Source two stage plans/plots and compare/contrast their differences in set ups and create a “How To” guide on creating a stage plot and post to your portfolio – this can take any form you wish.
Here are two very different stage plots, one for a fairly established band with multiple instruments and one for a singer/songwriter using only two instruments.
The main difference between the two stage plots is the size of each set up. AM/FM have multiple guitars, keyboards and drums, a bass guitar, multiple vocals all going through a mixture of DI boxes and microphones whereas Cara Luft has two instrument DIs and two microphones.
Another difference is found in how detailed each stage plot is. AM/FM have more instruments, more monitors and more microphones so are required to give a more detailed account of how all the parts come together to make a whole. Cara Luft’s setup is a lot smaller and less complicated so a higher level of detail isn’t really necessary.
There’s also the information provided outside of the plots representation of the stage. For example, AM/FM give notes on delay times and for vocals and the overall mix for bass. Cara’s setup includes information like ‘warm, big tone’ for her guitar and instructions to not ‘ride the faders’ during her performance.
Finally, AM/FM give the sound technicians all the information on the microphones, stands, monitors and DI boxes they use which is a massive amount more than Cara uses. Cara does, however, provide the sound technician with the models of microphone she uses and lets them know that she doesn’t supply her own DI boxes.
How to Make a Stage Plan
Ensure that every musician’s place on stage is accounted for. A typical set up would involve drums being towards the rear of the stage, the guitarist and bassist being to the left and right respectively and the singer in the middle. Importantly, any raised platforms should also be noted.
Make sure that the correct style of microphone is used for each job and take into consideration the best microphone placement for each musician.
Make sure all amplifiers are noted, checking that every instrument that requires amplification has an amplifier.
Consider the use of stage monitors, placement and who needs them. Typically this would be one monitor per person but more can be added if required.
Make sure that there is enough space for the musicians to play effectively and without obstruction from other musicians.
Finally, take into consideration the safety of the stage plan, making changes where necessary if a proposed plan would risk the health of any band member or the audience.