Frequently asked questions
1. What time are your fees to and from?
£450 + Travel will typically see the engineer arriving from 2-3pm and the expected finish is 11pm with with 12pm being the latest. This is on a per day basis. For alternative options, enquire here. Earlier starts and later finishes will attract a 1.5x day rate for the engineer.
2. What about for multiple consecutive day bookings?
The same fee will apply for each day.
3. Are you insured?
Yes - all of the equipment will be PAT tested regularly and we carry £10m PLI via our Institute of Professional Sound membership.
4. How much will it be if additional speakers and monitors are required, for example for a bigger production?
It's best to enquire to let us know what you need. Bespoke pricing really needs specific information to be able to quote properly but he have additional equipment available to us. Pop us a message over here.
5. We've hired poor sound people in the past - how are you different?
We've hired poor quality sound people in the past, too, for our own shows! It's why Prestige exists at all. Prestige was set up to offer high quality equipment operated by educated and experienced engineers who are also musicians, and who care about the client, audience and musicians' experience. We have a more in depth recruitment process than most, for the purposes of checking Engineer knowledge and competency.You can learn about our Engineers on the home page - and if our commentary on their experience doesn't give you confidence, I don't know what to tell ya!
Among typical sound engineers, we have a unique perspective on how to run the desk and interact with the personnel.
6. What size of show can you handle?
Our standard product is designed around smaller theatre shows. Our standard equipment will cover up to circa 400 people in a medium sized room. The 4.2k of Yamaha power provides a bright and lively sound, with the subs producing a wonderful punchy low end that fills the space.
We can double the size of the system to 8.4k, which will handle up to around 900 people, although we've successfully used it for 1200. Additional costs will apply.
In terms of musicians - we run with a Presonus 32 channel digital desk. This is connected to the stage box via Cat 6 so there are no heavy and large multicore runs involved - just a simple Cat 6 cable. Our standard advertised rate cover 6 musicians with our 32 channel desk, but we can scale up to 64 channels in and 22 out! We will need to quote for larger lineups.
7. So you read the riders?
Yes - we also write riders for our shows as well, and we've seen some incredibly light riders. If you don't have a rider, you're welcome to download a sample rider here that you can use for inspiration. It's our intention to come to your show 100% prepared for what you'll give us and we'll spend time before our booking liaising with the bands and the venues where possible.
For show producers who hire Prestige to be their resident FOH solution, we'll attend rehearsals and build desk profiles to speed up sound checks and maintain a consistency of your FOH sound.
8. Do you provide monitoring?
We have a mixture of Sennheiser Wireless IEM systems, wired IEM amps and stage wedges available.
9. When will accommodation be required?
When the engineer has a late finish and will require more than 2 hours of driving time. This is for his/her safety. Our Engineers do travel across the UK with their groups.
10. What are your travel rates
£0.35ppm. We are keeping this as low as we can, considering the ridiculous fuel costs at the moment! Although the MU and the UK Gov suggest 45p, we don't always find this affordable for most clients on a budget, so we aim to keep it as far down as we can - but we do need to cover the expenses of transporting heavy equipment.
11. How many monitor mixes can you handle?
The Series III desks provide 14 available Aux buses. Assuming that there are no hardware Effect Send/Returns required, we can send 14 mono monitor feeds or 6 stereo monitor feeds. We regularly work with click / backing track groups so we understand the importance.
The 64 channel desk can run up to 22 mono monitor feeds / 11 stereo.
However, we do like to run a lot of production tricks in the desk that provide a punchier and more balanced production sound, for which some Auxes may be required. However, monitor feeds are always the priority!
12. Can you work with backing tracks?
Of course. For one off hires, we'd expect the band to run their own click / backing track delivery from stage via an iPad, Laptop, Interface, etc using a TRS style connection. For bands and shows that we are contracted to work with regularly, we can discuss running backing tracks from a stable DAW system via USB for live and simultaneous multitrack mixing.
13. How is a WiFi connection important?
We find that we can seriously speed up sound checks if the musicians are given access to their monitor feeds via their iPads. They can set their own IEM levels during sound check without the engineer needing to check in with each, one at a time. We use a 5Ghz router, so there's little interference with wireless mics/guitar systems.
14. Can you record our shows?
Yes - it's a standard part of our package to multi-track record your entire show. It'll be multi-tracked in Pro Tools at 48k / 24bit, but you'll be able to import into any other DAW. You can mix if yourself or you can commission Dave Phillips to mix at a rate of £1000 (assuming 5 days to mix a 28 song show) (see www.whiteroomproductionstudio.co.uk for mixing portfolio.). This is perfect for building up your marketing tool kit if you hire a videographer to capture your show.
Dolby Atmos mixing is also available.
15. What is the fee for attending rehearsals?
For bands and shows that we are contracted to for regular work (contact us directly for a definition of 'regular'), we will endeavour to attend a rehearsal to; meet the band; set up the show; set up monitoring; discuss and implement the band's needs for free; and we'll record the show so that we can work on it inside our system in our own time.
For one off contracts, attending a rehearsal will be subject to a daily rate for the Engineer. (even a 4 hour evening rehearsal will require a couple of hours of setting up and discussion to do it properly). Call for £POE
16. You don't charge VAT like most companies do. Why?
We are not voluntarily joining the VAT scheme because we don't want to have to charge an additional 20% to our clients - especially those who aren't VAT registered themselves and can't mitigate it. Some business websites suggest that the inclusion of VAT is a measure of a company's professionalism but all it shows is that a business has either volunteered themselves into the VAT scheme, or their turnover is so high that they have no choice.
For some larger companies, it may be unavoidable. For a small independent like Prestige, we'd have to work 188 events a year (at our current rates) to meet the VAT threshold and be forced into the scheme. That's 4 events per week, consistently, for 52 weeks per year.
Of course, it's our goal for our engineers to be busy and working regularly so we may hit this in the future. But, for now, we will not be choosing to join the VAT scheme voluntarily so that we can keep the costs down for performance clients who are more than likely not VAT registered.
Voluntary VAT registration can be useful for companies so that they, themselves, can claim VAT back from the likes of equipment purchase and fuel spend, thus reducing their effective outgoings. Plus, as suggested, it can make a business *look* more "legit". But, the trade off is that the client is also charged VAT, inflating the price that they pay - and VAT does not discriminate between clients who are or are not VAT registered. It's a frustrating additional payment that you can't mitigate if you're not VAT registered.
Hence why we aim to stay below the VAT threshold for as long as possible so that we can keep our prices as low and as competitive as possible for FOH provision.