Return to the news page

Woolf Works, Wayne McGregor’s first full length ballet
Woolf Works, Wayne McGregor’s first full length ballet for the Royal Ballet, performed at Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House, was met by critics and audiences with very high acclaim. The ballet triptych was based on Virginia Woolf, as viewed through her three major novels: Mrs Dalloway, Orlando and The Waves.

The original score by Max Richter was realised for the stage by sound designer Chris Ekers who successfully brought together a truly complex sound production incorporating music from a live orchestra and electronic music in an environment typically neither set up for nor suited to amplification.

Ekers commented, “It was evident from the way Max had scored each segment that amplification would be necessary. To allow full creative control, a TiMax SoundHub delay-matrix was always going to be a part of my specification, and as things quickly developed it became clear TiMax was the only device able to handle all the elements the production demanded.”

Ekers explains how it simplified things: “TiMax enabled us to very quickly create one interface, from one computer, to control every single loudspeaker without having to go to the desk to attend to each box individually – we just didn’t have that time in the day, plus we’d have been in the sound operator’s way.” Robin Whittaker from Out Board was on site during rehearsal to help fast-track the TiMax programming in the tight timescales available.

The show’s second segment, based on the novel Orlando, was scored to utilise a lot of electronic techno music. Ekers needed to create energy in the room without it being an overly loud banging club level for the audience.

An additional loudspeaker system was positioned upstage, with the techno parts’ low end provided by two subbass cabinets positioned onstage inside the prosc and facing each other, due to the issue of space. These subs were located upstage of the orchestra by about 3.5metres but downstage of the main techno speaker system by about 20metres so the timing relationship between them all was critical. “I had to take a risk, explains Ekers, “but it paid off.”

When the techno elements were running, TiMax matrixed it so all the audio was delayed back to the onstage system, which then seamlessly segued with the amplified orchestral moments from the live orchestra in the pit. As Chris points out, “Switching between delay setups, when you’ve got a signal path playing electronic music that’s heavily delayed back on to the stage, and then you’re going into a system where you’ve got an acoustic source from the pit - to seamlessly go back and forth – TiMax is really the only device that can do that.”

The upstage loudspeaker system was also used in the third segment, based on The Waves. The positioning of the audio source so far away at the back of the stage made the flow of the sound of waves through the auditorium all the more realistic and effective.

TiMax was also used here to solve an unexpected problem. McGregor had wanted the audience in the intervals to tune into the next performance, so before the third act the sounds of the sea were brought through the auditorium loudspeakers as the safety curtain was in and blocking the upstage system. McGregor had a LogicPro music and effects show file for each act, but rather than tying up Logic for the interval tracks, TiMax onboard SSD playback was used for the interval waves atmos.

The advantage here was that a Timecode trigger from Logic instigated the fade out of the TiMax playback. So a perfect segue was created at the beginning of the third act as the waves continued uninterrupted but morphing from the loudspeakers in the auditorium to the upstage loudspeaker system.

TiMax 3D audio trickery made its presence felt in other segments of the triptych. The first, based on Mrs Dalloway, features the regular beat of ticking clocks, played as a live part by musicians. Meanwhile the rest of the orchestra were playing parts each to very different time signatures to create an extremely complex rhythm as the backdrop to Mrs Dalloway’s existence. Richters wanted to emphasise spatially to the audience the beat of time passing, indeed he’d scored it originally to be panned left and right. With TiMax in place however, the time could very easily be marked in a more dramatic sense. So Ekers programmed the regular tick-tock beats, played by a live performer, to be moved in real time through the audience as if moving around the horizontal plane of a clock face.

Ekers commented, “Even up in the circle, the movement of the sound could be heard very clearly, gradually fading and then reappearing directly across the auditorium. It was really effective.

He sums up, “Both Wayne(McGregor) and Max(Richters) were really pleased with the outcome. They both wanted to embrace as much technology as they could – and having TiMax in place to render and manage what they were trying to achieve, to present it at its absolute best, was very pleasing to them. We are all over the moon with the high praise the performances and production has received.”

Return to the news page








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





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


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


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


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