Click here go to the news archive

TiMax SoundHub and QLab take a step to the left in CapeTown

The Fugard Theatre’s namesake Athol Fugard is regarded as one of South Africa’s most significant playwrights, a fact recognised in 2011 by a Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatre for his emotive plays exploring the worst excesses and injustices of apartheid. The Fugard Theatre, founded by Eric Abrahams in the playwright’s honour, is located in Cape Town’s District 6 whose indigenous community were brutally evicted during apartheid to make way for gentrification of the area.

Occupying the old Sacks Futeran textiles warehouse juxtaposed with the ex- Congregational Church Hall which serves as box-office and bar, the compact 280-seat auditorium recently underwent a massive refit - floors, balconies, seats and all - to make way for a 40 th anniversary staging of Richard O’Brien’s cult musical Rocky Horror Show.

For some reason this quirky show when done right seems to be eminently bankable in front of a live audience, and with an incentive to outdo previous stagings this particular outing offered the director and production teams some lip-smacking opportunities to indulge heavily in their respective arts.

Director Matthew Wild wanted to balance a suitably 50-‘s sci-fi feel with hi-tech production values so the gothically-detailed set and spooky laboratory props were complemented by elaborate lighting cues and video projection for many scenography elements, both static and animated. A central objective was to break the fourth wall with audience participation dress-up days (including crew – see pic of sound engineers Melissa George and David Claasen) and participation packs with glo-sticks, streamers and confetti, all supported by a high impact and immersive sound design.

To help manage and sync the sound effects and spatialisation together effectively with the video playback a hybrid showcontrol and playback system was created using a TiMax2 SoundHub matrix triggered via MIDI from a QLab3 workstation operated by the stage manager at front-of house. As some of the audio Cues were especially score-related (wedding bells, doorbell) or video-related (tyre burst, certain thunderclaps) these were played out of the QLab Mac, which also played the video clips, to allow collective manipulation and adjustment in rehearsals by Music Supervisor Charl-Johan Lingenfelder. These cues also sent MIDI Notes direct to the TiMax SoundHub unit to assign appropriate Upstage LR, MainLR or WideSurround LR localisations, or to trigger dynamic TimeLine pans on any of the six inputs allocated to QLab in the TiMax matrix.

Certain surround atmos and spot effects needing more complex dynamic pans were created in the TiMax SoundHub-S Timeline environment, using Image Definition pan objects placed on the waveform of those particular effects, which themselves were played back off the TiMax unit’s internal harddrive. Using the waveform as a template meant that movements of certain thunderclaps could be visually matched to specific elements within the clip, and likewise things like the finale space ship launch could built graphically from several offset layered beds, each with groups of multiple pan objects which had been squeezed or stretched so that samples would spin around the room slowly at first and then speed up as the take-off happened.

Frankenfurter’s laboratory scenes were accompanied by variants of an atmos motif made up from 50’s style bubbling, wibbling and bleeping noises played out of TiMax, which would first be established on upstage image definitions then, via a further QLab MIDI Cue, slowly panned out into the house and faded down by TiMax into a slow spatial- stereo spin so that it floated around the audience hence enveloping them in the lab space to varying degrees as the director wished. Using delay-based Image Definition pan objects instead of just discrete level-pans around the speakers significantly enhanced the overall immersivity – one visiting audio professional familiar with the room from previous shows commented you just couldn’t hear the speakers (which was of course the whole idea).

In addition to immersive soundscapes, sound designer Aki Khan, assisted on site by Dave Haydon from TiMax developers Out Board, was keen to get the most impact possible for vocals and band but still maintain some good localisation for the performers. With a classic rock show feel in mind he opted for Turbosound TCS612 cabinets as the main system, a pair each side of the stalls on columns just in front of the prosc, a pair in the circle on columns half-way back where the bulk of the audience seating started, and a flown pair for the upper balcony. A pair of TCS618 Subs were placed at the prosc in the stalls and also the circle balcony, and the circle also had a pair each side of Meyer M1D’s at the prosc as nearfills.

