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Show Time!

Hey Everyone!


We are your Audio Max Production team and we wanted to share this letter with you to help you prepare for your upcoming performance and hopefully answer any questions you may have.

We have broken things down into different categories so it’s easy to navigate to the areas that you may have questions or would like clarification.

Microphone Technique

Microphone technique is a huge part of vocal performance. To ensure that we capture your voice quality, keep these pointers in mind:

  • Make sure that your microphone follows your mouth position. This means if your mouth is moving side to side or up and down, your microphone should follow. During rehearsal, you can practice this movement by holding your thumb on your chin with the hand you're holding your microphone with.

  • With this theory in mind, you also want to keep your microphone pointed directly out from your mouth. Think about the microphone being a carrot rather than an ice cream cone. If you hold your microphone like an ice cream cone, your voice will go right over the microphone instead of into it. Additionally, if you are holding the microphone like an ice cream cone, all the air coming out of your mouth will go directly into it. If you’re holding the microphone like a carrot, we will only get a clear crisp sound from your voice.

  • Now let's talk about distance. In order to get the full spectrum of your voice, we suggest keeping your microphone close to your mouth. If you are a soloist, right on the microphone works best. For other vocal singers, we find that about half an inch away from the microphone is fantastic. If you can’t hear yourself, you can pull the microphone closer to your mouth, if you can hear yourself sticking out, you can pull the microphone slightly farther away from your mouth.

  • Vocal Percussionists, while it may be habit to cup your microphone, it will do more harm than good with the microphones that we will be using. These are very high quality microphones that don’t require that. Holding the microphone similar to the remaining singers will get you the best vocal percussion sound possible. You may be trying to create a specific sound that requires you to cup the microphone, in that instance, it is ok to cup the microphone. Just remember that you will lose the clarity of the microphone.


Equalizing (EQ) is one of the biggest areas in audio engineering. There are several different frequencies that you are hearing when listening to the human voice. The object of EQing is to balance those frequencies to get a clean, easy to listen to sound.

Monitors (Stage Speakers)

The monitors are there for you, the performers. If there is anything you need done to them, please just let me know.

The monitors are pre-EQ or post-preamp (post-gain). That means that what the performer puts through the microphone comes directly out of the monitors, it is their natural voice. Though there is an EQ on the speakers themselves, there is not on the individual microphones. This allows the performer to know exactly what their voice is sounding like without any processing.

They are also set to pre-fade which means the settings are set and don’t change. The microphones are all set to the same level (volume) across the board. This means that the soloist will not be turned up when they have their solo. That will only be done in the mains (house speakers). We suggest that you modify the volume of your singing or distance to the microphone to change the level of your voice in the monitors. As we do have the capability to increase or decrease each individual microphone in the monitors, it is not recommended because the monitors and the house speakers are different “mixes”; therefore, if you are turned down in the monitors, you won’t necessarily be turned down in the house, and may still be sticking out.

Mains (House Speakers)

The main speakers are what people will hear sitting in the audience. The main speakers are EQed separately from the monitors since they are different brands of speakers and serve a different purpose. These speakers are where we will incorporate the optional octave and other FX such as reverb.


Varsity Vocals now allows the use of the octavizer, also known and the bass octave or bass double. Some may ask “What is this?” “Why would I want to use this?” The bass octave does a very simple task. It takes a selected microphone (the bass microphone for our purposes) and drops it down an octave without any delay.

This can make a bass or alto singer even lower to help fill out the sound to the song. Keep in mind that it may not sound better with every song. You have the option to have the octave on or off per song. Our rule is the octave is either on or off for the entire song, this is to keep things fair throughout the competition. If you are unsure about using the octave or what it sounds like, you are welcome to test it out during your sound check and make your decision then.


Sound Quality

You can always expect the best sound from Audio Max Production. We like to replicate your groups’ sound and possibly raise it to the next level. If you would like anything changed, please let us know!



Communication is one of the biggest keys with getting the highest quality audio experience. Don’t be afraid to talk to us. We are here to get the audio to your liking. If you are hearing something you don’t like, please let us know. If there is something that you would like to change, just tell us. OR if you really enjoyed your audio experience with us, let us know. We will let you know if what you are requesting is against the policy of the competition.

Time Management

We would just like to remind you that we have not seen or worked with your groups on this system. There are a couple different reasons to have a sound check. One is to work with the sound engineer and secondly to get comfortable with the stage.

For the best audio outcome possible, we highly recommend singing as much as you can during your sound check even while getting comfortable on the different stage. This is where the audio engineer can hear the individual voices of your performers and get them EQed properly. The more time you spend singing on microphone, the more time the engineer has to fine tune the performers voices.



At each performance with our microphones, alcohol wipes will be available. The microphones will be cleaned prior to sound check and prior to the show. Additionally, you are encouraged to clean the microphone when you receive it. The microphones will be muted while they are backstage so there is no need to worry about causing a disturbance in the sound system.


If you have additional questions or you would like more clarification about what to expect from Audio Max Production, feel free to email us at:


Good luck to you all and we look forward to seeing all of your wonderful performances!




Alex Sheafor

Director of Audio Engineering


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