Autograph Sound Recording has just completed its third theatre sound workshop for LIPA's sound technology degree students. This year the workshop took place at the Manchester Palace Theatre, where Miss Saigon has been playing to a full house for the past six months, its first stop on a two year UK tour.

Prior to seeing the show, the students were invited to meet two of Autograph's leading sound designers, Terry Jardine, the company's managing director and Nick Lidster, sound designer for the UK touring production of Miss Saigon. Terry talked them through the roles of a theatrical sound team, from designer to production crew, while Nick explained his design for the touring version and its development from the original West End production, which premiered just over 12 years ago at London's Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

The workshop then moved into the auditorium, were the students met Miss Saigon's sound operator, Jonnie Asher, who showed them around the installation and demonstrated the surround sound effects and the 5.1 Dolby licensed TCS S6000 processor. This unit, often found in film and DVD mastering suites, is one of the new design developments on the Miss Saigon UK tour. The TCS S6000 allowed Nick to create a fully integrated sound system as well as prompting a first in UK live theatre - a 5.1 Dolby surround certification.

John Thornton - LIPA's head of sound technology, comments: "Autograph's continued commitment allows the students to work with the real tools of the trade and learn from the actual theatre sound designers and crew. This in turn introduces the students to the opportunities available to them on graduation."

(Ruth Rossington)

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