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US school expands arts facilities with DAS & DiGiCo


Briarcrest Christian School offers a comprehensive Fine Arts programme, for which it has recently opened the Sparks Chapel Fine Arts Center to stage its music and theatre productions, as well as other on-campus activities.

For its audio needs, the school called in Tennessee Concert Sound, a design/build audio services firm that is also involved in sound production. Owner Stewart Tritt and Jason Long, who handled sales and system design for the project, devised a set-up based around a DiGiCo SD10 mixing console and a PA system comprising 22 DAS Aero 8A pline array modules, supported by four LX-218CRA subwoofers.

X-Men: Days of Future Past NYC World Premiere


Familiar to New York AES Convention regulars, the space and architecture of the Jacob K Javits Convention Center provides a very ‘live’ ambience for reinforced sound. Yet this was the setting for the world launch of the summer blockbuster X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Using a 75ft-wide screen hung on the hall’s north wall, the showing had to reproduce the film’s bombastic 5.1 surround soundtrack, and live up to its cost (US$200m-plus), cast and billing.

SSL Live mates with World Chess Olympiad spectacle


Requiring the largest use of SSL Live mixing systems to date, the recent World Chess Olympiad was accompanied by a full concert version of the musical, Chess, in Tromsø, Norway The production called on the Norwegian Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra, a choir and an ensemble of leading Norwegian musical performers, with three SSL Live consoles for the sound mixes.

Supplied by Bary Sales in Oslo, the FOH and monitor consoles shared 64 inputs from the band and soloists, while the third was used to submix 86 orchestra channels down to six stereo stems.

14-18 Spektakel


Marking the centenary of World War I, the ambitious 14-18 Spektakel musical is being staged in the Nekkerhal Mechelen in Belgium – once the largest performance space without roof pillars. With the entire 1,800-seat seating block moving along the 130m arena, a multichannel distributed sound system and automated dynamic delay-matrix processing were essential.

With the director requiring soldiers and cavalry to move cinematically towards the audience, while ground and air battles raged around and above their heads, sound designers Mark Luyckx and Guido Olischlager specified a TiMax SoundHub system for the job. The sound design also called for the theatrical equivalent of zooming in for a close-up, to create a more intimate tableau for certain scenes.

Moscow State Theatre replaces failed sound system


Appointed Artistic Director of Moscow’s State Theatre of Nations in 2006, Yevgeny Mironov – an ambitious young star of Russia’s stage and screen – declared the venue ‘a real disaster, the building looked like it had been bombed’.

It was closed for total renovation the following year and reopened in 2012, and has just staged Robert Lepage interpretation of Hamlet with support from its new sound installation.

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Staging a Musical: The Sound Perspective

Theatre soundWhile centred on the stage, preparations for a major theatre production put sound operators on an equally steep, if not steeper, learning curve than the actors. They need to have every actor’s lines and cues, and all of the show effects in their head and at their fingertips.

Andrew Bruce lifts the curtain on the action at front of house, from first rehearsal to the premier and beyond.

 

Theatre Sound: Towards Digital Mixing

Towards Digital MixingFollowing an in-depth look at the development of DiGiCo’s theatre-specific mixing software, Andrew Bruce follows the story of the stage and the mixing console, and plots the development of technologies that are now familiar both in the West End and on Broadway.

Although many members of the cast will be familiar to you from their other audio adventures, their roles here may hold some surprises.

 

Case Study: Flying Into The Dawn

Wind tunnel‘I've worked in a lot of weird and wondrous sites, but it’s seldom one comes across a place quite like this,’ says sound artist Thor McIntyre-Burnie.

He’s describing the wind tunnels that helped shape the Spitfire’s elliptical wings and guided the design of early supersonic aircraft. Now open to the public for the first time, the tunnels provide the setting and the acoustics for his Flying Into The Dawn sound installation.

 

Andrew Bruce: The Musical

DiGiCo‘I said I’d done some work with Soundcraft and Cadac, and had a big folder of information. Would they be interested in evolving something specifically for the theatre?

‘James put me in touch with the people who write DiGiCo’s software. They came to London and we went to see several shows that night – and I watched while the colour drained from their faces…’

 

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