JPJ Audio scores Hans Zimmer production
AUSTRALIA: Hans Zimmer recently travelled to Australia as part of the Revealed Tour, conducting an array of musicians, singers, an orchestra and a choir as they performed some of his most recognisable tracks from the scores of films such as Gladiator, The Dark Knight trilogy and The Lion King. With so many musicians this was a complex production from an audio standpoint and JPJ Audio was tasked with supplying the equipment and crew members in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
The core band consists of 22 people, including six keyboard players who each switch between other instruments. The choir is formed of 16 and 12 string players and nine brass players make up the orchestra. This results in the need for 63 monitor mixes and 260 input channels.
‘To control all of this we have a DiGiCo SD7 at FOH and monitors, plus an SD11 to sub mix the orchestra and choir,’ explained Colin Pink, the film score composer’s FOH engineer. ‘The main reason for choosing the DiGiCo consoles was their high channel count coupled with their ability to “copy audio” over the fibre optic network. Even with the high channel count of the SD7, I was creating “stems” of the playback and certain sections for Gavin Tempany at monitors, since he could not take all the inputs directly as he had a reduced input count due to his high number of monitor outputs.’
A TC Electronic M6000 was also implemented at FOH to handle vocal reverbs, using an internal Tap Delay and Audio Enhancers inserted across the keyboards and electric cello. The show is reliant on surround sound effects, most of which are provided by the keyboards on stage and the rest by the playback rig.
Providing the surround sound reinforcement for the Australian leg of Revealed was the Clair CO12 system from JPJ Audio’s inventory. ‘We ended up with 16 CO12 a side as the main hangs, and 12 CO12 as side hangs,’ recalled Mr Pink. ‘As the content of this show has a very extended low end, we flew six subs per side next to the main hangs and had another 12 subs across the front of the stage. This gave us a very smooth coverage and plenty of headroom. Added to this we have a full surround system; it is soundtracks after all!’
At the start of the signal chain, DPA clip-on microphones were provided to the string players, while the band members were given ‘standard’ mics. Everyone used IEMs for monitoring, so there were no wedges littering the stage. Guitars were run through Kemper emulators.
Mr Pink and the tour crew were happy with the service that JPJ Audio provided. The rental company is even sending its rig out for the European stretch of the tour. ‘JPJ looked after us for the whole of the Australian leg,’ said Mr Pink. ‘The efficiency of the JPJ Sydney crew of Joel and Alex meant I never had to wait for any part of the PA ahead of sound checks.’