The stage musical Legally Blonde is every bit as fun and perhaps more energetic even than the film it bases itself upon. Its current Austrian staging at Vienna’s Ronacher Theater was produced by Vereinigte Buhnen Wien who own this venue as well as the Raimund Theatre in the same city.
With 18 songs and a cast of 30, the sound design created by Thomas Strebel of audiopool, Basel, characteristically – and necessarily – features SOR vocal-localisation, by virtue of a TiMax2 SoundHub delay-matrix and TiMax Tracker system. The TiMax systems were purchased from Austrian Distributor ATEC Pro Audio GmbH by Vereinigte Buhnen Wien.
Strebel has worked for many years with TiMax to promote a greater quality, clarity and intelligibility as standard in musical theatre sound design. With support from Out Board’s Robin Whittaker, who also assisted with onsite TiMax set up, Strebel’s design specification dictated that extra APG elements would be added to the original line-array system to create the distributed system configuration necessary for his source-oriented reinforcement (SOR) objectives.
The Stagetech Aurus console feed radio mic channel direct outs via optical MADI to a TiMax2-SoundHub-32S delay-matrix whose matrix outputs then return them back to the desk via MADI for distribution to the multichannel PA. A TiMax Tracker performer tracking system, with six TT Sensors located around the stage and auditorium, receive UWB radar pulses from miniature TT Tags worn by the actors. As they moved around the stage a stream of stage zone transition instructions for each radio mic was sent to the TiMax Soundhub, which then morphed seamlessly between delay-matrix Image Definitions to create continuous localisation of the vocals automatically as actors danced and moved around stage.
Strebel commented, “We have now been using the TiMax2 SoundHub delay matrix and the TiMax Tracker system for many years and on many productions to localise the actors on stage, and we particularly wanted to use it on Legally Blonde to improve vocal intelligibility and therefore clarity on this busy and lively production. Once again TiMax has helped us do that.”
Legally Blonde The Musical is the all singing, all dancing – if somewhat unlikely – romantic comedy about knowing who you are and showing what you’ve got! Main protagonist, blonde Elle Woods follows her ex- boyfriend, Warner, to Harvard Law School to win him back. With some help from new-found friends Paulette, Emmett and her chihuahua Bruiser, she learns that it’s so much better to be smart.