OB:York Come Dancing 09-10

Held in the Autumn term of the 2009/2010 academic year, York Come Dancing is Dancesport's rip-off of the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing show.

Throughout the term YSTV produced weekly "round up" shows of the rehearsals that went on that week. Finally on Sunday Week 8, YSTV broadcast the finals live from Central Hall.

The Rig

With any luck, what you are about to read will enable you to replicate this setup with very little difficulty.

Equipment List

  • Vision equipment
    • DaVE
    • DaVE P169
    • Panasonic Max
    • 12 monitors
    • VT deck plus two 3-hour tapes
  • Cameras
    • 3x HD Cameras
    • 1x Canon DV camera
    • 4x Tripods
    • Howard (remote control camera)
  • Computers
    • ystvencode (for stream and record)
    • VT Playout PC (for VTs, duh)
    • Edit 2 (to feed logo to Max). Will probably use this for Howard control as well.
    • Graphics PC plus Coriogen
    • VT laptop (to feed plasma)
    • A box (to muffle VT laptop's Little Whizzy Fan)
  • P169 control setup
    • Touchscreen Monitor
    • P169 Control Laptop
    • P169 Control Serial Cable
  • Cables, cables, cables
    • 3x 75M BNCs (Cameras B1, B2, B4 on plan below)
    • 20-30M Umbilical for Howard
    • 5~10M BNC for B/S cam.
    • Cat5e senders and 5~10M Cat5e cable for B/S Preview Telly
    • 10M XLR Comms to Cam B1
    • 5~10M XLR for B/S Camera Comms
    • 5~10M XLR for B/S Presenter Comms
    • 8-core umbilical for sound desk <--> projection booth link
    • Lots of short(er) XLRs for comms in Control Room
    • Plenty of short BNCs for patching in Control Room
    • Odd audio/video cables for those annoying bits. Gender benders especially.
  • Other gizmos
    • Ring comms
    • Two lighting bars, lights, dimmer packs, and so on. Basically the whole OB lighting kit.
    • Preview Tellys for backstage set and rehearsal room. May be available from AV.
  • Studio set
    • 3x Set boards (8' boards will fit comfortably)
    • Black curtains, purpley stuff
    • YUSU's plasma TV
    • Dancesport standalone banner
    • YSTV banner to hang in the hall

Rig Plan


  • The main Control room will be located in the Projection Room on the Balcony, with Sound Op and Lighting Op both outside the booth using AV Equipment.
  • Cameras will be positioned above the left and right stairwell entrances, stage left above block 1, and one backstage for interview set.
  • Howard, the remote control camera, will be flying from the centre of the gantry, on the lower scaffold.
  • In addition, we will be providing two Follow spot operators.


In terms of patching we will have all five Camera sources (B1, B2, B4, Howard, B/S), plus VT PC going into DaVE P169, which will in turn feed DaVE. P169 Control Laptop in conjunction will provide a Touchscreen interface to the P169. There will be preview monitors for all sources (six screens), as well as DaVE 1-4, DaVE out, and DaVE preview.

The output from DaVE will be hit with Coriogen/Graphics PC, becoming our main output. This will be DA'd as follows:

  • Two feeds to ystvencode for capture and stream, respectively
  • An additional feed to VTA for SVHS capture
  • Two more copies to the backstage and rehearsal room previews (the former via Cat5e senders, latter via installed BNC cable)
  • A final feed will go into Max, which will mix between the live feed, a static logo (from Edit 2), and black. The output of Max will be used for the Central Hall projector.


Audio equipment will be mostly provided by AV.

There will be a series of lapel mics for the judges (four), plus at one wireless mic for the "Brucie" Presenter (Luke).

Additionally, the backstage "Tess" presenter (Fionna) will have a wireless mic, plus a mic or two for interviewees. This will require AV's "Gig rig" backstage as the installed wireless mics don't reach the backstage area (the screen has a metal mesh behind it). If the gig rig isn't available or it all falls to pieces, we can fall back to wired mics for the backstage set.

