Thunerseespiele

Switzerland’s Thun provides a stunning backdrop to the high-energy Thunerseespiele performances that grace its stage near Bern every summer. This energy is matched by the immersive spatial audio delivered by sound designer Tom Strebel, using TiMax Tracker stage tracking and object-based TiMax SoundHub spatial reinforcement to deliver vocal clarity and intelligibility.

In previous years, lavish performances have included Jesus Christ Superstar, Titanic, Aida and Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, which was performed in a massive half-pipe with a cast of BMX stunt bikers and skateboarders. This year’s performance was the musical theatre phenomenon Cats, to a 2,700-strong nightly audience.

Strebel’s seasoned audiopool engineers also crewed the production and Out Board’s Robin Whittaker provided TiMax spatial tuning and programming support on-site.

A TiMax SoundHub dynamic delay-matrix spatial processor is controlled by TiMax Tracker automation which uses transmitter tags worn by each performer to send radar-frequency UWB chirps to sensors around the stage, which feed positional information the TiMax SoundHub in real time. SoundHub then uses specially-developed algorithms to morph each performer’s radio mic between TiMax Image Definition delay-matrix objects, ensuring that every audience member hears their voice coming from where they actually are on stage.

The TiMax dynamic delay-matrix spatialisation process delivers these continuously varying source-oriented reinforcement relationships directly to a multichannel d&b audiotechnik speaker system set up among the audience on poles, as well as along the stage lip and upstage as imaging ‘anchors’.

Strebel is insistent that the high production values of the producers justifies this detailed approach to vocal reinforcement: ‘In a theatre you can work with light to highlight certain people,’ he explains. ‘In Thun, the performances will also be held during the day, before nightfall – it is therefore important that you can locate the position of each actor precisely based on their voice. Otherwise it is too difficult to understand what is happening on a large stage. TiMax SoundHub gives us the processing and software tools to do this and TiMax Tracker makes it all fully automatic. Ironically once its working you don’t know it’s there, but if you switch it off it’s really uncomfortable’.

More: www.outboard.co.uk

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