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August 2012 l 45


how they fill a room. But it’s all one-dimensional sound – and that’s not to my taste. However, at the A/B testing in Paris with the Uniline for the first time, I thought, you have the directivity, but you have the dimension of the sound. Such a sonic difference!” As there was budget

available, Maassen specified an ‘A/B redundant’ system, as developed by his mentor Levan. In brief: there are two speaker systems, hung side-by-side. One set of performer microphones are routed to the A system, the other to the B. So, when cast members are in close contact on stage, as long as one is A and the other B, there will be no phase difference between signals caused by A’s voice spilling into B’s mic, and vice- versa. Co-ordinated re- grouping of A and B cast mics at FOH for every scene ensures that there are always clean signals coming from the PA; and a superior sound is

delivered to the audience. The Uniline system chosen

by Maarsen forms a central cluster above the proscenium and comprises 24 APG UL210 cabinets in two hangs of 12, plus four APG TB215S subs, two on each outer edge. The FOH console arrangement consists of three Cadac J-Types (where just one is a rarity in these digital days), linked to the PA system via copper multicore. The 18-strong orchestra uses a

mix of Sennheiser instrument mics and Schoeps overheads. The drummer/percussionist is, unusually, in his own separate room (nicknamed ‘Das Boot’) below the orchestra; his submix is piped into the orchestral pit via APG DS15s. A Yamaha PM5D controls the monitor levels for the orchestra; these are routed to Aviom personal monitors so the musicians can set their own levels. Other APG enclosures include SMX15s and TB118s

Sound designer Hendrik Maassen trained under show guru Martin Levan

they don’t have the same rental system operation like they have in the UK. Production companies are in the habit of buying things outright.” Maassen favours Lab.gruppen

or Powersoft amps for installation, but admits, for touring, he always recommends Lab.gruppen (“for marketing and profile reasons”). The sound designer knows

APG Uniline ‘A/B’ formation, plus subs, above the proscenium

sub stacks; DS15S speakers built into the edge of the stage (and disguised with fabric), and further MX1 scattered around the auditorium (again, on the A/B system) to complement the enveloping sound design. In total, there are nearly 150 speakers in the Palladium Theatre. All speakers have been purchased by the production company. “Here in Germany

the show boasts a much larger PA system than most shows of its class. “The director wanted a lot of atmosphere,” reveals Maassen. “And, for instance, in the part where the characters are down by the ocean, we used a SoundField microphone to record the ocean – actually off the Cornish coast! Then with plug-in software and the large MX1 speaker spread, we make it fill the room. “I’m very grateful to APG, and the producers, that we really found a nice solution to the sound design here.” n

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