Asked to work for free – Ethical?

As a freelance technician/ Designer I rely on clients for my income. Now this is important during the busy part of the year in Adelaide. We have a multitude of shows. So everybody is looking for crew, designers etc., to work their shows. But it seems that some folks have decided that maybe they can replace these folk with students, volunteers. This includes some well know producers/companies. I understand trying to keep the costs of a production to the minimum. This makes it difficult for those that charge money to make a living. Bills need to be paid and food bought. The quality of service is often related to the price charged. You get what you paid for.

What can be also rather annoying is as a freelance paid professional you are asked for a quote to design/operate their and they client then states that they are looking for a student/volunteer and do I know one. This happened a couple of years ago. Was not happy about this. IT still seems to happen still, not just where I work but at other venues. The other classic you might get asked to operate for nothing as they forgot to include it their budget, they did not realise that is was not included in venue hire etc. They obviously did not read the terms and conditions or have a vague understanding of what is involved in putting a show together. To forget to budget really is rather a sad state of affairs and you wonder what other skills are they missing. It often starts with the statement “we only need the lights come up at the beginning and go down at the end, you sure you cannot pop in to help for an hour……………….each night for 2 weeks” Or they expect a staff member who is onsite to do the job -an usher, bar person, venue manager.

Some companies need to understand that to get the level of expertise you need you have to pay a reasonable fee. The professional will have the knowledge and expertise to solve problems on the spot – will the student/Volunteer necessarily have that knowledge, will they have the commitment if the are not seeing any money at the end.

Some say it will look good on your resume, you will gain new skills (which you wont if you are not being training at the same time), this does not put food on the table or pay the bills. If you are presenting a professional piece of theatre, with professional talent you need to pay for professional technicians etc to make the dream come alive for the audience.

Not all fringe type productions are like this, this is a small minority. But this attitude is not good and those people that step up to these roles do not realise that the maybe damaging the industry. If you undersell yourself, everybody then starts to expect a low or free rate. We seen this happen in the production equipment hire industry, let it not happen in the freelance tech industry. There are even those that have other day jobs in the “real” world that seem happy to undercut or do it for nothing – stop it. Charge a decent fee.

Also a big thank you to the productions that seem very happy to pay reasonable fees and don’t complain. We appreciate you, you often make our lives easier. To the others there is training available in budgeting and production.

Mad Adelaide Time

It is that time of the year in Adelaide. People have to much choice in entertainment. But it also means that venues, technical staff, suppliers are stretched to the limit. We have equipment going to pop up venues, traditional venues. Basically anywhere a show is there is bound to be some gear from a hire company. Technicians are rigging, focusing and making magic for people from around the world. So what is happening? Adelaide Festival of Arts, Adelaide Fringe, WOMADelaide and Clipsal 500. This is the busiest time in Adelaide, you can just tell as a visitor, the streets are crowded the traffic is nightmare. The only problem is those involved in a lot of the shows actually don’t get a chance to see what others are doing. There are shows at the same time each evening and if like me, the techs at least have to be at the venue 7 days a week for the entire Fringe. So unfortunately techs and other creatives don’t get a chance to see what others are doing. We don’t get a chance to learn from others and get inspiration.

So you can see that people are being keep busy and making money. Well we hope there are, there is a couple of cases of producers getting students in to operate shows for nothing or well under a decent pay rate for an experienced technician. Lets hope this not a common practice. Everybody is presenting professional events and therefore needs to pay accordingly to their crew, cast etc.

But here’s to the success of all of the events in Mad March.


Unparalleled sound quality and intuitive setup and operation for conference rooms

At this year’s ISE, held February 7 – 10 in Amsterdam, Shure introduces the IntelliMix® P300 Audio Conferencing Processor, a new digital signal processor created specifically for conferencing applications. The P300 offers Shure IntelliMix DSP algorithms that significantly enhance the audio quality in video meetings, a variety of connectivity options, plus seamless operation with Shure Microflex® Advance™ and Microflex® Wireless microphone solutions for AV conferencing.

Team collaboration in the modern agile workplace has expanded from purpose-built videoconferencing rooms to impromptu meetings held in flexible workspaces throughout the office, but premium audio processors – and the programming and setup they require – are not always cost-effective for these rooms. The IntelliMix P300 is a compact, simple to install solution providing professional conferencing technology that offers just the right set of features to create a highly intelligible, collaborative meeting experience in these spaces.

