TiMax Audio Imaging has featured prominently in the sound design of a major outdoor theatrical event in Switzerland. Specified by Thomas Strebel of Swiss sound design and resourcing company audiopool, a 16-input, 32-output TiMax Rack system was integrated with a Studer Vista8 console for the 2007 annual Welttheater production in Einsiedeln.
Das Einsiedler Welttheater features a cast of more than 300 players performing in a roughly 50 meter by 60 meter open square in front of the imposing bulk of the town’s massive Kloster Einsiedeln monastery. Much of the cast moves all over the space either singing or playing musical instruments and wearing a variety of eclectic garb ranging from nun’s outfits to life-like oversized heads.
The primary objective of the sound design was to amplify the cast authentically and unobtrusively while ensuring that their multiple audio images tracked their locations onstage. This required careful management of delay times to ensure the natural acoustic wavefronts from the performers all reach the audience just the before the amplified sound from the speakers.
Out Board’s Robin Whittaker assisted on site with the TiMax delay-imaging matrix setup across 26 small Klein & Hummel speakers on poles mounted in front of and halfway back into the shallow arc’d audience area, plus image anchor speakers placed around the performance space itself. There were also surround speakers behind the audience seating and subs underneath to support moving sound effects compiled and played back using the TiMax Soundtablet multi-channel effects editing and playback software. The TiMax delay matrix was also fitted with new smooth panning firmware algorithms, developed through extensive analysis and listening tests to enhance the transparency of the proprietary TiMax delay-panning process.
Whittaker also specified TiMax showcontrol training and programming support to audiopool’s Laurenz Zschokke, Christoph Binder, and Roman Huber in rehearsals, much of the time in conditions of torrential rain. The movement of the actors was very simply blocked out as a series of TiMax Playlist cues, which the engineers stepped through manually in sync with the action.
Although the show’s premier was postponed due to unprecedented monsoon conditions, Welttheater has gone on to be a sold-out success for its full three-month run. And even audience members have been commenting on the high quality of the sound.
Thomas Strebel remarks: “No other system or technology in the world can achieve what TiMax has done for shows like this and the Basel Tattoo. And I have never received so many positive comments from producers and directors about the sound. We will definitely be using TiMax for more productions”