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Jersey Boys Tours UK and Ireland
UK - The hugely successful musical Jersey Boys recently set out on its first ever tour of the UK and Ireland, complete with a sizeable sound system based on Steve Canyon Kennedy’s original design delivering the high octane Four Seasons’ show sound. At the heart of the system is the Meyer Sound M’elodie ultra compact high-powered curvilinear array speaker, complemented by d&b audiotechnik E5 and E6 compact speakers and, for the first time on a Jersey Boys’ production, a DiGiCo SD10 mixing console.
Jersey Boys is no stranger to the touring scene, with two US productions plus South Africa and Australia already notched up, so the teams already have a great deal of experience behind them. For the UK version, associate sound designer Andrew Keister and his team did an extensive study of some 18 venues in order to arrive at the a "best fit" touring design for the full range of spaces. Jersey Boys takes in an eclectic mix of venues, from the large such as the Edinburgh Playhouse, Liverpool Empire and Bristol Hippodrome, to much smaller, more intimate spaces. The result is a smaller, lighter weight rig than was most recently used on the Dutch production, to accommodate some of the ceiling weight restrictions and designed for ease of trucking, albeit without any loss of power and punch. The show itself also underwent some changes, including scaling down some of the scenery in line with the available venue wing space, as well as the decision to use an ingeniously engineered single drum kit, rather than the pair of moving ones as in previous productions. This change saved on quite a few console inputs, enabling Andrew to deploy the SD10 instead of the more usual SD7.
Another first was the introduction of a dedicated sound production engineer from Orbital – Dan Bailey – which represented something of a departure for Andrew compared to US productions, as he explains:
"This is not something we have done before, as it really isn’t customary for us on the US circuit, but I have to say it was a great decision. Dan did an absolutely superb job for us and took great care of the show. He’s a first class engineer and we couldn’t be happier."
The full Jersey Boys touring system comprises the Meyer Sound M’elodie and Mina cabinets, together with UPA, UPM and UP-Junior self-powered speakers plus 600-HP and 700-HP subs. From the d&b audiotechnik range is a sizeable complement of E5, E6 and E0 loudspeakers, with D6 amplifiers. On the radiomic front, the team has deployed 32 of Sennheiser’s SK-5212 transmitters, with EM-3732 receivers. The moving drum kit, a key feature in the meticulously choreographed musical, is connected via a pair of Yamaha RIO digital input/output units – chosen for their compact size and quality audio. Processing for all the audio is all handled via a comprehensive Meyer Galileo system.
For Andrew, it was straight back to work on revamping the US tour on leaving the UK: "Although we all have a lot of experience with Jersey Boys, there is always something new you take away each time. We are currently applying the lessons we learned on the UK tour, in terms of making the show a little smaller and more efficient to move around – it’s a question of continually evolving and improving things wherever we can!"
The sound team on the show includes Hannah Reymes-Cole as the tour’s AI and head of department, with Elliott Sinclair as the A2. The production engineering team comprised Dan Bailey, Dennis Fernandez, Rich Gurly, Jack Lord and Steve McEvoy.
10th December 2014
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