The new processor connects up to eight Dante microphone channels to a room video system, USB soft codec, or mobile device. Each channel supports multiple IntelliMix DSP features, including Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC), Noise Reduction, and Automatic Gain Control, plus best-in-class automatic mixing. These features provide full duplex communication for echo and noise free meetings.

The fixed architecture provides simple and intuitive setup, resulting in less DSP programming and commissioning time onsite. The USB connectivity enables the P300 to be used with common soft codec programs such as Skype and BlueJeans, while the 3.5 mm connector means anyone on a mobile phone or tablet can easily bring any remote participant into the conversation. Its compact half-rack footprint enables discrete installation behind a display, under a table, or in a credenza.

“Great audio should not be reserved for boardrooms- it should be in every room,” said Paul Gunia, Product Manager at Shure. “The Microflex Advance and Microflex Wireless product lines are the most innovative microphones on the market. We strove to develop a powerful yet simple to configure DSP that complements our networked microphone systems. A conference room designed with Microflex and an IntelliMix P300 processor will provide our customer a full Shure audio solution, without requiring extensive program training or installation considerations. Now any size room can fully support a quality audio conference call.”

In addition to the IntelliMix P300, Shure is introducing the ANIUSB-MATRIX and ANI22 at ISE. The ANIUSB-MATRIX provides flexible routing of up to four Dante audio inputs and one analogue input to a room video conferencing system or a soft codec. This device is ideal for accommodating small to medium sized rooms intended for audio and video conferencing. With fewer features compared to the P300, the ANIUSB-MATRIX offers the ideal performance, connectivity, and affordability for videoconferencing where a premium microphone solution is desired, but acoustic echo cancellation of a hardware or software codec will be used. The ANI22 provides Dante-to-analogue signal routing that enables two audio channels to be routed on and off a Dante network. These additions to the ANI family increase the connectivity options available to users of Shure’s Dante-enabled microphones.

For more details go to

shure-ani22-audio-network-interface shure-aniusb-matrix-usb-audio-network-interface shure-intellimix-p300

Fringe Workshop

It is that time of the year, Fringe time in Adelaide. We see hundreds of venues with just over a 1000 shows.  So if you are a first time company where do you get the necessary skills for the technical aspects. Will this course might help you work your way through the maze. It will give you an overview of the technical aspects of putting on a show. It will give you some useful pointers and some knowledge about what the technicians are talking about and therefore making your job easier.

Our short 5-hour course is designed to help you with the technical aspects of your Fringe Show. This course is tailored to help you understand what information you need and the information the show gives you. Then we will explain how to take that information and incorporate it into the technical elements of your show.


We will cover:

  • Lantern types
  • Lighting desks
  • Audio desks
  • Understanding paperwork and plans
  • Working with the technician if you have one
  • How to get what you want
  • Technical rehearsals, plotting, and pre-planning


This course is for newcomers and novices.

This course is brought to you by BallyHoo Productions, Ramblings of a Techie and The Bakehouse Theatre.


Bring your questions.

Limited tickets available.

Tickets here


New from Allen & Heath dLive C Class

Allen & Heath is excited to announce dLive C Class, a new compact range of Surfaces and MixRacks which opens up our dLive digital mixing platform to a wider spectrum of AV, installation and live event roles.


dLive C Class is founded on XCVI, the same 96kHz FPGA core which drives Allen & Heath’s flagship dLive S Class mixers, and also shares its DEEP processing architecture, allowing class-leading compressors and processing emulations to be embedded directly within the inputs and mix channels. The new range includes the first 19” rack mountable dLive surface, the ultra-compact C1500.

There are 3 MixRacks in the series – CDM32, CDM48 and CDM64, plus three new control Surfaces, the 19” rack mountable C1500, C2500 and twin screen C3500. The MixRacks house the 96kHz/96bit XCVI Core, providing capacity for 128 inputs with full processing and 16 dedicated stereo FX returns, plus a fully configurable 64 mix bus architecture, with full processing on all mix channels. Each surface and rack has a 128 channel I/O port, supported by a wide array of networking cards, including Dante, Waves, MADI, fibreACE optical and more. dLive C Class is also compatible with S Class hardware, and the ME personal mixing system and supported by a full ecosystem of apps, Director software, and accessories.

