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Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven Takes Flare into Theatre

Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven Takes Flare into Theatre
Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven Takes Flare into Theatre

UK - The Bill Kenwright musical celebrating the 1950s, Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven, has been touring UK theatres with a sound system equipped with Flare Audio loudspeakers, supplied by Orbital Sound, in one of the first outings for Flare in the theatre sector. With a production style that is more a series of gigs than a conventional musical, the show’s vibe is being reinforced by the main front of house system, comprising Flare Audio’s X5A Vertical Point Source Array loudspeakers, ground stacked atop Flare’s Q18 Directional Touring Bass subs.

Featuring the music of classic names from the 50s, including the likes of Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison, Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven has a dynamic live-band feel. The show’s four-piece band – guitar, bass, kit and keyboards – is on stage throughout, with four singers sharing lead-vocal duties across the various styles and the inter-song story links.

Specified particularly for its top-end clarity, the main Flare Audio system is configured with a modest array of X5A loudspeakers per side, in conjunction with just four Q18 2x18" subs per side – part of the company’s Quadhorn series of sub-bass designs. Front-fill duties are being handled by four V10 loudspeakers, with the stage monitoring delivered via a mix of d&b audiotechnik wedges, including M2, M4 and MAX12 units.

Dave Preece, the show’s sound designer, commented: "We wanted to generate a thoroughly live feel, and we were looking to present the show with the best possible quality. I first heard the Flare Audio speakers at Orbital’s London HQ, and although not on a theatre scale at that time, I thought they sounded lovely. The Flare designs generate a very clean sound, with good high-end definition – you can tell there’s a lot more clarity going on. With no traditional horn system present in the X5A, the results just sound so much better. To maintain the production’s feel, the brief from Keith Strachan, the show’s director, was that everything had to be live – if it wasn’t live, we couldn't do it! So we have no click tracks on the show, apart from just one intro track – the production is purely the band and vocalists on stage. The Flare-based system has fitted the vibe perfectly, giving us the overall quality, clarity and consistency that we wanted. In some ways, the X5A loudspeakers are perhaps larger than we might have preferred given the scale of the tour, but at one venue – Orchard Theatre, Dartford – Flare brought in their new X2A design, so we could hear it in context. It sounds equally promising!"

Flare Audio’s SB18C won an Innovation Award at the 2013 PLASA, on the basis of its "truly innovative approach to an age-old problem." The X5A was also singled out for a special commendation, sharing the same innovative concept as the award-winning Flare Audio SB18C.

In picture: Rock'n'Roll Heaven Tour sound designer Dave Preece; RnR Heaven Flare X5 stack.

22nd October 2014

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