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TiMax Tracks the Vampires in epic gothic masterpiece

Berlin’s enchanting Theater des Westens is currently playing host to a stage musical production of Polanski’s Tanz de Vampire (Dance of the Vampires) with libretto by Dr Michael Kunze and music composed by the legendary Jim Steinmann of Meatloaf fame. In keeping with the show’s lavish staging, a TiMax Tracker performer tracking system and TiMax SoundHub-S32 delay-matrix have been employed to create authentic vocal localisation and immersive surround sound effects.

Sound designer Thomas Strebel from Swiss event specialists audiopool specified TiMax processing and automation having used it extensively in musical theatre productions across Europe. In a first for Strebel he also chose Turbosound Flex Array for his primary vocal reinforcement and music systems, having been introduced to the product by Robin Whittaker, director of TiMax developers Out Board, who was also on site for alignment and programming support.

A left/centre/right vocal system comprised three hangs of TFA-600H while the separate left/right music system used TFA600H and TFA600HW cabinets plus aux-fed TFS-900B and TFS-600L subs. Upstage was a d&b Q7 split L/C/R first-wavefront system to help anchor the vocals, and E3’s were use for front-fills. Various balcony delays were done with Meyer UP1’s while distributed d&b E0’s provided a surround effects system. Amps were LabGruppen PLM’s, and the PA system was supplied by Bernd Schmitz of FeedBack Show Systems and Service GmbH.

These discrete speaker channels were matrixed from a 32x32 TiMax2 SoundHub matrix via analogue I/O, which received 13 Sennheiser radio mic channel direct outs plus band and effects submixes from the house Cadac J-Type console. A TiMax Tracker system controlled the TiMax SoundHub to continuously localise the vocals by seamlessly morphing matrixed-delays from each mic to the distributed vocal PA as the actors moved around stage. Each actor wore a miniature TT-Tag transmitting radar-frequency UWB signals to a network of six TT Sensors distributed around the stage and auditorium. The multiple view Sensor deployment has the significant advantage of inherent redundancy as only two TT Sensors need to see a Tag at any time for precision (10cm/6in) tracking to be achieved in realtime. The TiMax SoundHub and Tracker systems were supplied by German production rental company Sugar Veranstaltungstechnik GmbH.

Tanz de Vampire has just been extended to January 2013 following a critically-acclaimed year long run.