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Sight & Sound spatial reinforcement

Sight & Sound spatial reinforcement

Sight & Sound spatial reinforcement

As previously reported, Sight & Sound Theatres recently equipped its 2,000-seat auditorium in Branson, Missouri with a Riedel Communications Bolero wireless intercom system. In addition, the Biblical theatre production company has invested in a new TiMax spatial reinforcement and immersive audio system for its Lancaster County, Pennsylvania venue, which has just started running a new production titled Jesus.

‘TiMax has given us much greater flexibility in controlling the actors’ mics in relation to their stage zones,’ explained Gary Parke, audio integrator for Sight & Sound. ‘The timeline features and controlling the image definitions for our actors is a big benefit. Currently we are using timecode-triggered cues on TiMax to move the different mic groups or channels to the different zones as the actors move around the stage.’

The scale of the production at the Lancaster County, which also seats an audience of 2,000, is huge. The show is performed on a 92m wraparound stage and 70 channels of wireless microphones are in use for the actors. These channels are fed via Dante from a Studer Vista console to the 64-channel TiMax SoundHub, either in groups or directly.

TiMax Cues then morph the feeds between spatial image definition objects using the distributed in-house sound system, formed from four arrays of QSC Wideline 10 loudspeakers with four Clair Brothers C8-i speakers for side surround and a further 27 full range speakers as overheads. Bass support is provided by a central cardioid array of eight Clair CS218s with four EAW SB1000s positioned at the front of the stage. Front- and side-fill is delivered by 26 EAW JF80s with six EAW full range speakers managing the rear surround on the main floor. A further four full range speakers handle the raised seating area.

‘TiMax has given us greater control and flexibility in setting up the image definitions for our many fill speakers,’ noted Mr Parke. ‘This allows for better vocal imaging for more patrons instead of just those in the main array coverage. Without TiMax, we wouldn't have the detailed control necessary to get the vocals to image as well on the fill systems, with the proper delays.’

Audiences are further immersed in the experience with 3D ambience effects, courtesy of QLab and TiMax, dynamically spatialised by TiMax with cues triggered from timecode.

Once the production of Jesus concludes in Lancaster County, it will move on to run at the Branson, Missouri theatre for the following season. The Branson venue’s sound system has been designed to replicate the one in Lancaster County, allowing show audio content and programming files to be transferred across. As a result, Sight & Sound has already purchased another TiMax SoundHub-S64 for Branson. Looking ahead to the production that will play in Lancaster County after Jesus, the production company has also invested in a TiMax Tracker performer tracking system to help follow and choreograph the action on stage.

‘It’s been a very positive experience and we look forward to upgrading our Branson facility with TiMax,’ Mr Parke concluded. ‘We’ve found the ease of programming and flexibility were a big benefit to using TiMax. The timeline is fantastic with a visual overview of the show programming; it makes it much easier to program the show.’

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