Starlight Theatre – Kansas City, MO – August 28, 2013:
As Miss Saigon gets closer to opening at Starlight Theatre, the pressure to help produce a “Broadway” quality musical increases. As the Sound Designer there are many different channels to work through to make all parties happy. I work closely with the director to help him achieve the vision and feeling of the show. I also work directly with the musical director who helps me know exactly who is singing what part and which instruments should be pushed or pulled on certain songs. Ultimately, the overall sound of the show is my task. On this particular show I chose the Yamaha CL5 sound console. This console allows me to mix a total of 80 different channels of audio. This digital console is based upon a Dante network, utilizing a Cat5 based snake system. This allows all of the audio and processing to stay on stage, eliminating long cable runs of analog signal, which can deteriorate the signal. I have chosen to use Shure wireless microphones for this production, specifically, Shure UR1 body pack because of their size. These body packs can be hidden in costumes or even in actor’s wigs. Another interesting part of sound design for theatrical productions is sound effect design. A major part of sound effects is research. I want the sound effects to be as time specific and accurate as possible. For the playback of the sound effects we use a really cool program called QLab, buy Figure53 software. This software is really powerful and allows multiple sounds to be playing at the same time, coming out of different outputs going to different speakers around the theatre.
I can work as hard as possible, but would still come up short for this size of show. I rely heavily on a dedicated audio crew that helps me every step of the way. On this show I have an assistant sound designer, production mixer, A2 and Radio Frequency coordinator. It takes all of us to pull off this complex show. With all of the hard work, we are looking forward to opening night for Miss Saigon.