Lamp

Used to make white and fluorescent colours self illuminate.

They are identified by their violet coloured globes/lamps.

Gel

A thin sheet of coloured polymer plastic placed in front of or within a lighting fixture to alter the colour of the light produced.

 

Hazer or Haze Machine

Hazers and foggers create a continuous mist of smoke. The smoke is used to enhance the beams of light cast by the lighting fixtures

Smoke Machine or fog machine

Smoke machines sometimes called a fog machine or fogger fall under the category of visual and lighting effects. Typically, fog is created by vapourising proprietary water and glycol-based or glycerine-based fluids.

Cold Flow/

Dry Ice

Machine/

Cold Fog Machine

A cold fog machine creates a mist effect that remains close to the ground. Liquid Synthetic Air (Liquid Air), Liquid nitrogen (N2), Dry Ice (solid carbon dioxide)

Bubble machine

 

Mirror Ball

 

 

 

Intelligent/ Automated Lighting Fixtures

 

These are fixtures where all parameters are controllable... movement, gobo selection, intensity, iris, colour and more. They are normally controlled using DMX via a lighting desk. They fall into 2 categories, “movers” and “scanners”.

 

Scanner

A scanner is an intelligent light which uses a mirror to direct the light beam. Scanners can move much faster than “movers” due to using a mirror, but does not have the movement range of a “mover”

Mover

A mover refers to a fixture with a moving head. The Martin MAC series is the most common and well known of the movers. They come in profiles and washes. The type is determined by the lens on the fixture. A wash mover will have a Fresnel lens.

   

MAC Profile  

MAC wash lens

Lighting Controllers/ Consoles/ Desks

Lighting desks/controllers/consoles these days all use DMX512 command protocol to control lighting. You may, however, still encounter a few analogue consoles. The most popular lighting consoles are pictured on the right.

Grand MA

Jands HOG

LSC Maxim

Rigging

Rigging had its origins in sailing. Some of the methods used in sailing were adopted in theatre to move curtains, mounting bars and props... hence the term “rigging” was adopted into the entertainment industry.

There are many different rigging items you will encounter. The common items are listed below.

 

Truss

There are 3 different grades of truss used depending on the load the truss needs to support, namely heavy, medium and light duty truss. Triangle truss is typically light duty and box truss ranges from medium to heavy duty.

There are 2 main types of truss assembly used. Bolt truss gets its name because bolts secure pieces together. Spigot truss gets its name because spigots secure pieces together. Please note that bolt truss uses pins/spigots to align pieces...but the pieces are held together by bolts.

 

Triangle truss

Box truss

Circular Box Truss

Triangle spigot truss

Truss Cube/Universal junction box

Truss cubes allow truss pieces to be attached to any of the cube’s 6 sides.

 

Horizontal Truss Corner (2 way truss junction)

 

 

3 Way Truss junction

 

 

Spigot/Pin

You will encounter many varieties of pins and spigots. Which type of pin or spigot this generic term refers to depends on the task you are doing.

Spigots or pins used for bolt truss are simply short aluminium tubes which help align and strengthen truss joins.

Spigots are also attached to base plates to hold upright bars as well as to stands to hold lights, T bars and speakers

 

 

Pins/Spigots for bolt truss

Spigots & Clips for Spigot Truss

Base plate spigot with screw

Base plate with spigot

 

BBQ or Barbie plate

Circular floor plate used for mounting box and triangle truss in a vertical position.

 

 

Base plate

These are square floor plates on which a spigot is attached for supporting upright drape bars.

 

Shot bag/

Sand bag

A bag filled with sand used to add extra weight to floor plates and other stands. Used in situations that requires extra stability... especially outdoors where wind may be an issue.

 

Chain block

A manually operated chain hoist used to lift truss, rigging bars, flying speakers etc. When multiple chain blocks are to lift 1 item is used, it is vital to watch the speed of the other operators so that the item is elevated evenly.

 

Chain Motor

A motorised hoist used for lifting truss etc. It is operated via a motor control which can operate multiple motors simultaneously making it a bit easier to elevate items evenly.

Running out motors – before motors are disconnected and packed away, the motors are “run out”. This refers to the maximum drop length of chain the motor can have.

 

Motor Control

Chain motors can be individually controlled or controlled together via a motor controller. Most entertainment industry motor controllers control 8 motors per unit. Motor controllers can be linked to simultaneously move up to 48 chain motors.

The motors are connected via a cable to the back of the controller. At the front, there is a row of 8 toggle switches which are used for selecting the motors to be moved. There are 3 selections per toggle switch- up, down and off. There is also a phase reverse switch which inverts the toggle switch selections simultaneously.

The cannon EP4 connectors in the front are used for linking controllers together.

