Disney’s first European rollout of their Broadway smash hit Aladdin has won the prestigious LEA Show of the Year award for 2016. Sponsored by PRG, the award ceremony ceremony took place at the Frankfurt Festhalle in April, with other nominees including the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Austria.
Sound design was by Ken Travis who designed the Tony Award-winning Broadway show now approaching its third year, supported by associate Alex Hawthorn, and once again exploited the ground-breaking vocal localisation and effects spatialisation prowess of TiMax SoundHub with TiMax Tracker radar-based realtime automation. Aladdin is playing at Hamburg’s Neue Flora Theatre whose producer-owners, Stage Entertainment BV, purchased two TiMax2 SoundHub-S32 audio showcontrol processors and a seven-Sensor/20-Tag TiMax Tracker system, which was commissioned on-site by Out Board’s Dave Haydon in late 2015. The TiMax SoundHub receives AES inputs from a Digico SD7T and sends AES feeds to d&b 30D and 10D amps for the Y-Series LCR prosc system and a variety of the usual E numbers for delays and surrounds.
Performers wear miniature TT Tags transmitting bursts of UWB noise in the 6-8Ghz range, which are picked up by seven TT Sensors distributed around the stage and auditorium. A server computer analyses Angle Of Arrival and Time Difference Of Arrival and maps this data onto spatial zone information sent to the TiMax SoundHub which then seamlessly morphs actors’ radio mics between delay-matrix Image Definitions, using precedence to make the amplified voices appear to come from their exact stage location, and following them as they move around stage. The multiple TT Sensors provide layers of redundancy so that the effect is consistent regardless of any body blocking or obstruction from the show’s frequently moving scenery.
TiMax Tracker’s height tracking capability also helps maintain vocal realism for the show’s most impressive effect, when the young lovers fly up and around the stage on a magic carpet which appears to have no wires (don’t ask - its a closely guarded trade-secret..).
As well as mic localisation TiMax SoundUb also plays a vital role in many of the shows more dramatic sound effects. TiMax receives audio clips from Q-Lab such as a sweeping tinkling Genie reveal and an immersively floating spooky cave voice, along with MIDI triggers which drive dynamic spatialisation Cues rendered in the TiMax PanSpace, morphing between further Image Definitions programmed as pan objects based on the multiple side and rear surround speakers.
Andreas Hammerich, Stage Entertanment’s Theatrical Sound Co-Ordinator comments: “TiMax SoundHub and Tracker are working well and everybody is very happy with the way the show sounds”
As well as Broadway and London, Disney’s Aladdin is now into its second year, and is also about to open in London’s West End, also with TiMax dynamic delay-matrix and spatialisation systems.