Sony Pro Audio is proud to announce that Theatre Sound Designer Dan Samson has been using Sony DWX-N Digital Wireless on the touring and West End production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rices Evita the Musical. The first world tour originating from the UK at this scale, Evita uses an extensive digital wireless setup that includes 32 channels across the entire cast.
Having to manage 32 separate audio channels for cast members is a challenge in itself before considering the solution has to be regularly dismantled and put back together in a different venue each week. Dan needed a solution that was intuitive and easy to set up while still offering reliable, superb sound quality. UK distributor, Sound Network managed the initial setup and provided the full team with a thorough tutorial to ensure there would be no hiccups on the road. Dan also aimed to create a smart network for this show using Sonys Cross Remote technology, and Sound Network helped set up the software controls to ensure this could happen. Cross Remote allows up to 82 transmitters to be managed centrally, passing data both ways between transmitters, receivers and the Sony Wireless Studio control suite.
Sony offered a number of benefits over competing solutions. In particular, the DWX-N rack mounted system made the initial setup process very straight-forward and enabled safe storage between shows. Dan also chose the Sony DWX-B01N transmitters thanks to their durability and build quality to date they have performed without a hitch throughout the productions tour run.
When consulting with cast-members and costume it was clear the size of the body pack was important to ensure it could be properly hidden from audience display. The Sony body packs measure just 73mm (w) x 60mm (h) x 16mm (d), which was a combined volume and weight that is less than its closest rivals could offer at the time.
Ollie Durrant, Evitas Head of Sound (Number 1), has been using the system day in, day out, controlling all the 32 channel assignments, muting and unmuting via the Wireless Studio control software. This control suite offers simultaneous control of up to 82 channels transmitters and receivers, measuring FM signal strength, handling channel assignment, gain structure and muting per channel and much more. Its proved a life-saver to his - and the Sound Number 2s - workflow: In terms of the usability of the system, its so much better than anything Ive ever used before. The fact that you dont actually have to touch the pack to make changes is great. With just one button on the radio rack we can power up, do a rig check, monitor vitals and turn them all off again. There is nothing else needed before they go out to the cast. With our previous system you had to turn every device back on individually before handing out to the cast, with the Sony beltpacks its just the click of a button to wake them up.
Sony Wireless Studio software also pays dividends in terms of quickly dealing with any issues as they arise. Ollie says, If I pick up an unusual noise out front I can look back through the records and access all the intelligence required to see what caused it. Its much more user friendly. The sound of the show, which uses DPA discreet¢ 4061s across the cast, is noticeably improved thanks to the Sony DWX-N systems audio handling. The gain structure coming into the DiGiCo console almost completely removes the need for gain adjustment by the sound team. The degrees of control are so accurate that Dan could calculate exactly what he was looking for coming into the pack as well as what should be coming into the console to create a linear pattern.
Dan will be using the same Sony DWX-N system for Cabaret, the Musical which kicks off its tour in autumn 2017.
Sonys professional audio solutions and pro audio systems include leading-edge digital and analogue wireless microphone systems, professional microphone packages, portable digital recorders, mixers and AV amps. For more information on Sony Professional Audio please visit http://www.pro.sony.eu/audio