 

Front of an 8-Way Motor Controller

Back of an 8-Way motor controller

Shackle

A shackle is a link that normally attaches the hoist’s hook to a spanset.

 

Sling/ Strap or Span set

 

 

Lighting Truss example

In the picture on the right you can see how some of the components mentioned above are used together.

There is a chain motor attached to a span set via a shackle. The span set is wrapped around a width of box truss. You can also see some movers and multi-pars attached to the truss in the back-ground.

 

H Stands

These are floor stands usually used to support lighting fixtures

Barrel H Stand

Standard H Stand

Sticks/Trees/

Stands

Terms describing tripod stands that can be used to support lighting, speakers, projectors etc. There are 2 main varieties. Push ups and winch ups.

 

Winch up or crank stand

 

Push up stand

T bar/Cross bar

A T shaped attachment normally used on a tripod stick for hanging lighting fixtures.

T- Bar

Stand with T-Bar

Dropper Bar

A bar normally attached onto a rigging bar in the roof. It is usually used to get below the ceiling boards so that projectors, speakers and lights can be hung.

 

Speaker on dropper bar

 

Clamps/ Couplers/ Cheeseborogh

 

Half Coupler

Snap or Trigger Clamp

Swivel Clamp

Lighting Hook Clamp

Outrigger

Outriggers are normally attached near the base of vertically orientated truss to add extra stability.

 

 

Diagonal Truss Brace

 

 

Truss Suspension Bracket

Normally used to get truss as close to the ceiling as possible in venues with low ceilings.

 

Towerlift stands

Four legged stands with outriggers designed for medium/heavy duty applications.

 

Flybar

Flybars are used to hang speakers from. The term “flying” the speakers is commonly used. Shackles are placed either in the centre or corner holes and then hooked to a chain motor or chain block so the speakers can be elevated.

 

EAW KF730 Flybar

 

 Flown Speaker Array – note the shackles and chain motors.

Hinges

Many speaker manufacturers use hinges and pins for vertical line arrays. A hinge is a metal tube with holes in it which is used to attach one speaker to another. The hinge slides from one speaker box to the other and is fastened by a pin. There are various holes in the hinge are used to create different speaker angles.

 

 

Quick Lock pin/

Quick release pin/ ball pin

Often just called a “pin”. These pins have a button on the handle which when pushed retracts the balls so that the pin can be inserted or removed from the speaker’s hinges.

 

U – bracket/ yoke / U-frame

U-brackets or yolks are often used with dropper bars to fly speakers.

Yolks are commonly used on lighting fixtures. Hook clamps and half couplers are often attached to lighting yolks for hanging purposes.

 

 

 

Safety cable

A safety cable is commonly seen in lighting. It is a steel cable with a loop or eye on one end and a safety hook on the other. It normally attaches the light’s yolk or the light’s casing to the lighting bar or truss.

 

 

AUDIO

Speaker cable

Speaker cables can have many types of connectors. The important aspect to remember is that speaker cable has different impedance to ordinary microphone cable and is used to connect a passive speaker to an amp or to loop to passive speakers together.

 

Speakon

Speakon is a brand by Nuetrik and is short for speaker connector. They come in 3 main types, NL2, NL4 and NL8. The higher the NL number, the heavier duty the connector is.

 

NL 2

A speakon connector with 2 poles internally

 

NL 4

A speakon connector with 4 poles internally

 

NL 8

A speakon connector with 8 poles internally. It looks like the NL4 but bigger.

 

Active Speaker

Powered speakers (or active speakers) are speakers that have built-in amplifiers and hence can be connected directly to the output of a mixing console or sound source. Active speakers use standard audio cables to their inputs, not speaker cable. They can easily be identified because they need power cables.

 

 

Passive Speaker

 

A passive speaker (or unpowered speaker) does not have a built in amplifier and is connected to an external amplifier via a speaker cable.

 

The back of a passive speaker looks much simpler. The opposite image shows 2 speakon connections, one is normally connected to an amp; the other can be used to loop out to another speaker.

 

Amp

An amplifier, or simply amp, is any device that increases the amplitude of a signal. In audio, amps drive speakers.

 Amplifiers can be built into speakers (active speakers) and mixing consoles (powered mixers). They can also be in a standalone rack mountable version.

 

Amp  Rack

 

 

The amp rack is normally situated on the stage end of the venue. The majority of the speakers are on the stage end thus making connections to monitors, side fills and mains easier.

FOH

Front of house (abbreviated FOH) is referring to the portion of the building that is open to the public. It typically refers to the auditorium and foyer (pre-function area), as opposed to the stage and backstage areas.

