Sound designer Brian Ronan has been honored with double Drama Desk nominations for Anything Goes and The Book of Mormon, which he will discuss on Sunday, May 22 at the Broadway Sound Master Classes. Live Design chats with Ronan about his work and sound in general:
Please talk a little about your designs for your most recent projects... anything unusual or technically challenging you encountered?
The Book of Mormon had a couple of obstacles. The first was the scenery, which required the entire height and width of the proscenium leaving less than desirable speaker locations. The second was a lot of men with little hair in which to hide microphones and a costume design that required many hats, masks etc.
How do you approach the sound design for a new project, so you have a specific process?
Big question, here's a small answer:
• Always see the space and if there are no technical drawings I take my own measurements.
• Then decide what speaker line is the best choice for the show in that space.
• Learn the size of the show (band members, cast size) which decides the mixing board to use.
• Follow the script.
• Make your best educated guess for the gear you'll need and then react to the rehearsal and preview process and learn from the live show and amend those choices if necessary.
• Hire the best sound op you can find.
Any new audio gear you are excited about?
I suppose the refinement of the DiGiCo SD T software is an exciting thing to watch.
What will you be sharing with the attendees at the BSMC?
Back in January, Abe asked me to speak about working on multiple shows simultaneously, so I'll stick to that.