- Kai Harada
Fun Home Sound Designer
Meyer Sound LEO Family line arrays have been tapped to anchor the sound for some of the most talked-about new shows both on Broadway and heading out on national tours. New shows in New York include Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, the Cats revival and the annual holiday spectacular at the Radio City Music Hall. In addition, the tours of Fun Home and Finding Neverland are both carrying LEOPARD line array systems.
Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 blazes into Broadway's Imperial Theatre this fall with multi-platinum recording artist Josh Groban in the role of Pierre. The production audaciously retains the show's original staging concept, with the audience inches away from the action, which takes place throughout the theatre. Sound designer Nicholas Pope devised an innovative loudspeaker configuration with multiple small LEOPARD arrays supplemented by UltraSeries loudspeakers, all interconnected by a 288 x 288-channel matrix using Meyer Sound's D-Mitri digital audio platform. The system supplier is Masque Sound.
"Because of the unique scenic design and staging, all the microphones are out in front of the PA speakers at all times," notes Pope. "The flat frequency and phase response of the LEOPARD arrays is crucial for keeping feedback under control."
Andrew Lloyd Webber's beloved Cats returns to Broadway in 2016, this time enthralling audiences at the Neil Simon Theatre. The show's system is built around left and right arrays of 15 LEOPARD line array loudspeakers with bass support from four 900-LFC low frequency control elements. Sound design is by long-time Lloyd Webber collaborator Mick Potter, and the supplying shop is Sound Associates.
Fun Home, last year's exuberant winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical, takes to the road with audio support from a system with main left and right Masque Sound custom towers outfitted with 11-each LEOPARD line array loudspeakers.
"I have never heard a line array sound like this. They are simply amazing," states Kai Harada, sound designer for both the tour and the Broadway production. "The entire crew and I were simply stunned by how good the LEOPARDs sounded out of the box, and I was gratified by how little EQ I needed."
The all-Meyer Sound system also includes M1D center arrays, 500-HP subwoofers, and a host of UltraSeries loudspeakers (UP-4XP, UPJunior and UPJ-1P) for fills, delays and cast foldback. The tour opened in Cleveland in late October and is currently booked through August of 2017.
Finding Neverland is also launching a national tour with a LEO Family system, in this case 34 LEOPARDs and four 1100-LFC low frequency control elements supplied by Sound Associates. The tour, with sound design by Jonathan Deans, kicked off in Buffalo on October 11 with shows scheduled across the country through next August.
Kicking off for the holiday season is the annual Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes. The fabled holiday tradition will be bathed in sound from Radio City Music Hall's new in-house system of 32 LYON and 40 LEOPARD line array speakers plus 30 900-LFC elements. The system was designed by Andrew Keister of SCK Sound Design and supplied by PRG of New York.