As comedy, music and dance enveloped 165,000 lucky attendees over three months amidst a huge tent in a big wood north of Copenhagen, SFX 6 delivered convenience, ease and flexibility to sound designer Claus Wolter and crew.
As former head of sound for the Royal Danish Theatre, Wolter is all too familiar with SFX as being the answer to a sure, safe run. "For Cirkusrevyen 08," he says, "I couldn't have done without Stage Research SFX 6 show control. It's a great experience having this tool by your side, because it's so easy to work with. I use it for running effects, backtrack sounds and SMPTE code for the lighting."
Wolter set the system up with a MIDI chain between the sound desk, outboard equipment and the Layla3G multitrack digital recorder's sound card, which, he says, the "SFX program is working nicely with. This way, I have only one knob to activate for every cue, and everything will change into the preset chosen."
Wolter finds the Wait function to be a "good way to make chains, so you get the same timing between your cues, every time you run the show." For some shows, he explains, it's necessary to have a MIDI keyboard at his side for sound effects that must be used at certain points. Wolter points out that in scenes not so tightly arranged, this setup allows him to activate different sounds on different virtual cues. "This is also," he mentions, "quite simple to set up in the program."
Stage Research SFX 6 software boasts cues that can output to a true matrix (any number of inputs to any number of outputs), audio cues that contain mono, stereo and more channels, and the ASIO sound playback engine that supports 16-bit or better WAV, MP3 or WMA audio files. Also inherent in the incredible SFX 6 is the unbeatable ability to drag-and-drop multiple sound files to create a multi-channel, synchronized audio cue from existing mono and stereo sound files.
Wolter is truly happy with SFX 6's knack for performing in versatile style. "When you're in production meetings and you explain how easy it is to get all of the effects and backtrack sounds to work, people are impressed," he beams. He adds that sometimes the lighting designer likes getting a SMPTE code. When there are click tracks and backtracks to work with, says Wolter, it's a good way to make the lighting cues as accurate as possible with the music every time the button is hit.
"I bring best recommendations for the SFX program," contends Wolter. "You can always inspire people with this simple way to do a perfect show." It's no wonder he attests that whenever he's designing sound for musicals or other shows, the first thing Wolter thinks to bring with him is "my computer with the SFX program inside. Since 1997, I've used it for any show I've made. Thanks to Stage Research!"
SFX is found at all levels of theater from academics to the pros. Professional theaters use the software to create reliable and enriched soundscapes and it has been employed in many award-winning shows, including several Tony Award winners. The academic stage (elementary education through college) and amateur theater appreciate SFX for the high quality of shows it can create and because it can be easily run by novice operators. Students using SFX get the added benefit of learning the software they will most likely work with when they enter the theatrical job market.
SFX 6 provides features that no other product can. It enables designers to refine and create effects on-site rather than having to shuttle back and forth between a studio and performance space. This affords the freedom to optimize sound designs for the acoustics of the space and other components of the performance. SFX 6's newly rewritten audio engine frees the need for an OS playback engine for hassle-free mixing and placement of audio. SFX 6 features an intuitive user-interface and can be programmed to run complex events with little or no user input.
About Stage Research
Stage Research is the developer of SFX, SoftPlot, LightFactory, ShowBuilder: Sound Design and other audio and lighting software. For more information, call 888-267-0859 or visit www.stageresearch.com.