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The Buzz: Installation Spotlight: Audio Circus

Jul 14, 2009 12:00 PM, Staff Report

Mertz Theatre, Sarasota, Fla.

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Audio for the theater, which recently hosted the Broadway hit Barnum, is mixed using a Yamaha M7CL-32, which was chosen for its ability to meet the theater’s space requirements as well as its specific features.

Audio for the theater, which recently hosted the Broadway hit Barnum, is mixed using a Yamaha M7CL-32, which was chosen for its ability to meet the theater’s space requirements as well as its specific features.

For the mains, the theater is using a Yamaha SP2060 processor to drive four Nexo PS10s, two Yamaha IF2108s, and two Yamaha CW118V 18in. subs. With the grant, mixers were replaced, sub¬woofers were added, and old amplifiers replaced with Yamaha P3500s and P7000s. Tight AV installed 14 Audio-Technica AEW-5111D wireless belt packs with Countryman B3 microphone capsules and distribution antennas.

“The wireless microphone package expands and improves our ability to produce musicals with large casts and events like the AIDS Benefit,” Parker says. “All of the upgrades made will speed up the time it takes to do initial setups and build complex live effects, allowing more involved tasks to be constantly replicated.”

Parker adds that the Yamaha M7CL-32 replaced the theater’s Yamaha PM1800, and a Yamaha 01V96 replaced a DDA mixer in the studio. Located in the mezzanine, the Yamaha M7CL-32 was chosen for its specific features, but it also met space considerations of the Mertz Theatre. Recently, the theater added an Aviom 16/o-Y1 card to its new Yamaha M7CL console, eight Aviom A-16II mixers, and an A-16D Pro for distribution when orchestras are required for plays.

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Yamaha P3500 amplifiers were installed to power the surround and monitor loudspeakers, and the PS7000 amp was added for the sub-bass. “The amps are very quiet and more efficient with AC,” Danon says.

“We are currently using a Mac Pro with two [Apple] QLab to provide video for two LCD projectors [Sanyo PLC-XF47 and PLC-9000],” Parker says. “As one of the few rotating repertory theaters in the U.S., we can have as many as four different shows performing throughout the week. Daniel Scully, lighting and projection designer on The Winter’s Tale, has done a powerful design, projecting onto curved walls that move from scene to scene. In the past, my preference has been to build the video on DVD [or DVD disc image played from a computer hard drive] as motion menus. This allowed for a very reliable playback and a universal format if the show was brought back or went on to another theater. However, it limits playback to video resolution and has to be remastered every time a change is made. QLab allows us to take full advantage of the native resolutions of the projectors and more flexible editing.”

House video also includes a Sanyo PLC-XF47 15,000-ANSI-lumen projector with two lenses: LNS-S03 and LNS-W01Z; a Sony CCD camera; four distribution amps; one black-and-white lipstick cam; four small IR cameras; three small LCD monitors; a 12in. LCD monitor; a 26in. LCD HDTV monitor; three 5in. RCA TVs; three large NEC CRT monitors; one 9in. NEC studio monitor; one 9in. JVC studio monitor; and a couple of Pioneer DVD players: DVD-V7200 and DVD-V5000.

Since upgrading the lighting was part of the grant, the Mertz Theatre staff was able to replace much of its aging stock of conventional ellipsoidals with more efficient Source Four models from ETC, along with ETC Source Four Revolution moving lights.

“Having moving lights has allowed our lighting designers infinitely more possibilities during production,” says Michael Verbil, head electrician. “Most recently, we purchased a Sanyo PLC-XF47 for The Winter’s Tale production. We needed to fill the entire proscenium opening as well as throw images at locations throughout the stage. The only location for the projector that could not be blocked by the audience was hanging off the mezzanine so, in order to create the image, we needed a very bright projector and a wide lens.”

This winter, residents and snowbirds alike were entertained in the beautiful Scottish-built Mertz Theatre when it played host to the Broadway hit Barnum. The musical celebrates the colorful, creative, and driven life of Phineas Taylor “P.T.” Barnum from his humble beginnings to The Greatest Show on Earth. (In 1907, the Ringlings purchased their largest competitor, Barnum & Bailey Circus, and The Greatest Show On Earth became the property of the Ringlings.)

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