Shakespeare's Globe

Situated beneath London’s famous Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the Underglobe events space has hosted a long series of corporate functions – many served by London-based live production company ARC Sound. Opened to the public in 1997, the reconstruction of the original wooden Elizabethan playhouse, has never allowed, or indeed attempted, a full production set-up in the main theatre space itself.

The celebration of Shakespeare’s 449th birthday, however, saw a concert audio production set-up allowed into the 1,500-capacity space for the first time...

As James Dougill’s company has a longstanding contractor relationship with the venue, he was asked to plan and produce a solution to meet both the technical requirements of the performances, while being sympathetic to the historic significance of the building.

The Magic Numbers at The GlobeBilled as ‘an evening of music and magic’, ARC Sound dipped into its extensive inventory for a JBL VerTec line array system and Soundcraft Vi digital mixing consoles as key components. ‘This production was unique, as The Globe hasn’t allowed anything this ambitious to take place previously,’ Dougill confirms. ‘I am certain eyebrows were raised initially when all these flightcases started appearing in a venue made entirely out of wood. But the fact we were able to achieve this without creating any noise pollution was down to the detailed pre-production planning we undertook before the event.’

ARC Sound also ensured that the main loudspeaker system complied with the maximum weight load of no more than a quarter-tonne to the oak beams in the theatre’s ceiling.

Headlining were The Magic Numbers, supported by singer songwriter Johnny Flynn, along with magicians Barry and Stuart, Piff The Magic Dragon and Chris Cox. With the exception of the Magic Numbers all other performances took place on an oval thrust in front of the main loudspeaker hangs.

For the main PA, ARC Sound suspended symmetrical hangs of six JBL VerTec VT4887A compact line array elements, with two pairs of JBL VT4880A subs recessed under the stage apron. Each driver was individually addressed to provide alignment delay in a mini-cardioid configuration. Added to this were two fill clusters, each comprising three JBL VRX928LA Constant Curvature loudspeakers.

‘Although the throw distance was quite small, the coverage we required was steep – and since we were unable to suspend any further weight from the theatre ceiling, we opted for sharply angling back the VRX clusters,’ Dougill explains. ‘The key criteria here was the vertical coverage required to distribute sound evenly from the downstage edge right up to the third-tier balcony.’

The system was set up using a combination of the VerTec LAC2 (JBL’s dedicated line array calculator) and Smaart field analysis, coupled with the company’s extensive production experience.

With a thatched open roof, Dougill was acutely aware of potential sound spill. ‘I wanted to get the boxes up into the air, focused downwards, rather than on the ground pointing up,’ he says. ‘Monitoring the volume during the show was more a question of using common sense than the SPL metering and LAeq measurement equipment we’d set up.’

At front of house, ARC Sound used a Soundcraft Vi4, with 64-channel software upgrade, while down at the stage Raghav Narula was responsible for all of the onstage monitor mixes (also operating at near 64-channel capacity on one of the company’s Soundcraft Vi1 consoles). Dougill mixed the house sound, before creating a generic FOH set up (and an external rack of FX) for The Magic Numbers’ sound engineer Max Bisgrove – who chose to use all the desk’s internal reverbs and FX.

Summing up, Dougill reckons that the quality of the amplified sound could hardly have been better: ‘The full-range of VerTec and VRX loudspeakers gives us a very broad tool set to work with, and can be consistently relied upon to deliver. Their profile was ideally suited to this application, and if the glowing comments we’ve received about the sound quality are anything to go by, we got it right.

‘It was a huge privilege to have been involved in this project,’ he adds. ‘The Globe people were so delighted that they are already talking about the next event.’

TwitterGoogle BookmarksRedditLinkedIn Pin It

Fast Moves

  • Ted White: PMC USA Ted White: PMC USA
    Loudspeaker manufacturer PMC has appointed Ted White as PMC USA Director of Operations/Chief Engineer. The appointment comes as the company is supporting immersive audio as a partner to Dolby and...
    Read More...
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30
  • 31
  • 32
  • 33
  • 34
  • 35
  • 36
  • 37
  • 38
  • 39
  • 40
  • 41
  • 42
  • 43
  • 44
  • 45
  • 46
  • 47
  • 48
  • 49
  • 50
  • 51
  • 52
  • 53
  • 54
  • 55
  • 56
  • 57
  • 58
  • 59
  • 60
  • 61
  • 62
  • 63
  • 64
  • 65
  • 66
  • 67
  • 68
  • 69
  • 70
  • 71
  • 72
  • 73
  • 74
  • 75
  • 76
  • 77
  • 78
  • 79
  • 80
  • 81
  • 82
  • 83
  • 84
  • 85
  • 86
  • 87
  • 88
  • 89
  • 90
  • 91
  • 92
  • 93
  • 94
  • 95
  • 96
  • 97
  • 98
  • 99
  • 100

Fast News

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
Fast-and-Wide.com An independent news site and blog for professional audio and related businesses, Fast-and-Wide.com provides a platform for discussion and information exchange in one of the world's fastest-moving technology-based industries.
Fast Touch:
Author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
T: +44 (0) 1273 726201

 
Fast Thinking:Marketing:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: Latitude Hosting