Tech Notes

Stage Requirements

  • 16′ x 8′ longways area facing the audience for the band, not including callers and announcers. If you cannot accommodate this, please send photographs of your space so that we can evaluate it for creative solutions.
  • 4 comfortable chairs without arms.
  • Performers will be on stage from house left to right as indicated in the photo above.

Sound System Requirements

Rip the Calico has three basic sound system configurations: Contra Dance, Full Sound, and Performance.

Contra Dance

For contra dances the band travels with their own in-ear monitor (IEM) mixer. We provide feeds out of this mixer to the front of house (FoH). The FoH mixer can choose between a single, pre-mixed feed of all instruments, or an individual feed for each musician (4 channels). Each feed is provided at microphone level and is transformer isolated.

Even though the band travels with an IEM system, the venue should still have two powered stage monitors in waiting at the venue in the event that the band determines that supplementary monitor coverage is necessary. However, there is no need for this to be set up ahead of time unless the band specifically requests it. We prefer to leave the stage clean of monitors if we can.

The band will provide its own microphones and instrument pickups.

The venue should provide for the band:

  • 4 XLR cables as inputs to the FoH system
  • 1 20-amp grounded circuit within 10′ of the center of the stage near the back
  • 3 good quality microphone boom stands
  • 48-volt phantom power
  • front of house sound system
  • any microphones necessary for the caller and teaching
  • any equipment and music necessary for intermission/break
  • 2 stage monitors (one mix) on standby but not on stage
  • spare cables (XLR and 1/4″ instrument) and mics at the ready for emergencies

Full Sound

Rip the Calico can provide and operate a complete sound system including a caller/announcement microphone and input for pre-recorded music, thus freeing the host from the worries of sound. Our system can be scaled for large dances or intimate performances. Inquire for cost.


For concerts and performances we can work with two stage monitors and a single monitor mix. The band prefers to use its own microphones, pickups, and direct boxes because we are familiar with their performance on stage, but we can work with microphones provided by the venue if necessary. In that case the sound operator should be prepared to monitor the performance for instrument changes and other activity on stage.

Each source listed below is provided by the band and requires an XLR cable. Sources are listed from house left to house right. Phantom power should be available at full 48 volts, as the Radial DIs will not function with partial voltage.

  1. Flute, Sennheiser e914 (please provide a boom stand) [Alison]
  2. Fiddle, Countryman Isomax clip-on mic [Mairead]
  3. Guitar, pickup with direct box output [Tyler]
  4. Banjo & percussion, Sennheiser e614 (please provide a boom stand) [Tyler]
  5. Cello, Countryman Isomax clip-on mic [Gordon]
  6. Guitar, pickup with Radial PZ-DI direct box [Gordon]
  7. Banjo, pickup with Radial PZ-DI direct box [Gordon]
  8. Band announcement mic A (please provide vocal mic on boom stand)
  9. Band announcement mic B (please provide vocal mic on boom stand)
  10. Master of ceremonies/caller mic C (please provide vocal mic on boom stand)

If the venue is providing microphones please provide a comparable one. Please note that sources 5-7 have radically different acoustic sound levels and tonal profiles.