FOH lighting , sound & vision operators  and equipment are normally positioned either within the audience area or on the edge of the audience area.

The front of house speakers are the main speakers that cover the audience, and the front of house desk is the mixing console that's used to mix the audio for the audience.

In stage lighting, any lighting fixtures that are on the audience side of the stage are referred to as being FOH.

FOH Audio Ops

FOH Rack

FOH rack is placed where the operator who is mixing the audio for the audience is situated.

The front of house rack can contain audio equipment such as graphic equalisers, compressors, effects processors, expanders, gates, limiters, CD players, radio MIC receivers, power conditioners etc.

Accessories or drawers case.

 Normally located in FOH ops area and normally contains small items, like tape, CDs, joiners, barrels, sex-changers, patch cables, barrel converters, markers etc.

 

Stage Plot

A Stage Plot is a visual representation of how things are set up on the stage. Such things are shown as drummer location, guitar amp placement, placement of monitor wedges, stage power requirements.

 Enlarge Image

Channel list

A channel list is a document that indicates what multi-core channel numbers are to be used for each instrument on the list. It can contain microphone, DI, microphone stand and processing information.

Enlarge Image

Barrels/

Joiners/

Couplers

 

There are many varieties of these, but the term normally refer to an adapter that has the same connector type and gender on each end (such as Speakon), but can also refer to opposite genders in some situations.

 

Speakon joiners

 

Stereo or TRS jack joiner

 

Adaptors /

Converters

There are many varieties of these, but normally refer to an adapter that has different connector types on either end (example - male XLR to TRS 6.5 mm Jack). Sex-changers and joiners also fit into this category.

 

6.5mm jack to 3.5mm Jack

6.5 mm jack to RCA

Sex changers/

Turn-arounds/

Gender bender

Many cables tend to have the same genders on either end, but canon type cables (like EPs and XLRs) tend to have a male end and a female end. Sex changing is most commonly referred to in the context of XLR cables and is used when you want a male XLR to become a female XLR or vice versa.

 

Female to female XLR barrel

Male to male XLR barrel

Y-splits/

Splitters

Y splitters are used to split signal. There are 2 main categories. One category splits a stereo connector’s signals in to Left and Right, and the other category splits a mono signal so that the same signal can be routed to different devices. Please note that you should never merge audio signals with the  latter mentioned  Y cable (merge only with mixing desks)  as the extra  impedance load placed on the output devices can cause equipment  damage.

Male XLR to Female XLR Y-split

RCA/

Phono/

Cinch

RCA connectors are commonly used in both professional and consumer audio and vision products for carrying signal. The name RCA came from Radio Corporations of America who introduced the design in the 1940s.

RCA connectors are often colour coded and colours have different meanings depending on whether they are used for audio or video.

RCA Plugs

RCA Sockets

XLR/

Cannon

Cannon Electric where the original manufactures of XLR or Cannon plugs. As Cannon’s “X” series of connectors evolved, a Latch ("Cannon XL") and then a Rubber compound surrounding the contacts was added leading to the abbreviation XLR.

There are many different types of XLRs. The most common being the XLR3M (3 pin male) and XLR3F (3 pin female) connectors widely used in the audio and lighting fields.

Lighting also use XLR5s (5 pin connectors) to carry DMX data.

XLRs have numerous pin configurations.

EP and AP connectors

Cannon made many series of connectors. The “P” series is a much bigger plug which also has a variety of pin configurations like the smaller XLRs. They have largely been replaced by other connector types but are still used by some manufacturers for speaker connectors. EP connectors have metal sleeve sand AP connectors have plastic sleeves.

As with XLR, EP4 stands for an EP connector with 4 pins. The letters M and F are used to indicate male and female gender.

EP4F plug

EP6M plug

Jacks

In audio, the phone jack connector (derived from old telephone switchboards) is widely used and is commonly called a jack.

There are 3 main sizes which are named by their diameters.

6.5mm (or ¼ inch),

3.5mm (or mini-jack),

2.5mm (or sub-mini-jack).

Jacks have either 2 or 3 metal contacts. A jack with 2 contacts is called a Tip-Sleeve (TS) or mono jack and a jack with 3 contacts is a Tip-Ring-Sleeve (TRS) or stereo jack.

 

Insert cable

Inserts are most commonly in jack format, but may also be XLRs. They are normally in Y-split format. It is usually 2 6.5mm TS jacks on one end and 1 6.5 mm TRS jack on the other. These cables are used to insert external processors (like compressors or EQ) into a mixing desk’s channels, groups or masters. Jack insert cables can also be used to split a stereo signal that is being outputted on a TRS jack into a separate left and right on each of the cable’s TS jacks.

