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Third Time Lucky As Yamaha PM5D Helps Gareth Owen Win An Olivier

May, 2014

Having previously been nominated for two Olivier Awards, it was it was third time lucky for sound designer Gareth Owen this month, as he won one of the coveted awards for Sondheim musical Merrily We Roll Along. Gareth’s choice of a Yamaha PM5D digital console for the show proved that his philosophy of ‘the right tools for the right job’ is a recipe for success.

“I’m not one to always use the same equipment - no ‘cookie cutter’ specs, if you will. I believe in picking the tools that are best for each production and not spending a lot of the producer’s money on gear for the sake of it,” he says.

“Merrily We Roll Along was all about sonic clarity and fast operation. It needed a straightforward system, just exactly what was needed to deliver a sound which was very clear and true to the original. Three of the main reason why I chose the PM5D was because it has great audio quality, it is the right size and it’s super-reliable - I have never been let down by one.”

Although the PM5D’s inputs and outputs were all in use, Gareth maintained the clearest possible signal path, just using some internal reverbs for the nine-piece band’s drummer and a couple of ‘old school’ Lexicon PCM reverbs for outboard.

Another advantage of the using PM5D was that Merrily We Roll Along is a complex show to mix, which meant operator Dave Palmer had his hands full.

“It’s a tricky show, even by Sondheim standards. We needed a console that would respond immediately and have an intuitive workflow to make the operator’s job easier,” says Gareth.

“The show moves so quickly that it was difficult to take his hands off the desk, even for a few seconds and, as a result, the ability to quickly reach over, tweak the sound and get back to the faders really came into its own.”

With the well-deserved Olivier Award now safely on his mantelpiece, Gareth is able to reflect on how Yamaha mixing consoles are so well-suited to musical theatre.

“In this day and age, programming and operating digital consoles for musical theatre is often complex and time-consuming. Yamaha desks give you the ability to do what you need, quickly and simply. You don’t spend half your life wrestling with the desk, making it do what you want it to do. Rather than wasting precious hours programming, they give you the time to just get on and be a sound engineer!”

The Merrily We Roll Along sound team with the PM5D:
Dave Palmer (Sound #1), Gareth Owen (Sound Designer), Chris Mace (Production Engineer), Andy Yinakki (Sound #2), Olly Steel (Associate)


Products PM5D V2, PM5D-EX
Location UK

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