Input Sheets Pt. 2

Last time we went over some input sheet basics, and I showed you a few early versions of the spreadsheets I’ve used for creating the input sheets. Today, I will unveil version 3; our mac-daddy input sheet. While I designed the basic layout, Isaiah did most of the hard work in getting it set up. Since he’s been gone, I’ve made a few minor tweaks, but by and large, all the programming is his. And it’s pretty stinkin’ impressive. 

Whereas I built the parameter selection right inline in version 2, Isaiah took a different approach. He created a data input sheet that sends the data out to everything else. We have two versions of the input sheet; one for the stage set up team, one for FOH. We differentiate it because the two need different information. The FOH engineer doesn’t need all the detail of what snake channels are used, but he does need to know which inputs need phantom power. 


Click to enlarge

Let’s look at our data entry sheet. On the left side, we have our band variables. Each of those are pop up menus with all our common values pre-programmed. Everything else is driven from those values. When we select a given player, any pertinent information for their instrument set up is automatically entered. 

A little lower, we see the same thing for the wireless mics, as used by the vocalists. The big table on the right is our master M-48 label template. We work from this template every week, making changes as needed. The reason we put all this information on one page is because it’s a lot easier. When we start to look at the rest of the pages, it quickly becomes apparent that the data is scattered all over the place, and it’s much faster to enter it all in one sheet.

Now, you may be wondering why go through all the trouble to program all this? After all, this is but one example of the many formulas in the sheet:


The answer to that is simple: I’m a busy guy. I don’t want to spend any more time than necessary each week filling out input sheets. They’re very important, which is why we do them, but I want them done as quickly as possible. Sure we spent a lot of time initially building this, and the truth is it was built over time as Isaiah filled out the sheets week after week. Once he got a handle on what the common variables were, it was a simple matter to write some statements to auto-populate everything.

To show you the power of this system, I will now demonstrate, via screencast, how quickly an input sheet comes together.

Input Sheet Demo from Mike Sessler on Vimeo.

Not bad, right? The only real caveat to this system is that you have to be using Numbers to use our sheet. That’s not a bad thing, I would rather have dental work done than use Excel, and you can buy Numbers for $20 in the App store. Windows users, sorry, you’re on your own.

Here is the template I use every week. Feel free to adapt it and make it your own.

Coast Hills Input Sheet v. 3

Coast Hills Input Sheet v. 3 (Numbers '08 version)

Note: The Numbers '08 version breaks a few formulas and some conditional formatting that's not supported in that version. I'm uploading it by request. The '09 version is better...

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