 

The send TS jack goes to the processor’s input and the return TS jack goes into the processor’s output. The TRS jack is inserted into an input labelled “insert” on the mixing desk.

 

Jack insert cable

TRS Jack to XLR insert cable

PC audio cable

This cable is in a Y format and is a TRS 3.5mm (or mini jack) to 2x TS 6.5mm jacks.

The mini jack is plugged into the computer’s headphone outs and then into a DI box which buffers the computer’s output impedance so that the signal can be accepted by the mixing console’s MIC inputs.

 

DI Box

 

A Direct Injection (DI) box is an impedance buffering device that allows signals from unbalanced hi-impedance devices (such as Electric guitars, Basses) and line level devices (such as Keyboards and CD players) to be accepted into a mixing console’s low impedance balanced MIC inputs.

BSS DI

Whirlwind DI

Impedance

In simple terms... impedance is the load that one circuit places on another. For audio devices to sound good, the load of the input device should be as close as possible to what the load the output device requires. For example... a line level output device of 1k? would require a 10k? input load.

There are 3 main impedance categories for audio devices.

  •  Hi impedance devices such as basses and electric guitars.
  • Line level devices such as CD players and keyboards.
  • Low impedance devices – microphones

DI boxes help buffer the loads of Hi and Line level impedance devices so that they can be plugged into mic inputs.

 

MIC

Short for microphone. It is simply a sensor that converts sound into an electrical signal.

There are many categories and sub categories of microphones. The most common being the dynamic microphones and condenser microphones and their sub-categories.

Microphones can be wired (requires a cable) or wireless (where the microphone is the transmitter and requires a receiver.)

 

Radio mic/

Wireless mic

All terms used to describe a microphone where the signal is transmitted via radio waves to a receiver which is normally then plugged into a mixing console.

  • Handheld looks like a 'normal' wired microphone, but may have a bigger body to accommodate the transmitter and battery pack.
  • Plug-on or cube-style transmitters attach to the bottom of a standard microphone, thus converting it to wireless operation.
  • Body pack is a small box housing the transmitter and battery pack, but not the microphone itself. It is attachable to belt or elsewhere and has a wire going to headset, lapel microphone or a guitar.

Handhelds

Plug-on transmitter

Body-pack transmitter

SM58

Or simply “58”. Is the most well known and robust of the dynamic microphones manufactured by Shure. They are mainly used for vocals.

Beta 58

Another popular dynamic microphone by Shure used mainly on vocals.

 

SM57

Made by Shure and commonly called a “57”. Normally used to mic up snare drums, percussion, brass instruments and guitar amps.

 

Gooseneck

Gooseneck mics are used for speaking and are used on lecterns and on tables. They have a flexible body that can easily be adjusted by the speaker. The most popular gooseneck mics are the Shure 412 (12 inches long) and Shure 418 (18 inches long) which are both condensers and require phantom power to work.

The following terms used commonly refer to goose necks:

  • “412” or “418”
  • Table mic
  • Lectern mic

                

Lectern mic                 Table mic

SM81

The Shure SM81 is a condenser microphone and is an industry standard microphone for applications involving acoustic instruments, especially guitar, piano, and cymbals.

It requires phantom power to work.

 

 

D112

The D112 is made by AKG and is the most popular dynamic kick drum microphone in the world. It is also sometimes used on bass amps and trombones.

 

Phantom power

Phantom power is a method of sending DC electrical power through microphone cables to operate microphones that contain active electronic circuitry. It is often used as a power source for condenser microphones and active DI boxes.

Phantom power supplies are often built into mixing desks and microphone preamplifiers. It is typically 48 Volts, but can also be as low as 12 Volts.

 

 

Mixing Console

In audio a mixing console (AKA - audio mixer, mixer, mixing desk, desk or soundboard) is an electronic device for combining, routing, and changing the level, timbre and/or dynamics of audio signals. Example... a 32 Channel mixer can modify 32 different audio signals and combine them into 1 channel if required.

There are 2 main types of mixing desks analog and digital. In simple terms, an analog desk manipulates directly the voltages of inputted signals, while a digital desk manipulates the digitised versions of the inputted signals voltages.

 

Digico D5 digital desk in FOH position

Yamaha M7 Digital Mixer

Midas Heritage – Analog Console

EQ

When our customers refer to an “EQ” they normally referring to a graphic equalizer unit. There are, however, many types of equalization units. Equalizers or EQs are used to alter frequencies of a sound for correction and/or artistic purposes.

The DBX iEQ31 and DBX 1231 31 band graphic equalizers are the most popular EQs used by our customers.

