Raimund Theater adds more APG for Elisabeth

Thursday, 25 October 2012
Raimund Theater adds more APG for ElisabethElisabeth tells the gripping story of Austria's attractive Empress Sisi
Austria The most successful German-language musical of all time celebrates its 20th anniversary in the famous Viennese theatre, the Raimund Theater. Having played to over 8.5 million people across 11 different countries, Elisabeth tells the gripping story of Austria's attractive Empress Sisi. The occasion has merited a brand new sound design by world famous sound designer and engineer, Thomas Strebel, with the addition of eight APG MC2 loudspeakers designed for high intelligibility vocal reproduction following the initial installation of an APG SMX15-based loudspeaker system in 2010.

The original design by Matthias Reithofer for the musical Ich war noch niemals in New York was an A-B configuration based on SMX15s and MX1 delays with TB118S and TB218S subs. The idea of using an A-B system to separate the mix was to avoid the summing of microphone signals that can lead to phase cancellation, thus creating a much richer image from the same number of boxes. The system worked extremely well and has continued to be used for all the subsequent productions that have played the Raimund until now. Strebel, described why he opted for a different sound design on this occasion:

"It's actually very straightforward," he said, "and nothing to do with the performance of the system as it stood - it's just that it wasn't appropriate for what we wanted to do on this show."

"Our company, audiopool, has worked for years on various productions using an audio tracking system for the actors on stage, and we particularly wanted to use it on Elisabeth as it improves vocal clarity and therefore intelligibility," explained Strebel. "As a result, we had to redesign the loudspeaker system in order to accommodate the requirements of the tracking system.

"We have in fact maintained the dual system concept, but not in a classic A-B configuration," he continued. "What we've done is to create two completely independent systems; one for music and the second for vocals. The MC2s reinforced by an SMX15 and a pair of DS15s now comprise the vocal system, while the music system deploys the SMX15s and TB218S subs with MX1 front-fills. Each speaker is now amplified individually and the speakers have been moved to different positions in the house. We've significantly increased speaker coverage across the proscenium arch with the MC2s to make the tracking as smooth as possible with no holes anywhere, and the results are excellent."

"APG makes very good sounding loudspeakers, and since our new design also uses point source speakers, the systems already in the Raimund Theater matched our needs perfectly," concluded Strebel. "We were able to adapt the existing system to our new design with no problem at all and the writers and composers are more than happy with the results."

(Jim Evans)

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