Beth Orton takes M2D on tour
The new M2D system means that the great dispersion characteristics available for the larger venues are now available to engineers working in smaller venues. This tour included venues ranging from the York Barbican and Birmingham Symphony Hall to the Bristol Academy, so the configuration of the new PA was tested in substantially different rooms. Tim Sunderland was FOH engineer for the five-week tour, adapting the system for each venue. 16 M2D cabinets were hung on two Meyer M2D support frames, joined by four Meyer UPA-1P SP speakers and six Meyer subwoofers to ensure complete coverage of the audience. Canegreen supplied Sunderland with a Midas Heritage 3000 mixing desk with a BSS Soundweb 9088 and BSS Soundweb 9088 system control. They also provided the processing rack, effects rack and monitor control systems.
"The M2D is a great system," said Tim. "We have used it in some quite different venues and have been delighted with the results, achieving good distribution of the sound with excellent detail and clarity for every show."
Atmospheric lighting from lighting designers Ricardo Lorenzini and Jason Fletcher complemented Orton’s music. They collaborated as part of the co-operative of lighting designers, Light And Projection Design (LAPD). Members of LAPD pool resources and collaborate on projects, and Lorenzini had worked with Orton before bringing Fletcher on board for the five-week tour, along with suppliers Utopium Lighting Ltd. "Utopium’s team has been brilliant in helping us get the best out of the budget," said Fletcher. "We tried a few things with different lights before I was happy that we had achieved the right dynamics. Initially I was going to use generic lighting, but we had to add some moving lights to achieve the desired look, with limited space at some of the venues."
To maintain a consistent atmosphere across the range of different venues, the designers used luxurious velvet drapes, hung at the rear and side of the stage to give a 3D perspective. The addition of eight floor-scans directed on the velvet increased the sumptuousness of the set and Fletcher employed warm colours in the main rig to compliment their rich backdrop. Utopium supplied the floor lights, 20 lamp battens, ACLs and birdies along with nine, six-lamp bars of par-cans, twelve fresnels, a dozen profiles, four HES studio beams and six Clay Paky Golden Scan 3s hung in the rig to achieve changing hues during each number. They also constructed a ‘half mirror ball’ that rotated slowly behind the drummer for one number, piercing the venue with green beams.