 

DBX iEQ31

DBX 1231

MIC Stands

There are many types of mic stands. They normally have a mic clip attached to them for securing the microphone. The most common are:-

  • Boom MIC stands – which are usually used to hold microphones for instruments or vocalists who are also playing instruments during the performance. They commonly have a tripod base for added stability.
  • Round based uprights or straights which are used for vocalists.
  • Short boom stands which are used for drum mics and guitar amp mics.
  • Rim mounted mic stands which are used for drums and some percussion instruments.

                              

Boom Stand                    Round Base Upright

                     

Short Boom Stand      Rim Mount Stand

 

MIC Clips

 

             

Peg MIC Clip          Standard Rubber Clip

          

Radio MIC Clip       Shock-mount/Suspension Cradle

Multi-core

There are 2 types of audio multi-cores (also known as a "snake", a "multi", or a “core”).

  • An analog multi-core is a compact, thick cable, which contains from 4 to 56 individual shielded pair microphone cables all housed in a single rugged, heavy-duty common outer jacket.
  • A digital multi-core is much thinner than an analog multi-core and can be an Ethernet (CAT5) cable or fibre optic cable.

Multi-cores are commonly used to send audio signal from the stage to FOH, and also send FOH signals back to stage.

The stage end has a box with numbered input and output channels (usually in XLR format) called a stage box, break-out box or splitter box. The end of an analog multi-core where the individual channel cables “fan out” is called the tail and it generally goes at the mixing desk end. Tails are used for patching and can have a combination of male XLRs, female XLRs and/or TRS connectors.

Digital multi-cores can have a FOH box (normally used if FOH mixer is analog - otherwise they can plug directly into a digital desk), which has the opposite gender sockets to the stage box. With a digital core, the stage box converts the analog signal to digital, and FOH box converts the digital audio back to analog.

Analog Multi-Core

Digital multi with stage & FOH boxes

Wedges/

Fold back/

Monitors

Speakers that are placed on the floor of the stage facing the performer so they can monitor their performance better. They are normally wedge shaped so that the sound can be directed from the floor to the performer’s head.

Usually stage wedges are configured so that each performer on stage can have their own mix though the monitor assigned to them.

In-ear Monitors

In ear monitors are also referred to as “in-ears”.  It normally refers to wireless head-phone type set-up. The performer wears a belt-pack (or body-pack) receiver where the in-ear head phones are plugged into. The transmitter is normally located at the monitor desk or FOH desk (location depends on where monitor mixes are being created from).

A wired type in-ear monitor (often used by drummers and stationary performers) also has a belt pack, but this belt pack is a head-phone pre-amp which is connected via a cable to the stage box.

Wireless in-ear monitor system

Wired in-ear monitor system

Front-fills

Front-fills are audience facing speakers placed on stage to “fill in” the lack of sound volume near the front of the stage that results from the left and right speakers being situated at opposite ends of the stage.

 

Front-fill on stage

Side-fills

Stage Side fills are monitors that sit upright on the side of the stage and are used to reinforce sound to the areas on stage not covered by the floor monitors. Side fill monitors can be the same type of speakers used for FOH purposes.

FOH side-fills (or side throws) refer to smaller audience facing speaker stacks (can also be arrays) on either side of the stage angled left and right in relation to the forward facing FOH speakers.

 

Stage side fill on a stick.

Drum-fill/

Drum Monitor

A drum monitor or drum-fill is a variant of the stage side-fill but is dedicated to the drummer.

 

 

Subs

Sub-woofers (often called woofers, subs or bass bins) are speakers typically between 8" and 21" in diameter, which are dedicated to the reproduction of low frequencies or "bass".

 

Vision

Vision refers to the skills and knowledge surrounding setting up and operating video devices. Video source devices are typically cameras, computers, VCRs, portable digital media players (like iPods) and DVD & blu ray players. The signals from the source devices are usually fed into switcher or vision mixer which allows the operator to control what images are sent to TVs, projectors and monitors.

 

Video

Video is the technology of electronically capturing, recording, processing, storing, transmitting, and reconstructing a sequence of still images (or pictures) representing scenes in motion. The term video refers to several formats for moving pictures. Examples of digital video formats are Blu-ray Disc, DVD, QuickTime, AVI, DIVX and MPEG-4. Examples of analog video formats are PAL and NTSC which are normally stored on magnetic tapes (examples being VHS and Betamax)

 

Vision Switcher/

Vision Mixer

Also called video switcher, video mixer or production switcher. It is a device used to select between several different video sources and in some cases mix video sources together and add special effects. This is similar to what a mixing console does for audio.

 

FSR Compass Switcher

Edirol LVS800 Pro Vision Mixer

Scaler

A video scaler is a device for converting video signals from one size or resolution to another without changing the image shape. Scaling may be required when the image size does not fit the display device.

