Natural Sound for Follies
“Follies,” the famous musical, currently was on a six week run from May 7th to June 19th in the 1,100 seat Eisenhower Theatre at the Kennedy Centre in Washington, D.C., USA. Winner of seven Tony Awards when it opened on Broadway in 1971, “Follies” is considered by many one as James Goldman’s and Stephen Sondheim's masterpiece.
Sound design for the show at the Kennedy Center was created by internationally renowned sound designer Kai Harada and his team. To help in achieving his desired sound image, Harada insisted on a STAGETEC AURUS digital console and NEXUS digital router. “Based on my experiences with STAGETEC equipment—the NEXUS on "Wicked" (2009 US tour) and the NEXUS and AURUS on "Zorro" (Moscow 2010) and "Hinterm Horizont" (Berlin 2010)—I knew the system was extraordinarily powerful, reliable, and most importantly, sounded good.”
Harada continues, "the show sounds exactly the way I want it to sound—natural—and I know that part of the reason is due to the AURUS console and the NEXUS mic preamps. There are 28 musicians in the orchestra pit, which translates into 64 orchestra inputs, plus a star-studded cast of 37, and every little nuance and detail is delivered beautifully through the system.”
Sound engineer and member of Harada’s team Patrick Pummill, who was in Washington mixing the show, was thrilled with the fact that STAGETEC opened a New York City office this year which enabled him to come to the office to get training on the AURUS before load in. Pummill claims that he was able to get the system installed and setup in record speed:
“The truck was unloaded on Monday morning, and the console was passing audio by Monday afternoon. We had the first day of cast on stage on Saturday whereupon they did a complete stumble-through of the show. We were through 80 percent of our total work by that point; normally we'd be 50 or 60 percent by that point. This allowed us to spend the next several weeks of Tech and Previews dealing with the most difficult remaining 20%. We weren't playing catch up with other departments.“
“There’s been a lot of positive feedback about the sound of the show which is a great testament to Kai’s team and our equipment” states Rusty Waite, President of STAGETEC USA. “Seeing all three of them take to the system so quickly and at times working altogether on the surface really was impressive and definitely made for a more efficient workflow.”