The project involved over 100 performers including flamenco dancers, hip hop, a 50-piece orchestra, and a full choir
Spain - As Barcelona hosted the biggest mobile industry show in the world in March, Orbital Sound's conference and events team moved into action with a high profile corporate event organised by global creative agency Imagination.

Staged at the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, the project involved a VIP evening's entertainment hosted by the MWC's headline sponsor, a major Chinese telecoms manufacturer. The project involved over 100 performers, taking part in an extravaganza that included flamenco dancers, hip hop, a 50-piece orchestra, and a full choir across three central stages, as well as in the balcony space - performed in front of an invited audience of some 1200.

The inspiration of Imagination's head of sound design John Del' Nero, the show sound was supervised by Seb Frost, and involved a technical crew of seven from Orbital Sound, under events director Eric Simpson. From the sound system perspective, the stars of the show were a combination d&b audiotechnik V-Series and T-Series, configured as three systems with 12 arrays to cover the large centre arena-style performance area underneath the Palace's main dome, as Eric explains:

"We used V8 and V12s for the central hangs, with T10s as fills around the central square stage area. In addition, a T10/T-SUBs combination was put in place for the soprano sound system, at one end of the upper gallery. We also used a complement of B2s and V-SUBs positioned at strategic locations, pretty much wherever we could fit them in.

"We ran the Yamaha CL5 mixer with Rios and Cat 5, dotting the 6 amp racks around the upper gallery level as there was no space for a single installation. It was very much a question of getting everything in place as quickly as possible and then fine-tuning as the rehearsals got under way. With the museum open to the public for much of the set-up days, that in itself was a real challenge."

The performances took place at either end and in the round, focused around a central raised stage covered with video walls, which lifted to reveal acts during the evening. Other equipment involved a Shure UHF-R wireless system with a total of 31 UR1M micro bodypack transmitters and seven hand-helds, alongside PS1000s in-ear monitors deployed as required.

Monitoring duties were performed by d&b Q7 and M4 wedges. Crew communications was also supplied by Orbital, with Eric selecting a RTS wired system at the core used in conjunction with the Clear-Com FreeSpeak II digital wireless system, both using channel 1 on the show ring. 36 Motorola GP340 walkie talkies were used for show calling, with the overall objective being to enable any member of the production team to listen in on the show and communicate freely to alert any issues straight away.

The full Orbital Sound crew comprised Eric, along with David Bartholomeusz, Charlie Garrick, Ed Clarke operating the CL5, Seb Frost, as sound designer, Mark Isbister on radios and RF, and Ian Fishlock handling the PA rigging.

(Jim Evans)

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