"Up-scaling" or "up-converting" is the term given for converting a video signal from a low resolution (e.g. standard definition) to one of higher resolution (e.g. high definition TV).

 

Video scalers can be a stand-alone unit, but are commonly embedded in:

  • Computer monitors
  • Televisions
  • Video editing and broadcasting equipment (such as switchers & mixers)
  • Other audio/visual devices

Kramer VP419XL Scaler

Scan Converter

Scan converters perform down-scaling of high resolution computer video graphics and HD video to low resolution PAL and NTSC video.

 

Kramer VP701XL Scan Converter

VDA/

Video Distribution Amplifier

Commonly referred to as a “DA” or a “Video Splitter”. It is an amplifier for strengthening the video signal so that it can be supplied to multiple video display devices (such as monitors, projectors and TVs) simultaneously.

 

FSR VGA Video Splitter

Video Extenders

Referred to by Staging Connections as“Magenta”. Magenta is actually the name of the company that manufactures the video extenders used by Staging Connections.

Video Extenders allow you to send one or more video streams between source devices (such as a vision switcher) and output devices (such as a projector). Video extenders are recommended for sending video signals over long distances. VGA over Ethernet (Cat5/Cat6 etc) is the most commonly used video extender format. Video extenders work by using a transmitter box and a receiver box. The transmitter will send the VGA signal over a CAT5 cable to the receiver which converts it back to VGA. Video extenders can also be wireless.

Wireless Video Extender.

Magenta VGA to CAT5 Transmitter

Magenta CAT5 to VGA Receiver

VGA

“Video Graphics Array”.

 

A VGA cable normally refers to a cable with 2 male DB-15 (15 pin high density D-Sub) connectors on either end.

The VGA (DB-15) connector can be used for all the screen resolutions depicted on the left.

 

 

VGA port

Male VGA connector

 

 

 

 

BNC

The BNC (Bayonet Neill-Concelman) connector is a very common type of RF connector (a connector designed to work with radio frequencies) and are used for carrying both analog and digital video signals. The BNC connector, being an RF connector, is commonly used for attaching antennae for wireless devices (such as radio mics).

 

BNC to BNC cable

BNC Component Video Cable

Component Video

Component video is a video signal that has been split into two or more components. The most common component formats are RGB (Red, Green, and Blue), RGBS (red, green, blue, and sync), RGBHV (red, green, blue, horizontal sync, vertical sync).

 

Composite

Video

A single video signal cable that combines brightness and colour information. Usually uses RCA connectors.

Composite video plugs and ports are often coloured yellow.

S-Video

Separate Video (S-video) is also called Y/C and is an analog video signal that carries video data as two separate signals: luma (luminance) and chroma (colour). This differs from composite video, which carries picture information as a single lower-quality signal, and component video, which carries picture information as three or more separate higher-quality signals. S-Video carries standard definition video (typically at 480i or 576i resolution).

S-Video plug

DVI

The Digital Visual Interface (DVI) is a video interface standard that provides a very high visual quality on digital display devices like flat panel TVs, computer displays and digital projectors. It is designed for carrying uncompressed digital video data to a display. It is partially compatible with the High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) standard in digital mode (DVI-D), and VGA in analog mode (DVI-A).

 

DVI Connector

DVI Port

HDMI

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is a compact audio/video interface for transmitting uncompressed digital data. It represents a digital alternative to consumer analog standards, such as composite video, S-Video, component video, VGA etc. HDMI connects digital audio/video sources (such as set-top boxes, Blu-ray Disc players, personal computers, video game consoles and AV receivers) to compatible digital audio devices, computer monitors, and digital televisions.

CAT5/

Ethernet Cable

Category 5 (CAT5) cable is a twisted pair high signal integrity cable. (The twisted pair design is for noise rejection). A CAT5 cable often has an 8P8C (8 Position 8 Contact) plug on each end used for Ethernet based computer networks... hence a CAT5 cable is also called an Ethernet cable.

CAT5 cables are commonly used for linking video extender transmitters and receivers.

CAT5 cable with 8P8C connectors

Video adapters and joiners

 

DVI to HDMI adapter

 

VGA Coupler

VGA to S-video and RCA composite

VGA to BNC Tails

S-Video joiner

 

BNC to RCA adaptors

Flat Panel

These refer to flat panel TVs like plasmas, LCD s and LEDs.

 

CRT

Cathode Ray Tube – an out dated video display device that uses a vacuum tube containing an electron gun which illuminates a fluorescent screen by shooting electrons at it.

There are a few CRT preview monitors still in use.

