XI- Sound:

• Designing sound is a crucial part of any theatrical production because it helps to intensify and clarify the conflict of the play. Sound also increases the sensory perceptions that the audience receives while viewing the play.
• Sound is often a very useful technique for those scenes that are not working well. WHEN IN DOUBT, ADD MUSIC.
• This part of the process usually occurs 2 or 3 weeks prior to the performance. Sound has to be designed and recorded on to the tapes before rehearsals in the performance space begin. Rehearsals in the performance spaces are precious, and this time should be reserved for those things that can only be done in the theater.
• Additional equipment for special occasions may be rented from Cornell Productions. The number is included in the general contact sheet in the production section of this manual.

A. Duties of the Sound Designer:
• Read the play and talk to the director about the concept for the play. The director should suggest styles and give examples of the types of music that suits the production. Make a list of the sound cues mentioned in the text and of those that you might want to add .
• Attend rehearsals and take notes of those areas where you would like to add sound cues. Meet with the director and discuss these cues along with those mentioned in the text. Decide on which sound cues will actually be done and talk about possible sound/ musical options for these.
• The sound designer then needs to select music /sound effects for each of the cues. Once they have been approved by the director, record all of the cues on to tapes.
I strongly discourage sound designers from using CD’s , since it is harder to cue up CD’s than tapes. Generally it takes a couple of seconds for a CD to start while tapes can be easily cued up.
• Prepare a cue sheet (like the sample sheet enclosed) before rehearsals in the theater begin. Assign a letter to each of the cues to avoid confusion with the cues for the lights, which will be assigned numbers.

Rehearsals in the theater:
• The sound designer must be present at all of the rehearsals in the theater. Please stay until the very end of the rehearsals. Notes are as important to the designers as they are to the actors.
• The first rehearsal in the performance space is a spacing rehearsal. The set designer will put the set in place and will make any necessary adjustments. If there is any time left, the actors will then proceed to rehearse the play, taking into account any new spacing needs and concerns.
• While this is going on, the sound designer is supposed to be cueing up the tapes, setting up the volume levels for each of the cues, and writing them down on the cue sheet. The sound designer will need to communicate through headsets with an assistant sitting in the audience who will help him/her to set the appropriate volume levels.
• Once the lights have been focused and recorded on to the computer the director or the stage manager will indicate lights and sound designers to get ready for the cue to cue.
• In a cue to cue rehearsal, communication between all areas of design is crucial. The stage manager (or a person backstage), the director (normally sitting in the audience), and the lights and sound designers (in their respective booths) must all have headsets to facilitate communication. The sound and lighting designer will then go over all of the cues as they occur in the play. The director will then indicate to them any necessary adjustments in the intensity, volume, duration, etc. of the cues. Ideally, the designers must program these changes right away into their computers until the cues have been properly set. Actors will repeat their cues to the designers (if needed) so that they can run them until they have been perfected.
• As many run through rehearsals as possible must be held after this point in order to make sure that the designers know the cues and understand them.
The sound designer needs to take into account:
1-) The volume of each cue.
2-) Cue to fade in the sound effect and cue to fade it out.
3-) If the cue fades in/out gradually or if the cue happens abruptly.
• Generally there is music when the audience comes into the theater. There are two basic ways of doing this: a-) either having the music already on as the audience walks in or b-) by turning the music on as the House Lights (Lights in the audience) start fading to the 50% level.
However, these are only options. Deciding how the cues actually happen is the decision of the director and the sound designer.