Professional Sound - April 2017 - Page 42

which is obviously a significant concern in theatre, McMillan reports. “Our tech days are killer,” he enthuses, adding they would normally pull the batteries for a recharge at the breaks, though during tech days for Joseph, he “did not pull batteries and still had lots of life and battery at the end of a 12-hour day with it going full bore. It shaves about 30 minutes off the schedule on tech days, which is certainly appreciated by the crew.” The batteries are also monitored from FOH using Sennheiser’s Wireless Management System. As far as the FOH mix, McMillan says that for him and the other engineers manning the consoles, a show like Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is like “a freight train going 100 miles an hour.” “I’ve got a lot of vocal dynamics happening where I basically have, vocally, three layers in the mix. Oftentimes, I’ve got a lead vocal telling the story, so I can’t lose that, but then I’ll get 20 people behind the lead vocal doing a choral ‘ah’ for a certain number of bars. So I’ve got to pull back for those, and then they come in with lyrics, like background vocals, so the mix is changing a lot on top of the fact that the show is moving at 100 miles per hour,” explains McMillan. “Then you’ve got to squeeze the band mix in there as well and retain the clarity on it. So it’s moving a lot of microphones in big groups.” For the orchestra microphones, McMillan says he is enjoying a number of new Sennheisers there as well, such as the e914 instrument mics that he loves as overheads on percussion, in addition to Sennheiser e908Bs and e609s. “We’ve got some Sennheiser MK4s, which I just did a symphony with a slew of those and loved them to death and we’ve also used them for off-stage singing.” There are also AKG 535s that he favours for their versatility on everything from hi-hats to flute, guitar, or vocals. And, of course, there is also a complement of good ol’ Shure 58s and 57s. “Just recently in this package, we got some Radial [Pro48] DIs as well, which have made a big difference having the active DIs instead of our passive DIs on bass. It’s made a huge difference,” adds McMillan. 42 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND Rounding out Drayton’s latest upgrade are the eight new Apple Mac Mini computers with Behringer FCA610 interfaces and QLab licences for each theatre. These are replacing the previous PCs running Stage Research’s SFX sound playback software. “To be able to go to eight outputs now is also nice for those odd shows, where before we were limited somewhat with effects speakers because SFX was only allowing us to do six outputs with our audio interfaces. So left-centre-right-sub was taking up four, so that left me with really only two effects speakers on stage sometimes. So now having eight available just makes it that much better for us to get creative if we want to,” says McMillan. “Drayton has receivers that look like they just came out of the box because they sat in the rack, but the belt pack, in the theatre situation, lives a rough life.” - David Angus Overall, Blair reports ALLEN & HEATH DLIVE S7000 WITH MAC MINI that the move from & BEHRINGER FCA610 IN THE ST. JACOBS analog to digital COUNTRY PLAYHOUSE consoles and incorporating all the new gear has been a seamless transition for both Angus Audio and Drayton Entertainment. He credits part of that to David Brown of Erikson Pro, Allen & Heath’s Canadian distributor, lending them a loaner dLive S5000 for a month before the purchase was made. This allowed “I’ve seen 90 per cent of their productions McMillan and other Drayton crew to get and they are literally world-class. They really hands-on with the console and even test how are and, I mean, these are Broadway-quality it would be to manage a show with it before shows,” enthuses Dave Angus. “We want committing to the purchase. to work with people who are realistic and “I can’t do what I do without these guys understanding of situations and want to and the level of support I get,” McMillan says of Angus Audio. “I have often said to the guys work as a team and not advancing their own that ‘I wish I knew you guys in my previous life.’ agendas. That is really important with Drayton. The relationship has been great and I can’t say We pick and choose who we want to deal enough good things about them and I get a with and Drayton Entertainment is a great ton of support.” organization like that.” The feelings are obviously mutual as Dave Angus, Marshall Angus, and Jason Blair all gush about the team at Drayton Entertainment – their professionalism, passion, Michael Raine is the Senior Editor of Professional Sound. and the quality of the shows they stage.