28October 2016

DiGiCo SD7T Brings A Whole New World To Aladdin

Disney’s Aladdin is enjoying a hugely successful run at the Prince Edward Theatre in London’s West End. The audio system is provided by Autograph Sound, with a DiGiCo SD7T in control at Front of House and an SD8 at the monitor position.

  • DiGiCo SD7T Brings A Whole New World To Aladdin
  • DiGiCo SD7T Brings A Whole New World To Aladdin

Disney’s Aladdin is enjoying a hugely successful run at the Prince Edward Theatre in London’s West End. The audio system is provided by Autograph Sound, with a DiGiCo SD7T in control at Front of House and an SD8 at the monitor position.

The sound design for the show is by Ken Travis and his associate, Alex Hawthorn, who wanted to create the same intimate atmosphere in London that they had in Broadway. Ken was assisted by UK-based associate sound designer Tony Gayle, along with Andy Brown, senior production sound engineer at Autograph, and sound operator Simon Fox, who helped him achieve his aim of intimacy with an audio system that is almost invisible.

“We wanted a system that would be both cinematic and intimate,” says Ken. “We knew the ideal way to achieve it would be if the audience could localise who was singing, no matter where they were onstage. That way when the show gets big, like during Friend Like Me, the audience would still feel connected to the performer. Finding that balance of intimacy and power is tricky, it takes a lot of speakers and processing.”

The system comprises a d&b Y series PA and a TiMax delay matrix, along with the DiGiCo SD7T and SD8 consoles, all supplied by Autograph.

“The thing that makes the SD7T perfect for this show is its functionality and the recallability of any controller or parameter,” says Simon. “Once you know the console, it’s so quick to navigate around, it’s so intuitive. I was lucky enough to use the first D5T, so how to get around the desk is almost ingrained in me now. DiGiCo consoles sound good as well. I couldn’t imagine doing a show this big on another desk; you would physically struggle to do it.”

The Autograph team also had to overcome the ever-greater demands to reduce seat kill at the mix position.

“The mix position is getting smaller and smaller,” says Andy. “It becomes more of a challenge to fit in the console with all the other things we need and have room for enough people behind it all. The compact size of DiGiCo consoles really helps with that. On this production, the whole area takes the space of just eight seats.”

A total of 16 of the show principals and ensemble are using the TiMax matrix.

“We have about 130 inputs to the DiGiCo SD7T,” says Simon. “But output-wise it’s a bit unusual because all of the 16 characters using TiMax have a subgroup out to it.”

“The SD7T is a fantastic desk,” says Ken. “It is the fastest console to program and it sounds great.”

“The functionality of the SD7T is perfect for this kind of production,” Simon concludes. “I think you would physically struggle to do something this big on another desk.”

Image 3 ‘Aladdin’ – Prince Edward Theatre Photographer Deen van Meer ©

The SD7T is a fantastic desk. It is the fastest console to program and it sounds great.

Ken Travis - Sound Designer - Aladdin

Download Manager File Cart