This whole main system was stitched together and delayed back to the front lip of the stage using a pair of XTA DP448’s, then fed with separate stereo Band and Vocal mixes from the TiMax SoundHub. TiMax also fed directly four MM4 front-fills as alternate LR pairs. To help glue the main system and frontfills to the band, two pairs of M1D’s were built into the set on the band’s far-upstage mezzanine, plus an identical system at stage-level to use as upstage anchors principally for effects. These upstage anchor systems were driven from independent TiMax outputs.

Surrounds were all M1D, four channels of side L/R and rear L/R on each of the stalls, circle and balcony levels. These were fed from four TiMax outputs then paralleled together in vertically linked groups. Two other TiMax outs fed the stalls and balcony subs, and a single Band Monitor feed was hooked into the Aviom system so the more musically important QLab and TiMax sfx elements could be added to the band’s foldback mixes.

The producers wanted a “mic-free” look so all the performers were on DPA or Countryman headsets with a Sanken for the Narrator. These were mixed in an SD9 onto separate stereo Band and Vocal groups for TiMax, each also containing independent reverb mixes from external Bricasti devices. Because the band was so far upstage their inputs were assigned in TiMax to BandMix L&R Image Definitions which pushed the whole composite main system 45ms upstage, resulting in solid anchoring of the live drummer to the mezzanine along with any DI’d stuff being effectively localised likewise with the help of the upstage band fills. The TiMax vocal inputs used Vocal L&R Image Definitions localised halfway back with 17ms relative to front of stage, allowing room for movement around the relatively small stage without hitting phasing or echo thresholds. Having separate reverbs included in these different band and vocal assignments helped keep things in time at the front, but the reverbs were also bled very slightly into the surrounds withiin the respective Image Definitions. Other inputs on the 16x16 TiMax unit handled six internal harddrive audio tracks plus another six coming in from QLab.

The proof of the pudding is as they say in the eating and in this case many of the reviewers seemed to enjoy the dessert. One remarked that “ ..it is the most amazing production I have seen, the sound was awesome the singing you can not find fault and the cast is so perfect I can not find words”. The show has been selling out since its July previews and has just been extended to October. In the words of the The Fugard Theatre’s Executive Director, Daniel Galloway, "I have never experienced anything quite like this in my theatre career in Cape Town”.

Click on the link below to visit the TiMax Media channel www.youtube.com/channel/UCCpdYULHd17Ie-cfbETvAAg

www.thefugard.com

ALL PHOTO CREDITS: Jesse Kate Kramer

www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wmGuwa444XI

Return to the news page

 
 
 
 

 


Click on the links below to view a news story from our Archive


2013

2012

TiMax Tracker and SoundHub for Royal Albert Hall’s high-tech AIDA

TiMax SoundHub iPad app supports CocaCola Experiential Showcasing…

Folktheater in Gothenberg chooses TiMax Tracker and TiMax SoundHub

TiMax Soundhub 3D spatialisation at Delhi wedding

TiMax2 SoundHub helps sculpt Andromache soundscape

TiMax2 SoundHub repeats Fela! success in Lagos

TiMax Tracker Raises the Roof in Rep at Regents Park


2011

TiMax Soundhub runs away to the Cirque

TiMax Tracker Partners Omnidirectional Sound Design for Hamlet

TiMax Tracker arena debut for Carmen at the O2

Göteborgs Stadsteater adds TiMax SoundHub and TiMax Tracker for vocal localisation


Open Air Triumphs for TiMax2 SoundHub and TiMax Tracker

TiMax Tracker and Carmen in-the-round in Switzerland

TiMax Tracker at Royal Command in Sweden


Landmark year for TiMax at Basel and Edinburgh Tattoos

Patienten rock musical

Turku City Theatre installs TiMax Tracker and TiMax2 SoundHub


2010


Hi-tech outdoor resurrection of Jesus Christ Superstar.

TiMax Tracker evolutionary sound design for Les Mes.

