The Warehouse has supported live theatre and music shows for RCS for over a decade and is the sole UK distributor for Adamson. The Warehouse, alongside the RCS’s sound designer, Calum Paterson and lecturer in sound, Gavin Jenkinson, worked together to develop the elaborate sound design for the show.
The Edinburgh run was the first time the musical theatre show had transferred from the Conservatoire’s New Athenaeum Theatre to the professional stage. It also allowed music and production students to transfer their skills to the professional stage for the first time.
Professor Andrew Panton, artistic director of musical theatre at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, says, “Chess is by far the most technically ambitious production we’ve ever tackled and, once again, the process has been special because of the student, staff and guest creative team collaboration.”
The layout of the 2000 capacity auditorium was the main audio challenge as the sloped stalls seating and two levels of sloped balcony seating, which wrap around all three walls.
In order to ensure even coverage for every seat in the house, 24 Adamson S10 line arrays were flown left and right of the stage. A total of 8 S119 subwoofers, powered with Lab Gruppen PLM20K44 amplifiers, were utilized. A Digico SD10 console was used at front of house with 24 Shure UHF-R wireless mics for the cast and a mix of AKG, Shure, Sennheiser and DPA microphones for the 27 members of the orchestra.
Paterson comments: “With a 2000 seat auditorium in mind, I needed a system that would not only provide excellent coverage but one that would provide the level of performance required for modern musical theatre.
“After hearing the Adamson S10 line array combined with the S119 subwoofer, I was convinced that this was the system for this show. It gave us the clarity and detail that we needed while also being able to blow our audience away. The power from the S119 sub is nothing short of incredible and when you combine 8 of them in a sub array along the front of a stage, they really pack a punch. Exactly what we needed.
“The most impressive feature of the S10 line array is the clarity you receive, even at high levels, couple that with the 110 degree horizontal coverage, it meant every seat was covered, providing an outstanding stereo image for the show.”
Derek Blair, director of the Warehouse, adds, “The Adamson S10 line array system performed extremely well so much so that for the first time under balcony delay loudspeakers where not required to cover the rear stalls as the throw and coverage was so good. A few of our industry colleagues who went to see the show have contacted us since to say how well they thought the Adamson S10 performed in this situation.”
Jenkinson says, “As line array quality is very important, we were entering into slightly uncharted waters for us, by considering the Adamson S10 array for Chess The Musical, in the Edinburgh Festival Theatre. I had heard the system in use at an outdoor classical music concert in 2016, and had no doubt in its output and clarity.
“However, I knew using line array in a theatre could present its challenges. With 24 cast on radio mics, 27 in the orchestra, all close-miked, VT and Qlab, it was a busy show, requiring attention to detail.
“The support given by The Warehouse was excellent from initial discussion to final installation. And during the sound checks, it became very apparent that this system would deliver Chess to the audience, with ease.”