No less than seven XTA SiDD dynamics processors are getting their teeth into the current production of Bat Boy: The Musical at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London.
The show, produced by Bat Boy (UK) Ltd and Time Out magazine’s Critics Choice, was first presented at the Courtyard Theatre at Leeds’ West Yorkshire Playhouse, before transferring to London. Sound design is by Mike Walker, with equipment supplied by Blitz Sound and installed by production sound engineer Ross Portway and Walker’s team from Loh Humm Audio.
Walker previously used five SiDDs on Jerry Springer - The Opera at the Cambridge Theatre, for which he was presented with the 2004 Olivier Award for Best Sound Design. On that show the XTA units were inserted on the drum channels to provide instant recall and transparent control of different parts of the audio signal. On Bat Boy, additional units were inserted over the guitars and bass. The Bat Boy band comprises two keyboards, guitar, bass and drums, with the SiDDs 14 channels inserted on the guitar, bass, and drum kit. The audio is being mixed on 68 channels of a Cadac J-Type console, with the SiDD patches being recalled via MIDI from SAM, the Cadac control software.
“The SiDDs are programmed with a variety of compression and gating patches which are recalled via MIDI during the performance,” says Walker. “All the patches are geared to a particular song and recalled on cue.”
Rather than just store the individual gate or compression setting, Walker has programmed the SiDDs to recall the entire channel strip settings. “That’s to ensure that when we jump around from cue to cue, particularly in rehearsal, the processing will always be in the correct state."
Bat Boy is biting the West End until February 2005.