The latest Jaguar model, the Jaguar XE, was spectacularly launched in the UK amidst a fully produced musical theatre-style show - staged in a 3000-seat proscenium theatre within London’s Earls Court. The 90minute continuous narrative involved 17 different cars: Jaguars through the ages. A Morris Minor, a cast of west end performers, a 30-piece orchestra positioned upstage on a moving rider and musical performances from the likes of Emily Sande, Eliza Doolittle and the Kaiser Chiefs were woven in to the narrative fabric of the show.
Freelance sound designer, Seb Frost worked closely with Imagination’s Head of Sound, John DelNero, to create natural theatre sound on the vast 53metre x 30metre stage, utilising a TiMax SoundHub audio showcontrol delay-matrix, supplied by London-based production hire company, Orbital Sound, not only to contain the sound but also to ensure the 3000-strong audience in the raised auditorium seating could ‘pin sounds to the source’
Frost explains, “Without TiMax the performance would have been flat and the intelligibility severely hampered. There were so many different sources of sound in such a big space – bands were positioned down stage, some over to the side, some upstage, as well as individual performers – and we needed to cope with those different sources of sound on a quickly changing basis.”
With such a complex build into Earls Court 1 – involving over 85 tonnes of truss and equipment and possibly the largest load to have ever hung from the building’s roof – technical dress rehearsal time was short. Time was at a premium and Frost ‘did the initial set up and calculations [for TiMax] as soon as we were in the venue and then trained up the very talented Chris Whybrow who was to be my TiMax operator’.
Well versed in the capabilities of TiMax, Frost set up seven zones on the stage, allowing Whybrow to work through rehearsals allocating buttons and resources in TiMax to every point of the show. Frost confirms, “It was the first time Chris had used TiMax but he was able to just get on and built 40-50 cues very easily. He’s a very good engineer which helped, but it was still easier than expected.”
The sound system for the show comprised four arrays of d&b J series positioned as a row over the downstage, with four delay arrays of d&b V series half way back in the audience stands. Main FOH consoles were Digico SD10s, which also triggered the TiMax Soundhub Cues via MIDI.
Frost adds in conclusion, “TiMax really helped cement the believability of the performers on stage and create a theatrical environment for the entire production which in Earls Court is no mean feat.”