Preparing for White Horse Live

Hello, artist! Thank you for being part of White Horse Live! We’re delighted to have you as our guest.

White Horse Live is designed to be a live music experience that feels more like a studio session than like a live stage show.

To help make your episode as successful as possible for everyone, there are some actions we need you to take ahead of time.

Two to Four Weeks Before the Show

Press Kit

The earlier you can send us your press kit, the sooner we can publicize the event.

  • Photos should be no less than 1200px wide.
  • Bio can be as long or as short as you wish, but in this case, more is better.
  • Links should be to your professional web site, music pages, CD purchase sites, social media profiles, etc.
  • Press mentions should include the content, the name of the publication, the author of the article, date, and issue number if applicable.
  • Email any of the above to marketing@whitehorseblackmountain.com.

Social Media

We create Facebook Events and multiple Facebook and Instagram posts to announce the upcoming performance.

  • We will make every effort to publicize the event well in advance, using your press materials as the basis.
  • If you create a Facebook Event, please make White Horse Black Mountain a co-host of your event so that we can provide appropriate language around the series, links for how to attend the online event, the online Tip Jar address, and so on.

One Week Before the Show

Stage Plot

Setup takes a little longer than normal on the day of the event, because of the additional requirements for broadcasting. You can help make this process even smoother!

  • Please send your stage plot and instrumentation no later than the week before your performance.
  • Please include your expectations for floor monitors, even if it’s “we don’t use them!” Keep in mind that loud monitors tend to result in microphone bleed, which might reduce the quality of broadcast audio. We prefer to keep it light if at all possible. 
  • Please provide details if your setup is particularly unusual (for instance, we will mic Uileann pipes differently with or without drones).
  • Earlier is better! That way we can be sure to have the right gear and setup for you.
  • Please send your complete instrumentation, personnel, and stage plot to production@whitehorseblackmountain.com.

Set List

We prepare screen graphics for your episode in advance, including personnel and song titles. 

  • Please provide your set list a week ahead of your performance.
  • If any of your songs are written by someone else, please include appropriate credits.
  • Please email your set list and credits to production@whitehorseblackmountain.com.

The Day of the Show 

The internet is flooded with online performances from artists’ living rooms, basements, kitchens, patios, back yards, and driveways.

White Horse Live aims to provide higher-than-average video and audio experiences for the viewer. This means broadcast cameras, professional lighting, and studio-quality sound.

For you, the artist, this means arriving much earlier than you might for a normal live show. Please arrive no later than 5:30pm if your show is at 8:00pm. We not only need to check sound for your monitors if you’re using them, we also need to test broadcast sound, make decisions about lighting and camera angles, and then put it all together.

It also means having different expectations about the microphones, placement, and even how you address your audience! Here’s what to expect…

Sound

Broadcast audio requires significantly different treatment than a stage performance.

During a normal live show, you might expect to be using Shure SM58 beta mics, floor monitors, and so on. For White Horse Live, depending on the size of the act (solo, duo, trio, full band, etc.), you’re likely to see different gear than you’re used to.

Here are a few examples:

  • If you’re using floor monitors, we will generally use higher quality Sennheiser dynamic microphones for vocals in your monitor, plus a small diaphragm condenser mic to add more detail to the broadcast audio, but which does not get sent to your monitor.
  • Your acoustic guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, or other string instrument will likely have a pair of condensers to pick up a detailed stereo image of your playing — even (or perhaps especially) if you usually use a pickup/DI. A pickup by itself doesn’t play nicely in broadcast audio.
  • Instruments that might otherwise not have mics such as piano, drum kits, or percussion will get multiple mics so that they can be heard in detail on the broadcast, even if you’re not planning to hear them in your monitors.

Lighting

Unlike a normal “live” show, you might feel that the lighting for White Horse Live is a little low. Believe it or not, our broadcast cameras respond better to the colored lights when they’re not quite as intense as you expect for a stage show. Getting the colors right is an important part of making your show look awesome.

We will start checking lighting one to two hours before your show starts. If you’re still rehearsing, you may be asked to stand in specific places, look at cameras, and so on, so that we can get the best lighting for your act.

Cameras

White Horse Live uses a minimum of three cameras, and as many as five, during a show:

  • Two stationary cameras at stage left and stage right.
  • One stationary camera about ten feet back from center stage.
  • One or two “roving” cameras.

The center camera is typically the one you’ll address to connect with your audience. Eye contact is incredibly important during a broadcast. It might feel weird and uncomfortable to you at first, but making eye contact with that camera gives the audience the feeling that you’re talking straight to them. It’s very engaging and effective!

The center camera can also pan, tilt, and zoom in; we will use it and the roving cameras for close-up shots, as well as panning across the stage during songs.

We want you to look good.

To do that, we may ask you to stand in your performance positions while we adjust focus, zoom, and so on. If we “spike” a spot for you (mark the floor), try to stay on that spot as best you can. We realize that you can get caught up in the moment and move around, but please be aware that not all our cameras will be able to track you if you move too far. It’s also possible that you’ll move into a spot where your face is obscured by a microphone array or another piece of gear.

Be in the moment, but also be conscious of the cameras.

 

It’s a lot, we know…

Yep, we get it: this is a lot of information! We’re here to help make this as comfortable an experience as possible. If you have questions about any of these notes, please email us at production@whitehorseblackmountain.com. Read through this page as early as you can, and as often as you need to — and help us help you create a magical experience for your audience, and a rewarding experience for you!