Rat Pack Lives Again With Turbosound

Jan 5, 2004 12:00 PM, Editors

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The Rat Pack at the Strand Theatre (London), showcasing the voices, music and lifestyles of legendary performers Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra, is delivered via 30 Turbosound Qlight™ enclosures in a sound system designed and installed by WE Audio (UK) and supplied through Marquee Audio (UK).

Forming the core of the system are Turbosound TQ-440 speakers with TQ-220 and TQ-230 models for under-balcony delays and fills, while sub-bass gets support from TQ-425 and TQ-115s, with the TQ-310 speakers as stage monitors.

The show re-creates the style and ambience of the famed Las Vegas Sands Casino, the scene of many performances by the original Rat Pack members. To this end, WE Audio’s Wayne Barker, working with associates Tim McCall and Andy Playford, designed the system specifically to reinforce the nightclub atmosphere and to provide support for the show's strong vocal styles over the sound of the 15-piece band. Barker explained: "We paid a lot of attention to many details—from microphones to loudspeakers—to present the sound of a ’60s nightclub as faithfully as possible, and undertook considerable research to find the most appropriate tool for each aspect of the sound. Right from their launch, we identified the size and performance of Turbosound's TQ systems as being highly suited to theater applications. The TQ concept is a perfect match for this show's specification, which called for a compact system that was easy to work and rig. WE first deployed them for the show's tour prior to its West End arrival. The speakers performed incredibly well with maximum coverage from very few boxes.

"The TQ systems have also proved to be flexible enough to produce excellent results in the huge range of venues in configurations ranging from a single proscenium-hung pair to a large central cluster. The Strand system has been expanded to ensure that we addressed the auditorium's acoustics as carefully as possibly and achieved even coverage throughout the stalls in addition to the venue's three balcony levels. The very natural midrange vocal quality of the TQ-440 loudspeakers is excellent for the powerful, big band dynamics of the 15-piece orchestra.”

WE Audio's system at the Strand is powered by 24 Crest Audio Pro7200 and Pro8200 amplifiers, two Turbosound LMS-D6 loudspeaker controllers, eight channels of Drawmer compression and two BSS Soundwebs to handle the configuration and routing of the system's 27 loudspeaker sends.

The Rat Pack's loudspeaker system is configured using TQ-440 enclosures at either side of the proscenium, positioned for the stalls and for each of the three balcony levels. Sub-bass TQ-425 units are located under the front of the stage and in the dress circle, with TQ-115 systems providing extra low-level support for the highest circle. The narrow-profile TQ-220 and TQ-230 systems are hung under each balcony to handle the delays, with separate units providing spot fills for the theater's boxes as required. TQ-310 units, configured to take advantage of their rotatable HF waveguide and trapezoidal cabinet design, are being used in horizontal format as stage monitors.

WE Audio has worked closely throughout the project with Andy Sharrocks, production manager for Flying Music, the show's production company. The WE Audio team responsible for the show comprises Wayne Barker, sound designer; Tim McCall, system programmer; Andrew Playford, sound manager; David Burrows, front-of-house engineer; and James Loveless, monitor engineer.

For more information, visit WE Audio at www.weaudio.co.uk or Marquee Audio at www.marqueeaudio.co.uk/index.html. For more information on the speakers, visit Turbosound at www.turbosound.com. For more touring news, visit mixonline.com/live_sound_tour_profiles/index.htm.






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