More information here

News: Gio @5

Professional control…scaled just right

Gio @5™ brings the high-end control of the larger Eos® family consoles to venues with tighter spaces – or tighter budgets.

This portable console packs all the control necessities into a compact footprint, so external monitors and accessories are optional. With an articulating, 17-inch, multi-touch LCD display, five definable and page-able motorized faders and a master fader pair, Gio @5 is the perfect step up for Ion® users who want expanded hands-on access to playbacks, color control, touchscreen Magic Sheets and more.

The console features the same full-function, backlit keyboard as the Eos Programming Wing and Gio® console, providing an easy transition for experienced Eos users looking for a smaller desk – and a good platform for new programmers looking to gain professional skills that scale up.


Key features of the Gio @5 console include:
  • The Gio/Eos Ti® facepanel layout, including the backlit keys, master fader pair and fader controls keys
  • Four force-feedback encoders for non-intensity parameter control
  • Five 60mm motorized faders and associated controls/displays
  • One integral, 17-inch, articulating multi-touch monitor
  • Two sets of controls keys along the left side of the display
  • Two network ports (Non-PSE) and 4 Hardline DMX/RDM ports
  • One Littlite port
  • Keyboard tray
  • Contact closures for remote triggers
  • Output capacities from 2K to 32K, upgradable in 1K increments
  • Support for up to two external high-resolution multi-touch monitors
  • Compatibility with all Eos family accessoriesFor more info:

Elation Offers Zoomable 6-Color and White-Light Pars with IP Rating

dw-par-z19-ip Elation Professional’s range of flexible LED Par lights is expanding with the launch of the 6-color SixPar Z19 IP™ and the variable white DW Par Z19 IP™, both IP-rated and with motorized zoom. Useful for production applications or installations as a wash light, uplight, wall wash, truss warmer and more, both Par luminaires are easy-to-use, top-quality solutions for adding high-impact colored or white light to shows indoors or out.

Harnessing the power from 19 individual 15W LEDs and the versatility of coverage that comes from a wide 5° to 45° zoom, the SixPar Z19 IP™ and DW Par Z19 IP™ are ideal solutions anywhere a wash of high-quality colored or white light is required. Both Par lights are in stock and available now.

SixPar Z19 IP™
The SixPar Z19 IP™ is a bright and versatile full-color Par luminaire with nineteen 15W 6-in-1 RGBAW+UV LEDs. The 6-color LED multi-chip provides an expanded palette of colors, including stunning ambers, true whites and even ultraviolet (UV LED wavelength of 395nm). Electronic strobe and variable dimming curve effects are included and a variety of color and chase macros make for greater programming convenience. The SixPar Z19 IP is bright, projecting up to 13,240 LUX @ 9.8’ (3m) (5° full on). The fixture is controllable via 4 DMX channel modes (14 total channels) and is RDM protocol capable (Remote Device Management).

DW Par Z19 IP™
The DW Par Z19 IP™ is a bright and versatile white-light Par luminaire with nineteen 15W 2-in-1 cool white / warm white LEDs for variable shade projections of white light. It features dynamic white color temperature range control from 2,700K white tungsten to 6,000K cool white. Electronic strobe and variable dimming curve effects are included. The DW Par Z19 IP is exceptionally bright, projecting up to 32,064 LUX @ 9.8’ (3m) (5° full on, 4,600K). The fixture is controllable via 6 DMX channel modes (7 total channels) and is RDM protocol capable (Remote Device Management).


Common features
Built with rugged die-cast aluminum exteriors and fully IP65 protected, both the SixPar Z19 IP and DW Par Z19 IP include IP-rated 5pin DMX and powerCON TRUE1 in/out connections for use in all types of weather. They come with a 180° reversible LCD menu display and a 4-button touch control panel makes for simple navigation through DMX and manual settings. Multiple unit power linking means that customizable setups are quick and both fixtures come with an adjustable yoke / floor stand for flexible positioning.

Both luminaires operate flicker free for use in TV and other broadcast applications and an auto-sensing power supply covers worldwide voltages and frequencies. Both the SixPar Z19 IP and DW Par Z19 IP are energy efficient, consuming 282W and 240W of max power respectively, and offer other benefits of LED like greater reliability and less maintenance for a lower cost of ownership.

For more information, please visit