The hit Jersey Boys musical recently set out on its first tour of the UK and Ireland, complete with an audio set-up based on Steve Canyon Kennedy’s original design.
At the heart of the arrangement is the Meyer Sound M’elodie system, complemented by d&b audiotechnik E5 and E6 compact speakers and, for the first time on a Jersey Boys’ production, a Digico SD10 mixing console.
Two US productions of the show have already been completed, along with tours in South Africa and Australia. For the UK version, associate sound designer Andrew Keister and his team did an extensive study of 18 venues in order to arrive at a best fit touring design for the full range of spaces.
From large venues such as the Edinburgh Playhouse, Liverpool Empire and Bristol Hippodrome, to much smaller, more intimate spaces, Jersey Boys takes in an eclectic mix of venues. The result is a smaller, lightweight rig than previous production to accommodate some of the ceiling weight restrictions, and designed for easy portability, but without any loss of power and punch.
The show itself also underwent some changes, including the decision to use a single drum kit, rather than the usual pair of moving sets. This saved on console inputs, enabling Keister to deploy the SD10 instead of a SD7.
Another first was the introduction of a dedicated sound production engineer, which turned out to be Dan Bailey from Orbital Sound.
“This is not something we have done before, as it really isn’t customary for us on the US circuit, but I have to say it was a great decision. Dan did an absolutely superb job for us and took great care of the show. He’s a first class engineer and we couldn’t be happier,” said Keister.
The full touring system comprises the Meyer Sound M’elodie and Mina cabinets, together with UPA, UPM and UP-Junior self-powered speakers, plus 600-HP and 700-HP subs. From the d&b audiotechnik range is a sizeable complement of E5, E6 and E0 loudspeakers, along with D6 amplifiers. On the radio mic front, the team has deployed 32 of Sennheiser’s SK-5212 transmitters, with EM-3732 receivers. The moving drum kit is connected via a pair of Yamaha RIO digital input/output units – chosen for their compact size and sound quality. Processing for all the audio is all handled via a Meyer Galileo system.
Keister continued: “Although we all have a lot of experience with Jersey Boys, there is always something new you take away each time. We are currently applying the lessons we learned on the UK tour, in terms of making the show a little smaller and more efficient to move around – it’s a question of continually evolving and improving things wherever we can.”
The sound team on the show includes Hannah Reymes-Cole as AI and head of department, with Elliott Sinclair as A2. The production engineering team consists of Dan Bailey, Dennis Fernandez, Rich Gurly, Jack Lord and Steve McEvoy.
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