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Tech Specs and Stage Plots

What you need to provide and how best to provide it

The information you send out to venues, production companies or just the couple who book you for their wedding is really important.

It’s good to have an up to date list of requirements that can help make the gig go smoothly, and make the ‘get in’ and sound check less stressful.

Here’s some advice on putting together a tech spec before an event, when to send it, what to include in it, and other technical aspects of your performance that you should consider before a gig.

Tech spec basics

  • Make sure it’s up-to-date and relevant to the specific event – don’t just reuse an old spec and then try to improvise it on the night.
  • Send it in early – most sound engineers prep in advance to respect your performance, give them the time to get things right.
  • Keep it to what ‘you’ genuinely need. Don’t get distracted by the venue’s PA equipment or the number of db at FOH position.
  • If you have any access requirements make the venue and the production team aware.

What to include

  • Include a Channel Listing and Stage-Plot in your tech spec, including names of musicians, their instruments and where they are positioned on stage.
  • The tech spec should include specifics such as where DI input, XLR or +48v phantom power are required.
  • State your preferred microphone – the actual mic used may be down to the venue, but if you highlight what has worked well for you in the past, it’s a start.
  • Highlight if you need a mic stand and whether short or tall boom, straight or overhead.
  • If you need 13a power, an ‘in-ears’ mix feed or a monitor, put it on the stage plot and highlight the requirement.

Setting up for the gig

  • Take responsibility for all the equipment you intend to take. This includes making sure it is fully working, regularly inspected and PAT tested.
  • A vocalist should have his or her own microphone – for sound reasons, and hygiene reasons too.
  • Make sure you have your cables, Pro audio engineers work with XLR audio cables, Musicians mostly work with 1/4" jack cables – take your own, treat them well, coil them nicely and they will last longer.
  • Know the sound engineer’s name, take a few minutes to walk them through your set and highlight any areas for extreme ambience or effects that may be needed.
  • Talk to the sound engineer about your monitor mix and do not assume they are hearing what you are hearing.

This sample of a more detailed Tech Spec from Steven Wright of Candy Apple Blue can give you an idea of the sort of things you should be including.

For further information on setting up for a gig, please contact your Regional Office.

This information produced with advice kindly provided by Chris Webster of AML Group.

Related downloads

Example Tech Spec (PDF 484.27 bytes file opens in new window)