PA (Public Announcement) Systems

PA Systems are basically amplifiers, each one has:pa-system

  • VGA Leads
  • In-line mixers
  • Amplifiers
  • CD Players
  • Auxiliary Leads


Mixing Desks

Mixing desk control anything that is onstage with a microphone, including, for example, individual speakers – equalization is useful when someone with a quiet voice is carrying out a speech. Sound can be manipulated from mixing desks; instruments can be removed.

Tech Specs

Technical specifications help performers on stage feel more comfortable. It allows technical workers to set up the position of the band members (their instruments) before their arrival, allowing them to immediately perform on arrival.

Here is an example Tech Spec, found on Learning Space for Falmouth University:




B&H (no date) Technical Pro WASP1050UIBT 10″. Available at: (Accessed: 16 October 2016).

Falmouth University Learning Space (no date) Example Tech Specs. Available at: (Accessed: 16 October 2016).
One Vision (no date) Sound & Lighting. Available at: (Accessed: 16 October 2016).
Whelan, M. (no date) Adamson Systems .



Work at Height


WAH Current Legislation:

  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Work At Height Regulations 2005 (WAHR)
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment 1998 (PUWER)
  • Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (1998)

Work at Height Regulations

Work at Height refers to any work in any place which can result in a person falling a distance likely to cause injury. This includes working near an opening in a floor, working on a ladder, on a flat roof, or even on stage. Work at Height Regulations help prevent injuries from happening when working in these conditions.

Access Equipment


Genie GR-20 (also available are GR-12; GR15)


Genie AWP20S (also available -25S/-30S/-36S/-40S)


AAP Tallescope


Zarges Z600 Platform Ladder


Mobile Steps

When using Access Equipment in any performance centre, make sure you:

  • inspect the equipment before using it, and that it is set up correctly.
  • Make sure that you, before you complete the task at a height, you are familiar with what needs to be done, and complete as much of the task from the ground.
  • Make sure the ground crew are aware WAH is being carried out, and have them help you (no WAH should be carried out alone).
  • When climbing the equipment, do so slowly, and using three points of contact.
  • Only start carrying out your task once you are at the  top and safely in the basket or on the platform.
  • DO NOT overreach – move the access equipment as much as possible.
  • Use the Ground Crew to minimize the amount of climbing neccessary.
  • When climbing down the equipment, do so slowly, and using three points of contact, facing the rungs.


The Ground Crew are in place whilst WAH is taking place to make sure the worker is safe.





The Access Platform Specialists (no date) Genie AWP30S. Available at: (Accessed: 16 October 2016).
Aluminium Access Products (no date) Gallery opf Tallescopes AAP. Available at: (Accessed: 16 October 2016).
Broughton Hire & Sales (no date) Genie GR20. Available at: (Accessed: 16 October 2016).
Ltd, E. (2004) Steptek Quality Red Range Mobile Steps. Available at: (Accessed: 16 October 2016).
Thorne, K. (2003) Managing The Mavericks. Available at: (Accessed: 16 October 2016).
Zarges (no date) Z600 ZAP Telescopic Platform Ladder. Available at: (Accessed: 16 October 2016).
Aesperson Academy (no date) Work At Height Course. Available at: (Accessed: 16 October 2016).

Health & Safety and Risk Assessments

“Employees have a duty to take care of themselves and other people who may be affected by their work, and to co-operate with their employers. Once the employer has made proper arrangements for health, safety and welfare it is up to employees to play their part.”         (HSE, 2015)

Health and Safety allows us to continue working, whilst carrying tasks out safely. Risk Assessment is about doing unavoidable tasks safely; evaluating the best way to avoid risks.

Main Risk Areas:

1. Transportation / Manual Handling

Do not move heavy objects without an appropriate mode of transportation, such as getting more people to help you, using a mechanical aid, or something similar.

2. Rigging/ LOLER failure/ collapse

Rigging should always be carried out by a trained professional.

3. Electrical Safety

All electrical equipment needs to be regularly checked, it needs to carry an in-date PAT test sticker, and should only be installed by a person with the knowledge to do so.

4. Work At Height

Avoid working at height, place it at the bottom of your hierarchy of options. Consider your surroundings, and the risks of working at height before doing so.

Risk Assessments

  • Identify what and where the risks are in association with your current project
  • Identify who is at risk and how they could potentially be harmed
  • Evaluate and identify precautions
  • Record everything you find
  • Review everything you find and update (if required).




HSE (2015) Health and Safety in Broadcasting and the Performing Arts. Available at: (Accessed: 15 October 2016).
Gibbert, D. (2016) International Occupational Health and Safety Standard at Draft Stage. Available at: (Accessed: 15 October 2016).



“Stage rigging and its impact on structural design always present interesting challenges for structural engineers. Going back as far as Leonardo da Vinci and the Court Masques of 15th-century Italy, stage rigging has played an important part in providing the visual effects of stage productions.” (cpn_admin (2014) Stage Rigging 101

The two basic uses of stage rigging are:

  1. to support shift stage scenery
  2. to support the stage-lighting system

Examples are stage curtains, heavier framed scenic pieces, and painted backdrops, which are raised and lowered by rigging systems.



To see how you rig a light, watch this video:



cpn_admin (2014) Stage Rigging 101. Available at: (Accessed: 13 October 2016).

Climbing Systems (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 13 October 2016).

stageprojects (2012) How to rig a light. Available at: (Accessed: 13 October 2016).


First thing’s first; in order to learn and understand how to use specialist equipment in any performance studio, we must first learn about the resources we have at hand. In terms of lighting, this encompasses the types of lights available, the support for these lights, their power source, the way in which they are controlled, and how to access them. Alongside lighting, this guide will also cover Working at Height (WOH), and health and safety and risk assessments.

The different types of lighting equipment:

The Sourceaka. the lights.

  • Profile spot (these are good for “throwing” light a long distance. They create a small
    pool of light which can be adjusted with its shutter and gate. The quality of the edge of the light can also be changed from very hard to very soft by adjusting the lens). Profile lights are also able to take on any shape that is placed inside the lantern’s gate. These shapes are formed either using the shutters, or something called a ‘gobo’.


  • LED Beamlight (the small version is called a “birdie” – 100W)


  • Wash light


  • LED Batten



The Support


  • Scaffolds
  • Trusses
  • Grids

Side note: All support systems need to be checked and approved as ‘safe’ by a trained professional.

The Power


  • Dimmers
  • Distribution

The Control Systems


  • Desks (these are fader based. These desks have “record memory”, which allows you to save a custom light combination of lights).
  • All sockets are numbered and controlled from the lighting desks.

Side note: Make sure to check all the cables before use, for health and safety reasons.

  • Hook stands. Make sure these are secure.
  • A yoke, aka. a bracket.
  • Clutch, which allows you to lock the bracket.
  • Safety bonds. These are “back-ups”, in case the yokes fail. You rig these cables by wrapping them around the bars (once or twice) and through the yoke.



Executive Vision (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 12 October 2016).
Hamad Bin Salem Alazzini Trading (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 12 October 2016).
London Audio Visual (no date) Available at:×645.jpg (Accessed: 12 October 2016).
Musik Productiv (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 12 October 2016).
Professional Stage Equipment (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 12 October 2016).
Smart DJ (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 12 October 2016).
Sound Engineering (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 12 October 2016).
Stage Lighting Store (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 12 October 2016).
Which Stage Lights Should I Use For My Show? (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 12 October 2016).
School Hall Stage Lighting (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 12 October 2016).
Disney, W. (no date) .