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#2927013 - 05/14/18 04:11 PM Stage Plot Software or Sites: Any Favorites
Barryjam Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/03/05
Posts: 422
Loc: Auburn, Northern CA
Can anyone recommend a stage-plot template, software, or website?

(Search didn't reveal anything but "You should have one.")
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Barry

Home: Steinway L, Bob Schleicher A100 chop, 142 Leslie.

Gigs: Yamaha CP4, Crumar Mojo 61, A&H QU-SB mixer, Crown & QSC amps, JBL SRX-700 series speakers, MiPro 909 IEMs

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#2927014 - 05/14/18 04:19 PM Re: Stage Plot Software or Sites: Any Favorites [Re: Barryjam]
timwat Offline
Quite wealthy...spiritually
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/21/01
Posts: 5741
Loc: Concord,CA,UNITED STATES
I've only ever used Word. I create the shapes, copy/paste, move and label, then print to PDF. They've never disappointed or been unclear to venue staff.

I'm curious if anyone is using anything more robust or dedicated to this.
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#2927018 - 05/14/18 04:53 PM Re: Stage Plot Software or Sites: Any Favorites [Re: timwat]
New&Improv Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/27/07
Posts: 2003
Loc: Corvallis, OR
I've used Stage Plot Pro for years, it does everything I've needed for a lot of bands. Worth the $40, imho.
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#2927020 - 05/14/18 05:13 PM Re: Stage Plot Software or Sites: Any Favorites [Re: New&Improv]
Zalman Stern Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/21/18
Posts: 90
Originally Posted By: New&Improv
I've used Stage Plot Pro for years, it does everything I've needed for a lot of bands. Worth the $40, imho.


Definitely download the trial first. I made a stage plot with the Mac version and while it basically works, it is frustratingly buggy. E.g. the selection model is strange to begin with and also has outright bugs. Undo is a bit flaky. The text for the input list is basically write only. If you need to make an edit, you retype it apparently. Some output rendering issues. I went from being happy to buy a copy to make a few good looking stage plots to being sorry I wasted my time.

Have been planning to look at iPad apps, but at this point, I think just using a more general tool might be a better bet.

-Z-

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#2927022 - 05/14/18 05:28 PM Re: Stage Plot Software or Sites: Any Favorites [Re: Zalman Stern]
WesG Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/16/13
Posts: 3442
Loc: Inverary, ON, Canada
I find stage plots made with boxes easier to read than fancy ones.

I did my most recent plot in Photoshop, here's what it looks like: http://drbombay.ca/drbombay-stage-plot.pdf

And, damn, I need to update that. My bottom mic is on the wrong side of the cabinet.


Edited by WesG (05/14/18 05:30 PM)
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Hammond: L111, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, B3
Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 31H
Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85
Roland: VR-09
Band Site: http://DrBombay.ca/

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#2927024 - 05/14/18 05:56 PM Re: Stage Plot Software or Sites: Any Favorites [Re: WesG]
AnalogGuy1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/30/11
Posts: 224
Loc: Eastern US
Visio works great. You define "stencils" of common things, then drag them onto the drawing page. The drawing page can be set up to any scale, for instance 3' = 1" , so a 30' stage prints 10" wide.

Visio is a pretty mature produce from Microsoft Office. There's a free trial download. Get the cheaper version; the expensive one is loaded with many gigabytes of samples stencils you'll never use.

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#2927026 - 05/14/18 06:13 PM Re: Stage Plot Software or Sites: Any Favorites [Re: AnalogGuy1]
WesG Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/16/13
Posts: 3442
Loc: Inverary, ON, Canada
It's part of Office now, but it wasn't original designed/built by Microsoft. That's why Visio doesn't suck. It's actually great. Good advice!
_________________________
Hammond: L111, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, B3
Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 31H
Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85
Roland: VR-09
Band Site: http://DrBombay.ca/

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#2927048 - 05/14/18 08:16 PM Re: Stage Plot Software or Sites: Any Favorites [Re: WesG]
Barryjam Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/03/05
Posts: 422
Loc: Auburn, Northern CA
Thanks, everyone. Visio would be $250 for me cause I use Office 2010 (i Know). I don't think I'd have another use for it, so Stage Plot Pro (complete version free for 30 days, $39.99 pay once), seems like the better idea. Yes, the graphics are probably overkill, but It kinda looks fun and might stimulate my thinking about stage layout. I guess it gets used in the industry.

