Basic rules to create a stage plot

A Tech Rider is a document of words maintained by the symphonic bands or an artist for the organizing committees in their tours. The document contains the full information of the technical requirements such as sound system, rented amplifiers (if needed), chairs, monitors, wind instruments, keyboards, etc. required by the band.

Every band wants a Tech Rider for an event. The Tech Rider is responsible for providing the client or the organizing committee with all the exact information about the wants of an artist such as the requirements of an artist to perform, his expectations, the technical needs, etc. It gives the client a brief idea of the demands of an artist and to decide whether they will be able to fulfill them or not. Every band should use the best Tech Rider generator to avoid the problems on both sides before and after the show.

Basic things to remember for a Tech Rider:

  • A Tech Rider generator should always keep in mind that an artist or the whole band is dependent on him to perform smoothly on a concert. A good Tech Rider results in a perfect show. It also allows a group to give a perfect setup for a stage to perform. It provides an idea to several sound technicians about the technical requirements of the band given by the client.
  • A Tech Rider should mention the number of persons and the instruments playing by each or the individuals in vocals in the band. It gives the soundman a perfect idea to setup lines or inputs on the stage.
  • The Tech Rider should be very much particular about the instruments they expect from the client and the one’s the band will be carrying on their own. The bands usually bring their guitars, drums, keyboards and microphone. In addition to that drum hardware (which kind), mic stands, carpet, amplifiers, prefer loudspeakers, best consoles, etc. which they want from the client should be mentioned briefly. If the client is not able to provide any equipment, suggesting these requirements will help the band for the early arrangements of material by their own.
  • The personal addressing system (PA) or mainly refers to the frontline. The Tech Rider should clearly mention the expectations of the frontline i.e. the number of monitors, console effects, etc. the Tech Rider should also mention about the soundman and the control engineer that whether they have their own or want from the organizing committee.
  • The Tech Rider should graphically represent the positions of each member on the stage and clearly, describe the equipment used by each member i.e. the stage plot should be described well. The equipment mostly includes microphones, monitors, amplifiers, etc.; this gives an idea to the soundman how to set up the stage. The input lists or the lists for microphone inputs such as line name, channel numbers, return lines, etc. should also be mentioned in the Tech Rider.
  • The amount of electricity and power required should also be mentioned such as the number of generators, tie-ins, etc.
  • Different bands like various types of lightning in their shows. The Tech Rider should mention the lights listing or briefly describe it as the stage plots so that the stage can be decorated accordingly.
  • It is always very necessary to sound check the music before the concert by the sound engineer. So, a Tech Rider should always provide the links to their music for a good sound check and not just any ordinary line test.
  • The Tech Rider should always provide the contact details of the band in case of emergency or for clarifying things.
  • The Tech Rider should always be up-to-date about the stage plot and the members or the input lists in each show according to the requirements.
  • Budget is always an important matter for both the client and artist. So, always write for that equipment which the band is going to use.
  • The sound engineer plays a vital role in making a concert successful. The Tech Rider should mention a “thank you” note in advance to all the people involved in the event.
  • A good Tech Rider always makes work easy for both the organizers and the artist.
So, it’s very much important to keep these few things in mind to avoid any unfortunate circumstances.

Stage live setup

What to include on a Stage Plot?

If you’re a small band and you don’t have much production with you, your Tech Rider will most likely mainly cover the gear that you’re using onstage. As your band grows, your Tech Rider will start to include any FOH consoles that you bring with you, the lighting rigs you’re touring with and any pyrotechnics that you have onstage. A Tech Rider is constantly updated as you continue touring and continue growing as a band.
As much as possible but keep it relevant. On your diagram you need to mark out the following:
  • Show where each member of the band will be positioned on stage
  • Where each instrument will need to be positioned and what direction they need to be facing. It won’t be enough for you to just literally put that the drums are ‘here’, you need to show the direction of each of the band members. Otherwise their sets up won’t be right and instead of doing sound check, you’ll be scrambling around altering that instead.
  • You also need to include the locations of the mics, amplifiers, monitors and possibly the cable positions. They also need to be shown where in relation to the band members.
  • You can also include notes about the set up if there are specifics for the members. For example how many pieces are in the drummers kit etc. Or that you need a big banner placed strategically behind the drummer or any special effects etc.
  • Your name and contact details. Do not forget this. Preferably you want to have someone as your technical contact, it can be any members of the band who have the best knowledge and set up experience.

A Stage Plot is practically as it sounds, a plot of the stage.
This is where you use a diagram to reflect where the band and equipment will be during your performance, and how the stage should be set up to reflect this.
You should always have one prepared for every venue.

How do you draw a Stage Plot?

Start off by looking for online Tech Riders. Read quite a few of them as they are all very different, and you will soon start to see the kind of details that need including on them. Search for bands who have a similar sound to yours, as they will more than likely have a similar Tech Rider to the one that you’ll need. When you have a good idea of what you need to include on your Tech Rider, then make a list of the equipment you have for your band and the make and model that this equipment is. When you’ve done this, you can use an online Tech Rider generator to create your full Tech Rider with you browser.
It doesn’t have to be a drawing Monet will be proud of, it just has to be specific and clear. There are various software’s that can help you draw one out but after you have done it a couple of times you will get the swing of it. You can just pop onto your computer and use a basic graphics package to create the diagrams. Remember drums are typically marked as circles, Mics are X’s and amps are rectangles. If that sounds too much, use our free builder and create something clear and neat for free. Do not go overboard and make it complicated, but do have a look at other examples.

Also remember to include your input list to show how many outputs you need and the specifics, that way the venue knows the ins and outs of the set up. They can also advise you, remember the sound person knows their venue very well so their opinion is worth considering.

The key is to create a clear but specific Stage Plot so everything is set up accordingly and everything is prepared for you, get it right and you will find your checks will go smoothly with very little hassle. It will save you a lot of stress in the long run.