SSL Live Japanese theatre production
JAPAN: The National Theatre of Japan is currently celebrating its 50th year and as been undergoing refurbishment in a bid to attract larger audiences as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games draw closer. This includes the upgrading of equipment, including the installation of six SSL Live L500 Plus consoles.
State owned, the theatre is operated by the Japan Arts Council and bears the responsibility of upholding traditional Japanese theatrical and performance styles, while researching, educating and providing performances for disciplines including kabuki, bunraku, noh and kyogen. The main building comprises a large hall that accommodates audiences of up to 1,610 and a smaller hall that seats 590 visitors. Meanwhile, the Engei Hall, separate from the main building, is used for staging smaller productions.
The Live L500 Plus consoles were chosen due to a combination of requirements. Firstly, the theatre needed a console that could produce as natural sounding audio as possible, a need that was met by the console’s SuperAnalogue mic amp technology combined with its 96kHz operation and signal processing capabilities. Secondly, with limited space in the theatre's machine room, the fact that the console’s processing hardware is housed inside the console itself, rather than in racks, was a major advantage.
The large hall has been installed with three of the consoles, each assigned a specific duty: mic input, sound effects, and final mix. Two were deployed to the small hall with one use for mic inputs, the other for both sound effects and final mix. The remaining Live L500 Plus has been employed as a floating console, moved throughout the venue to wherever it is needed and used for both recording and sound reinforcement applications.
‘The L500 Plus consoles are working as we expected,’ said Makoto Ishii, head of the technical division of the National Theatre, following the installation. ‘They have very flexible routing features for inputs and outputs, and the Stem bus-type and output Matrix are very useful.’