I'll try the trial version and see if I like it enough.


Edited by Barryjam (05/14/18 08:17 PM)
_________________________
Barry

Home: Steinway L, Bob Schleicher A100 chop, 142 Leslie.

Gigs: Yamaha CP4, Crumar Mojo 61, A&H QU-SB mixer, Crown & QSC amps, JBL SRX-700 series speakers, MiPro 909 IEMs

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#2927072 - 05/15/18 03:04 AM Re: Stage Plot Software or Sites: Any Favorites [Re: Barryjam]
CowboyNQ Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 1010
Loc: Adelaide, Australia
Pub bands: I do them on PowerPoint then save as a PDF.

Theatre band: Used to do the pics on PowerPoint, then exported in to a Word doc with all the other tech info, then saved as a PDF. These days it's handled by our promoter so I'm not entirely sure of their process, but they still use my original PowerPoints in their document.

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#2927089 - 05/15/18 05:15 AM Re: Stage Plot Software or Sites: Any Favorites [Re: CowboyNQ]
Bobby Simons Online   content
Gold Member

Registered: 12/28/17
Posts: 546
Loc: Northport, L.I., NY
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gig rig: Yamaha KX88, Edirol PCR-800, Korg microKey 61 Air, Mainstage, assorted other stuff.

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#2927236 - 05/15/18 08:16 PM Re: Stage Plot Software or Sites: Any Favorites [Re: Barryjam]
AnalogGuy1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/30/11
Posts: 224
Loc: Eastern US
One other thought about Visio - even if you are running 2010, it should still only cost about $46 (on a PC):
Clonk1

Sounds too good to be legit, but according to Microsoft's website, it is a legitimate partner. Clonk2

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#2927238 - 05/15/18 08:50 PM Re: Stage Plot Software or Sites: Any Favorites [Re: AnalogGuy1]
MotiDave Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 12/04/12
Posts: 1964
Loc: San Diego, CA USA
I wouldn’t buy a SW app just to make a stage plot if it was for my own one, two or even three bands. If I made stage plots all the time, regularly, like i was an agent helping 100 bands, then it would make sense.

But for one band, i’d just do it in PPT at work during a 5 min break. I don’t see a need for Visio, which also would be quick. I’d be done long before i learned how to use whatever app i was contemplating for this task. Ymmv, there’s no right or wrong, just preferences.
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#2927276 - 05/16/18 04:42 AM Re: Stage Plot Software or Sites: Any Favorites [Re: MotiDave]
MathOfInsects Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/04/15
Posts: 3636
Loc: California
I use Keynote for my lectures and find it to be a very versatile program for design of all kinds. I do my stage plots in it. Incredibly easy: Drop art in place, label it.

If the question really is, what needs to be on a stage plot, just remember that the real purpose is to let the venue know what they need to have ready for you, before you play. So: who is playing where, and who needs monitors, mics, and DI's.

I include a side column on mine that summarizes the plot to say (for example):

4 vox mics
3 instrument mics plus standard house drum set-up
4 DI's
5 monitors

Venues get everything from hand-scribbled notes to professionally generated stage plots, so don't worry too much about right or wrong, just let them know who will be where and what the venue will need to prepare to make set-up seamless.

If you are the sound guy or stage manager for the venue, your whole job is putting out the proper equipment for the night, getting the board set up, (depending on the venue) running a monitor feed. But the club has bands every night. So you don't know if you are going to have a hipster duo or a metal four-piece or a jam-band 7-piece. So without a stage plot...what do they do with that advance time?

You are just helping them maximize their set-up time (which translates into more time for sound/line-check in the end). It doesn't matter too much how you do it.
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