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Do You Think It’s Sexy? Yamaha CL5 Mixes Tonight’s The Night Tour

Mar, 2014

‘Juke box’ musicals based on the songs of iconic performers continue to enjoy huge popularity in the UK. Ben Elton’s Tonight’s The Night - The Rod Stewart Musical is currently on a major tour of provincial venues, with a Yamaha CL5 digital console ensuring that the audio production is plain Sailing.

Originally staged in London a decade ago, this is the show’s second UK tour. Sound designer Rory Madden of RM Sound Design specified a Yamaha PM1D for the 2006 tour, so this time out a CL5 was the obvious choice.

The CL5, a Rio3224-D and two Rio1608-D i/o units were supplied by Orbital Sound, with associate sound designer Jon Sealey operating the show.

“The advantages of both a console and multicore which are much easier to handle are obvious, especially on an intensive tour where there is just six hours for the get in and soundcheck,” he says. “The CL5 is just a two man lift, even in its flightcase, which means less time lumping gear around and more time doing sound. It also meant that we can have a smaller mix position and hand seats back to the promoter, which is always popular.”

The R-series i/o units handle 24 inputs from the six piece live band, plus 28 from cast wireless mics and a pair of acoustic guitars. “The cast play the acoustic guitars themselves,” says Jon. “It’s a nice way of bringing the music right into the narrative. The band also acts as a house band in the bar scenes, which helps to enhance the effect.”

An interface in one of the CL5’s MY expansion card slots allows the band to use an Aviom personal mixing system. “It didn’t take the musicians long to be happy with it and it saves us so much time. It’s an instant link - one Cat5 cable and it’s done,” says Jon.

One of the challenges of mixing the show is that the audience largely comprises Rod Stewart fans who are up for a raucous singalong, but the production has a surprising amount of light and shade.

“The audience come expecting it to be loud and upfront, like a live gig, but at the same time the director wants it to be quite natural,” Jon continues. “It’s a very dynamic show and we have to find the balance between making the dialogue come across naturally, ensuring that the audience can hear the words over six excellent musicians, while delivering the excitement of the songs and building up to a concert feel at the end of the production.”

Jon has been particularly impressed with the dynamic EQ in the CL5’s Premium Rack effects. “It’s been a lifesaver. We’re using DPA4066 head microphones, which are very close to the mouth, and the EQ is really good for that,” he says. “The Premium Rack is fantastic, it’s been a real help to keep outboard to a minimum and cut down our footprint.”

He continues, “The system has been fantastic. The CL5 is very user friendly, it’s really nice to stand at and operate. Even the i/o units really help the logistics, there are a lot of electronics in a small space and the advantage to us of using Cat5 cable is massive.

“We just switch the system on and it works first time, every time, which is exactly what you need on a tour like this.”

Jon Sealey (Photo credit Diana Johnson)


Products CL Series
Location UK

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