Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson’s cult horror phenomenon Ghost Stories returned to the Lyric in Hammersmith in April 2019, and is now on a nationwide UK tour following a return to the West End in October. Marking a decade of terrifying its audience, the new production is taking advantage of advances in theatrical technology to increase the tension. Sound designer Nick Manning has remained faithful to his original choice of EM Acoustics loudspeakers, but this time with the addition of the new Reference Series R10.

Ghost Stories‘Sound is such a critical part of how stories are told,’ Manning observes. ‘The use of sound to create and build tension – or indeed dispel it – is important to the success of most theatrical productions, but for Ghost Stories it is absolutely fundamental. I never even thought about specifying anything other than EM Acoustics – it did a great job the first time around, and I had new toys to play with this time, so for me it could only get better.’

The main surround system is largely based on the EMS Series – as on the first production – in particular the EMS-61s. ‘They sound amazing and are incredibly versatile,’ Manning reports. ‘We’re also using the incredible i-12 infra sub, which is quite simply an amazing loudspeaker. Ed Kinsella at EM helped design what I needed to create the effect I was looking for – basically we ratchet-strapped two i-12s together and added a port “chimney” which effectively turns it into one big sub. We have two of these devices hidden under the stage, and the effect is absolutely electrifying. It’s sonic art at its best.’

The big change to the design this time has been the deployment of EM Acoustics’ newest product, the Reference Series R10; although EM’s new, low-profile point source loudspeaker with interchangeable horns was only seen publicly for the first time at ISE in Amsterdam in February, Manning has been quietly putting it through its paces since the show moved to the Ambassadors Theatre in the West End in October.

‘Actually, it’s anything but quiet,’ confides Manning. ‘Used in anger, the R10 packs a punch that literally knocks the wind out of you, so it was perfect for this show. Ghost Stories is a fully immersive experience in that the audience has to feel fully connected to what’s going on, otherwise it just doesn’t work. That means you need a speaker that can push the sound right out to the farthest corners of the room so that audience members, wherever they are seated, feel included.

‘We’re using four R10s as the main proscenium system, and they just fill the space with sound completely. Even when we moved to the Alexandra in Birmingham in January, which at nearly 1,400 seats is a bit of a barn compared to the Ambassadors, they still filled the room effortlessly.’

Ghost StoriesManning admits to being very impressed with the R10: ‘I like the fact that EM have concentrated on getting the design of the cabinet right – the R10 sounds good from the second it’s switched on,’ he says. ‘You can run the box really flat and it will get you 90 per cent of the way. You may have to tweak the last 10 per cent, but it’ll be because of an anomaly in the room, not because the box is flawed.’ 

In addition to the way it sounds, Manning thinks that the concept of the R10 will appeal to a wide audience with its rotatable, interchangeable waveguides and attractive aesthetic. ‘I can see that for touring, it offers a lot of advantages – the ability to easily swap waveguides with different dispersion characteristics in and out of the same box gives us as designers a huge amount of flexibility. You can really tailor your system to the requirements of the venue at very little expense. Finally, it looks great – it’s very elegant, tidy and sits nicely on the proscenium where there isn’t a lot of room.’

So how would Manning sum up the difference between what he specified ten years ago and the system currently haunting audiences on Ghost Stories today? Is it really that different? ‘Well, yes and no… I won’t say that it’s radically improved – the original spec was great, and I’ve conserved a lot of it for that reason,’ he says. ‘But the addition of the R10s definitely lifts it to another level.

‘The other noticeable difference between now and ten years ago is the addition of digital audio networking. Ten years ago, touring the system was difficult – we had nearly 70 speakers then to do the work of around 50 today, and with traditional analogue cabling, it was laborious. Now that EM’s amps are all Dante-enabled, and we have a digital console, life on the road is much easier.’

More: www.emacoustics.co.uk

TwitterGoogle BookmarksRedditLinkedIn Pin It

Fast News

  • 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-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