TiMax2 SoundHub new AVcontrol for Crestron

Oslo Opera House integrates TiMax and Stagetec

TiMax 2 Crowns the King and I at the Albert Hall

TiMax audio tracking for Basel and Edinburgh Tattoos

TiMax Tracks Marie Antoinette at Musical Theater Bremen

2009 - 2007

Thomas Strebel collects Frankfurt Opus Award for TiMax

TiMax Tracker helps the tale of William Tell

TiMax – now That’s Magick

TiMax moves Matter

TiMax at the heart of the danish royal theatre

Tosca and TiMax Talent Tracker automatic audio tracking


TiMax surrounds the Niagara Fury visitor experience

Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts adds TiMax to curriculum

Educating TiMax– At Amsterdam's AES 124

Madam Butterfly stalked by TiMax audio tracking at Royal Albert Hall

Basel Tattoo keeps time with TiMax

TiMax goes outdoors for Switzerland’s Einsiedler

Out Board PLASA 2007 Show Preview Information

Korea National Theatre undergoes digital sound system refurbishment

TiMax Track The Actors receives PLASA Award for Innovation October

TiMax Audio Imaging supports Basel’s first Military Tattoo October

MTV Dance Surround Sound arena uses TiMax Audio Imaging

2006

PRG Europe and UK Rigging: Out Board LV8 motor control for Madonna tour

Britannia Row Buys 13 Dolby Lake Processors for Robbie Williams

TiMax SoundTablet and Track The Actors feature on Show Boat musical

TiMax parades Music Street at GoodView Hotel, DongGuan City, PRC

La Boheme opera uses TiMax and TTA automatic audio image tracking

SSE tours Deep Purple and Oasis with new Lake

Long Gang Cultural and Arts Centre installs TiMax ImageMaker matrix

ELP automates rigging at Queen Elizabeth Hall with Out Board and Ibex

TiMax SoundTablet sound effects software launches at PLASA 05

Britannia Row tours the Doves with Lake Contour

TiMax enhances 5.1 surround system down Mexico way

Edinburgh Tattoo in Australia features TiMax and Norwest Productions

Entec Buys Lake Contours and Lake SMAART Control

Carl Cox rumbles the jungle with TiMax and Martin

Jerry Springer - The Opera's West End Move

Digital upgrades in classical theatre embrace TiMax

New TiMax V990 Software and laptop interface

Out Board CM Hoist controllers support major tours

LIPA hosts theatre sound seminar by Out Board

Fabric Times it to the Max

Gubbay's Critics Silenced by TiMax

Flying flames and Physical Theatre

2005 - 2000

TiMax audio imaging supports Carmen opera in the Albert Hall

Out Board reports growing re-seller success with new DM-Series hoist control

TiMax assists corporate and special events

Out Board grows international sales

SSE buys Lake Contour Processors

TiMax teams with ProTools® in casino project

TiMax plays the cruise ships

Out Board at Glastonbury 2003

TiMax helps create realism in Albert Hall arena opera

Second year for TiMax audio imaging at OPEL corporate event

Diverse Applications for Out Board’s CM-Series Chain Hoist Controllers

TiMax Helps Launch Four Major Car Brands at the Detroit Motor Show

TiMax in summer dance festival line-up

Villeneuve and TiMax - Moving in the right Direction

TiMax Picks Up TCI Audio Product of the Year Award

Might as Well Face It (You're Addicted to TiMax)

TiMax: The Perfect Send & Return Demand for Out Board Electronics

The Orb Achieves Global Control with TiMax

TiMax: Today's Technology in Tomorrow's World

TiMax, the PC-controlled surround sound system developed by Out Board Electronics*

TiMax does a Riverdance on Broadway

TiMax localises Blackpool's Eclipse

TiMax Effects Witches of Eastwick July 2000

Roll Up, Roll Up... Out Board Electronics

TiMax Takes Tattoo in its stride

Men In Scarlet- The Royal Hospital Chelsea September 2000

Out Board's TiMax for AES Amsterdam

AVAB-CAC flies TiMax into Norway

TiMax Laying Down the Law in Norway June 2000

Out Board Make 3-Phase PAT & Multicore cable testing a Reality

Out Board Launch Multiple Chain-Hoist Controllers

VERTIGO take first Out Board Controllers June 2000

TiMax Floors em Again on Burn The Floor!

Ratanga Junction Abducts the Crowds with TiMax Lasers

Congress Elects to use TiMax