Audio will also come from VT PC for VT playback, plus some music source (CD player?) for the dancers.

All audio will be mixed using AV's Sound desk.

The primary audio mix will be for the Central Hall PA, with a subgroup being mixed and routed to our streaming and capture setups in the Projection Booth.

Don't forget to switch off the hearing loop, or you'll get interference happening every which way possible.

Computing Considerations

  • Network Socket in Project Booth needs to be tested ahead of time to ensure that it works and is on the correct network. I am given a wholehearted promise that the network sockets on the balcony all work, and so long as our machines are registered there won't be a problem.
  • ystvencode needs to be tested ahead of time to ensure all software is working correctly, and it can stream/record.
  • ystvencode will need some storage space clearing out too.

On The Day

Setup begins 10am Friday Week 8.

Since we can't really setup anything other than what's going to the balcony, we should probably take stuff in the following order (ish):

  1. DaVE
  2. DaVE P169
  3. All Source Preview Monitors
  4. Max
  5. Howard and associated Cables - This needs to be available to AV to put up asap.
  6. All Computers
  7. P169 Stuff
  8. Cables
  9. Ring Comms

At this point we should have enough stuff to start setting up in the balcony area. Long cable runs should be started, but can't really leave the balcony due to there being an event in Central Hall on Saturday. We should attempt to get as much of the sound setup completed as possible at this point also.

Note: Cable runs to the cameras can be completed on the Friday so long as they don't get in the way of the audience (which they shouldn't anyway).

As a general note, all Cables should be sensibly labelled at both ends BEFORE they are run, likewise all cables should be tested ahead of time.

On the Day of the Event, Sunday Week 8, we'll be setting up from about 12 and will require the following additional equipment in this rough order:

  1. Remaining Preview TVs
  2. All Backstage Set equipment
  3. Lighting Gears
  4. Cameras

Again, at this point we should be ready to finish off the long cable runs and get Cameras up and running and tested. We also need to finish off the sound setup and get the monitors/mics tested and setup correctly.

Finally, we should aim to have as much completed as possible (sound must be completed) by the time Rehearsals start at 3pm ish since we will be operating Follow Spots and Sound output for the event.

Safety considerations

I know, everyone's favourite word. Unfortunately working in Central Hall is not the simplest task in the world and a few things need to be adhered to.

First of all, access to the Balcony is only allowed with a member of Audio-Visual staff present. There is no bending this rule. If there's no technician, there's no access, period. AV time is free for 12 hours, then charged £35/hour after that. This will come out of Dancesport's budget, so use the time wisely.

The Balcony is Serious Business. Really. There's some very dodgy pipes extruding from the floor and ceiling as you make your way around, and it's more than likely you'll hit your head if you don't look where you're going. In addition, the lighting hanging from the lower gantry gets very hot, and should not be touched when in operation (or afterwards, for that matter). On no account should ANYONE walk onto the gantry without a full harness and the direct supervision of AV.

If the worst happens and you do get burnt from one of the lights, there are sinks in the changing rooms and toilets on the second floor. Hold the burn under cold running water for at least 10 minutes; no ifs, no buts.

The Projection Booth is not very large, and with four crew plus our video setup it's going to get a bit cozy (not to mention boiling hot). For this reason, crew should avoid loitering on the Balcony area, especially during the show.

Obviously, all our cable runs should be as safe as possible, as they will go directly through the audience seating areas.

The rehearsal room on the 2cd floor is a disabled access route, and needs to have a clear access route from the lift to both sets of double doors. Bear this in mind when setting up preview in said room.

The seating from block 6 is traditionally shoved backstage when not in use, we may need to relocate some of this to the area behind the screen so we have room to make a set.

External links

  • The AV page for Student Shows is worth a read before attempting this setup.
  • Some example stage plans are available from the Central Hall teaching rooms page.