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Happy Days Are Here Again With Yamaha

Mar, 2014

A slice of 1950s Americana is currently rockin’ and rollin’ all week long throughout the UK and Ireland, as Happy Days, A New Musical brings The Fonz, Ritchie Cunningham and many other familiar characters from the television series to provincial stages. A Yamaha CL5 digital console is helping to deliver the c-o-o-o-l sound of the era.

Designed by Ben Harrison and supplied by Orbital Sound, the show’s audio production features a Yamaha CL5 at front of house, with i/o from two Rio3224-D units. One of these is in the orchestra pit for the band inputs, a combination of microphones and DIs, with the other on stage handling inputs from the cast mics. The AES outputs from the latter unit feed a Yamaha DME64N digital mixing engine, which in turn outputs AES to the front of house PA.

Meanwhile, a PC at FOH with Dante Virtual Soundcard is running Steinberg Nuendo Live, enabling full multitrack recordings of each show. A patch change on the console allows playback of the recordings through the correct input channels for virtual soundchecking. Sound effect playback is handled by two computers running in tandem, one as a main and one as a backup, fed directly into the CL5 via an MY16-AT 16 channel ADAT interface.

A long-term Yamaha user, Ben specified a CL console for the first time on last year’s production of Piaf at Leicester Curve. He was so impressed that choosing a CL5 for Happy Days A New Musical was a straightforward decision.

“This show has a much higher channel count than Piaf and it’s important for the operator to see and access more faders on the surface for a show of this size, so the CL5 was the perfect choice,” he says.

He continues, “As well as the original Happy Days theme, there are over 20 original songs in the show. Nearly all are delivered with high energy by the company and have a real feel of the era about them. Making sure we could achieve the impact of volume along with hearing the storytelling lyrics clearly is an important part of the design

“I chose DPA 4066 headsets for the company to tighten up the vocal sound, but with close miking comes the need for more dynamic control, which the CL5 has in abundance. The onboard dynamic EQ comes into play heavily during the loudest sections of the show, whilst the reverbs and delays allow me to create the authentic effects of the era.”

As Sound No.1, Andy Fugle programmed the CL5 and is operating the show for the first month of the tour, after which he takes over from Paul ‘PJ’ Johnson as the show’s Production Sound Engineer, with Tom Cox stepping up to the CL5 from the Sound No.2 position.

left : Andy Fugle, right : Tom Cox


Products CL Series
Location UK

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