CRT broadcast reference/preview monitor

Screens

 

 

Fast fold screen with and without drape

Tripod screen

Fold back monitor

A vision fold back monitor (VFM) is a display device (typically a computer monitor or Flat Panel TV) facing a presenter/ speaker on stage so that they know what images are being displayed to the audience. They can also be used back stage to keep waiting presenters or performers in the loop.

                                  

VFM on stand                 VFM on Plinth

 

Angled floor VFMs

 

Plasma/ LCD Stand

Plasma stand refers to any flat panel TV stand.

 

Cue monitor

Also called a preview monitor. Can be any display device (Computer monitor, Flat Panel or CRT TV, video reference monitors etc) used by the vision operator to preview video images before they are displayed to the audience.

Rack mounted LCD preview monitors

Program Monitor

A program monitor is a display device that shows the images being seen by the audience.

 

Projector

Refers to the technology of using a bright light and lens to portray and image on a screen. There are many types, slide projectors, overhead projectors, movie projectors and video projectors. The term “projector” in our industry generally refers to a video projector.

Video Projectors

Rear projection

Rear projection is where the projector is placed behind the screen. The image passes through the screen. Due to the light having to go through the screen, the projector needs to be more powerful to get the equivalent brightness of a lower powered projector projecting from the front.

Also you need to have sufficient space behind the screen for the projector to throw the image correctly. The image can be reflected off a mirror in limited space situations.

Rear projection screen are not the same as front projection screens as the light needs to pass through the screen. They are translucent.

 

 

Rear projection

 

Rear projection mirror

Front projection

With front projection, the projector is placed on the same side as the audience. The light is reflected off a white screen.

The advantages are that the screen can be against the wall. Also, you do not need a powerful projector to get the same image intensity as rear projection.

Front projection screens are highly reflective and opaque.

 

 

Front projection

Projector setups

 In bigger venues (such as Crown Palladium, Grand Hyatt Mayfair, Sebel Albert Park Grand Ballroom) the projectors are usually dropped passed the ceiling on a dropper bar which is attached a rigging cross bar in the roof. Front projection is most common in this case

In smaller venues holding small conferences, projectors are often placed on a table in front of the screen (front projection).

With rear projection, the projector is normally on a stand behind the screen.

                              

Projector on Dropper Bar         Tripod Projector Stand

   

Projector on table              Rear projection stand                            

Video wall

A video wall consists of multiple adjoining computer monitors, LED panels, video projectors, or television sets tiled together or overlapped in order to form one large screen.

LED video walls are the brightest of the video walls and good for outdoor daylight applications.

Seamless Plasma Wall

Video Wall

LED Video Wall

Video Cameras

Video cameras capture moving images and are used for 2 purposes.

  1. Live broadcast – this means that the images are captured and transmitted in real time
  2. Recording – where images are stored for archiving or further processing. Common storage formats are videotape, optical disc media, hard disk, and flash memory. It common for an audio feed from the mixing console to be sent to a recording camera.
 

Roving Camera/

Hand-held Camera

A mobile camera that is held by the operator. Often used when capturing audience opinion. Can be wired or wireless.

Wired roving cameras are often accompanied by a “cable puller” (a person who ensures the cables to the camera does not get obstructed).

Roving cameras can also be placed on remote controlled robotic vehicles.

 

Camera Loom

A camera loom consists of a variety of different cables bound together for easier mobility, neatness and convenience. The cables within the loom can vary. The lengths of the looms also vary. Camera looms can contain the following cable varieties:

  • 240
  • Composite video (standard definition)
  • Audio – audio cables in the loom can be used for:  the operators com-set, the audio signal from the desk to the camera, the audio signal from the camera to the desk.
  • CAT5 (used with video extenders to transmit HD video formats)

Camera connected to a loom

Camera loom tails

Tripod

The most common type of camera stand.

Tripods have telescopic legs that allow the height of each leg to be increased or decreased. Some tripods have a telescopic section at the top that allows vertical raising or lowering of the camera. The camera is attached to the head of the tripod via a small detachable part called the base plate. There are many joints in the head that help the camera to be tilted or panned according to the requirement of the operator. A handle attached to the head allows adjustments to be made to the head without disturbing the camera attached to it. Some tripods have an integrated remote control on the handle that controls the camera and its functions.

Vision Plot

Shows the video devices and how they are connected. It also shows the types of video signal being used by the devices.

A vision plot can also be as detailed as a lighting plot showing a scale diagram with vision device locations.

 

Enlarge Image

Coaxial cable

Also called coax. A standard cable consisting of a central inner conductor and a cylindrical outer conductor.

 

SDI

Serial digital interface (SDI) refers to a family of video interfaces standardised by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE).

 

TV Resolutions

 

S&D

Set and Design (S&D) refers to the scenery being created for the event to create a mood. It refers to the whole disciplne from idea conception, design drawings, construction, installation and pack down. It can range from complicated movie set constructions to being as simple as putting flowers on a table.

