Meyer Sound once again performs for Franco Dragone
CHINA: Having made up the sound systems for current and past Franco Dragone shows including The Han Show, Meyer Sound was once again called upon for the theatrical director’s latest spectacle: The Dai Show. The equipment was supplied by the manufacturer’s Chinese distributor, Shanghai Broad Future Electro Technology Co and installed by Shenzhen Runze Lighting & Audio Technology Development Co. The sound system’s design was a joint effort, with Colbert Davis of California’s Thinkwell Group recommending the systems used, while the setup was later modified by sound designer Corrado Campanelli following changes made to the building structure as well as the show’s music.
Based at the Xishuangbanna International Resort in Yunnan Province, The Dai Show is performed within the Dai Show Theatre, a domed structure built especially for the production. The show runs nightly, featuring aquatic acrobatics that are complemented by the accompanying music and sound effects provided from a Meyer Sound D-Mitri 128-channel digital audio platform. The audio reaches its audience by way of 103 of the manufacturer’s loudspeakers that are set out in an encircling array.
Mixing, matrixing, multitrack playback and show control are all taken care of by the D-Mitri working alongside a series of CueConsole control surfaces. Sound is panned around the two circular arrays of loudspeakers using the Space Map software.
‘Having D-Mitri integrated with Space Map definitely expanded my creative options,’ explained Mr Campanelli. ‘Working in the round, with two layers of surrounds, I could think in a much more immersive way with all music and sound effects. With the press of a button, the operator can dynamically move sounds three dimensionally around the space, immersing spectators in the action.
‘Since this was all original music, I could work with the composer, Michael Brennan, to identify instruments or sounds that could be dynamically moved during the performance,’ he continued. ‘I do not know of any system other than D-Mitri that can accomplish this as easily and effectively.’
Completing the audio setup were pairs of UPQ-1P and UPM-1P loudspeakers, three UPJ-1P VariO units and 19 UPJunior-XP VariO modules. A total of 49 MM-4XP self-powered loudspeakers and three 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements were also deployed, with two M1D-Sub subwoofers as well as a Galileo loudspeaker management system and a pair of Galileo 616 processors. Four UPJ-1XP loudspeakers and an additional CueConsole control surface that is connected to a 72-channel D-Mitri platform were also integrated.
The theatre was designed by famed architect Mark Fisher of Stufish Entertainment Architects, while Auerbach Pollock Friedlander was engaged for the planning and programming of the theatrical design. An additional challenge presented by the 1,183-seat venue’s layout was that above the central pool, the domed ceiling would form part of the visual effect, meaning that for the most part, the speakers needed to be hidden from view.
‘We could not have large line arrays hanging down in view, so instead we deployed a main inner ring of 10 UPA-1P loudspeakers as the main system, and a delay ring of 23 UP-4XP loudspeakers under the surrounding soffit,’ recalled Mr Campanelli. ‘In addition, we deployed two more rings with a total of 59 smaller loudspeakers for the dynamic surround effects.’
Mr Campanelli concluded by noting how setup was kept simple by keeping to a single manufacturer for the entire system. ‘It was 100 per cent routing through Meyer systems, from D-Mitri and CueConsole through the Galileo processors and into the loudspeakers,’ he said. ‘It made setup much easier, knowing that everything is fully compatible and we have one source of excellent technical support.’