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ARC Sound For Shakespeare's Globe Production

London-based live production company, ARC Sound, has established a full production set up in Shakespeare's Globe main theatre.
It is the first event of its kind to be staged in the main theatre space itself since the reconstruction in wood of the original playhouse.
However, earlier this month a concert audio production was set up to help celebrate Shakespeare's birthday.
James Dougill’s company has a long standing contractor relationship with the venue and were asked to plan and produce a working solution that would meet both the technical requirements of the performances, whilst also being sympathetic to the unique nature of the building.
Billed as "an evening of music and magic", ARC Sound dipped into their extensive inventory, and opted for the deployment of a JBL VerTec line source array loudspeaker system and Soundcraft Vi series digital mixing consoles as the key sound reinforcement components.
Additional out-fill loudspeaker clusters were used as well as the main loudspeaker arrays to provide for the extensive vertical and horizontal coverage patterns necessary to accommodate the Lower, Middle and Upper Galleries and the 'Yard' standing area in front of the stage.
They also ensured that the main loudspeaker system complied with the maximum weight load of no more than a quarter-tonne to the oak beams in the theatre’s ceiling.
Headlining the concert were The Magic Numbers, supported by singer songwriter Johnny Flynn, with magic from Barry and Stuart, Piff The Magic Dragon and Chris Cox; with the exception of the Magic Numbers all other performances took place on an oval thrust, which was in front of the main loudspeaker array hangs.
For the main PA, ARC Sound suspended two symmetrical hangs of six JBL VerTec 4887A elements, with a coupled pair of JBL 4880A subs recessed under the stage apron. Each driver was individually addressed to provide alignment delay in a mini cardioid configuration. Added to this were two fill clusters, each comprising three JBL VRX928 constant curvature array cabinets.
ARC Sound's Director explained the idea behind the design, saying: "Although the throw distance was quite small, the coverage we required was steep — and since we were unable to suspend any further weight from the theatre ceiling, we opted for sharply angling back the VRX clusters. The key criteria here was the vertical coverage required to distribute sound evenly from the downstage edge right up to the third tiered balcony."
The system was set up using a combination of LAC2 (JBL’s dedicated line array calculator) and Smaart field analysis, coupled with the company’s own extensive experience of deploying and using the products.
At front of house ARC Sound deployed their Soundcraft Vi4, with 64-channel software upgrade, while down at the stage Raghav Narula was responsible for all of the onstage monitor mixes (also operating at near 64-channel capacity on one of the company’s Soundcraft Vi1 consoles).
James Dougill mixed the house sound, before creating a generic FOH set up (and an external rack of FX) for The Magic Numbers’ mix engineer Max Bisgrove — but instead, Max preferred to use all the desk’s internal reverbs and FX.
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