 

Ops surround

This normally refers to a temporary construction that is errected around the FOH operators position to hide all the equipment, tables and cables. It is usually black drape, but can also be pieces of painted or carpeted rigid panels.

Drape wall/

Drape line

Drapes that are hung in order to hide some or all or the walls in a venue. Also used to create back stage areas for performers. Most commonly erected behind the stage.

Skirt

A short drape used to surround a stage. The top of the drape and stage edge both have velcro stips making attaching the skirt easy.

    

Drape Uprights/

Push-ups

 

In the” pipe and drape” system of creating a drape wall, the veritical pipe that is placed on the floor plate’ spigot is called an upright. They can be a fixed length, but are more commonly an adjustible (or telescopic) upright using a slip (or button) lock.

Upright with a slip lock on floor plate

Drape Crossbars

In the” pipe and drape” system of creating a drape wall, the horizontal bar that holds the drape is called a crossbar. The crossbar’s hooks slot into the slots of the uprights on each side. The crossbars can be a fixed or an adjustible telescopic type. Most drapes have a fabric tube where the crossbar is inserted. The velcro fastners are looped around the pipe and made as tight as possible to prevent the tops of the drape sagging.

Cable

Protector

Cable protectors have 2 functions. To provide safe passage for vehicles & pedestrians  to cross potentially hazardous cables and to protect cables in high traffic areas.

Thrust Stage

 

Proscenium stage

Proscenium stage got its name from a large arch, the proscenium arch, through which the audience viewed the performance. Many modern proscenium stages no longer have the arch. A proscenium stage nowadays refers to a stage where the audience directly faces the stage and views only one side of the scene.

Stage directions

House right/left are from the audience's perspective

 

Portable staging

Portable stages consist of modular stage pieces and are quick to assemble. There are many varieities. Some fold up, some have extendable legs, some have wheels. The modular pieces are attached together to create the desired size and layout.

Stanchions

A form of crowd control. A rope, belt or chain is connected between stanchions to create the barrier. Stanchions are sometimes called “bollards”. Tenser barriers.

   

Stanchions & Rope              Belt Stanchions

Ratchet Strap

 

Lecky

Electrical Insulation tape (electrical tape or insulation tape). It can be made of many plastics, but vinyl is most popular; it stretches well and gives an effective and long lasting insulation. In the AV industry it is  mostly used for preventing rolled cables from unravelling, securing cables to truss etc., labeling equipment and labeling cables. It comes in a variety of colours.

Gaffer Tape

Also known as gaffer's tape, gaff tape or gaffa tape. It is a strong, tough, cotton cloth pressure sensitive tape approximatly 5cm wide that adheres strongly but, if done carefully, can be removed cleanly. It is used in the entertainment industry for live performances and any other kind of stage work.

The most common use for gaffer tape is securing cables to stage floor or other surfaces, either for safety or to keep them out of view of the audience or camera.It is also used whenever a quick ad-hoc fix is required, from temporarily attaching fixtures or props, to salvaging a broken piece of production equipment.

It is also widely used by audio-visual departments in hotels and conference centers for holding down wires to podiums and stages.

The tape is manufactured in many colors, including fluorescent and custom colors, but the most common variety is matte black. A matte finish keeps the tape from reflecting light so the tape blends in with the typical stage floor. It is easily torn by hand so no cutting tools are necessary.

It is named for the gaffer, the head of the lighting department on a film crew. When cables are taped down on a stage or other surface, either for safety or to keep them out of view of the audience or camera,they are said to be gaffed or gaffered.

 

Tabbing/

Tacking/

Train Tracking

Generally refers to a technique of gaffing that uses short pieces of gaff placed at various intervals along a cable to secure it to the floor or other surfaces. Tabbing is normally used to make the cables look neat and is used when cables are not a trip hazard to pedestrians.

 

Taping down cables

Taping down cables normally refers to long strips of gaff tape running along the length of the cable to prevent them from moving or being tripped over by pedestrians.

 

Labelling

Labelling of equipment and cables is normally done with strips of light coloured lecky that can be written on with marking pen (often refered to as a “Sharpie” or “texter”). Cables are normally labled at each of the plug or connector ends.

For labelling on a floor, it is better to use gaff tape.

 

Hazard tape/ Danger Tape

Strips of striped gaff tape (normally black and yellow) that is used to bring attention to a potential hazzard especially in low light conditions. Commonly used on steps and protruding tripod legs etc.

White gaff tape is also commonly used to draw attention to potential hazards.

      

 Can't find what you're looking for? Add a comment and we'll add it.

Comments

really helpful....