Children of Eden
|Children of Eden
20th May 2023 - 25th May 2023
Third Year MT
New Athenaeum Theatre
|Deputy Stage Manager
|Assistant Stage Manager
|Assistant Stage Manager
|Head of Stage
|Head of Flys
|Production Sound Engineer
|Sound No. 2
|Associate Sound Designer
Technical Stage Department
The original concept for 'Children of Eden' imagined numerous wooden beams flying at multiple angles which for our New Athenaeum Venue, this was just not practicable. Instead, multiple in-depth discussions took place with the designer to realise 4 wooden beams across 8 axis - 4 Kinesys, 4 Tait.
The most challenging part of programming Children of Eden was trying to get two completely different systems to act like they were being controlled by the same system. I found that I had two show files, one for 'ideas' to show the director and designer, and one for cues as they were needed. This show could absolutely not have been solely programmed during tech as it required lots of 'link functions' with very specific, individual commands. The negative side to this is the testing and troubleshooting of the cues, we needed space in the venue, overhead clearance and enough light on stage to ensure the cues were correct.
Ironically, there were functions on 'Vector' that didn't exist yet on the new EpiQ IQ Tait system.
This was the debut for our new desk, the EpiQ console which runs IQ Software powered by Navigator- this desk and software will make its UK Touring debut on WICKED UK Tour this year (2023).
We did have issues with the desk itself but since having another - yes another- desk delivered the issues seem to be resolved! (Hooray)
Programming on IQ is a breeze, the frustration was actually using the system in sometimes a roundabout and 'not so efficient' way to make it act just like the Liftket Motors. This included Jerk times + Delays. Interestingly, there is a 0.85-second delay between TAIT GO and Kinesys GO. We added a delay into every Vector Cue to Solve this.
I think the main challenge on this production for sound was the ensemble's use of the auditorium. Specifically for the number at the top of act 2, Generations. The whole ensemble began in the auditorium making their way to stage whilst singing.
This required lots of thought and programming on Digico. During quiet time I had to put a very specific GEQ on the vocal mics to ensure feedback was eliminated, I took the decision to have two dedicated vocal eq's. One for onstage and one for bridge/auditorium signing. This meant every time that a cast member crossed from the stage to the bridge that a new Digico snapshot was required on the desk which meant that there was at least 150 different snapshots in the show.
Children of Eden Band List :
Reed 1 – flute/pic
Reed 2 – Clarinet/tenor saxophone
Reed 3 – Oboe/Cor
Percussion - vibraphone,timps,glock,bongos,marimba
From the start there were conversations had about how this shouldn't sound like the original very 90's synth-y sound track, instead it should be a lot more bass-y and powerful. This meant I had to centre the mix around Keys 1, E.Bass, and drum kit.
We used the in house ath PA for Children of Eden but took the decision to add two d&b C7 subs, one in either slip. This was to add more low frequencies in the stalls which is a common complaint in the ath as the sub cluster is too far away and doesn't properly fill the room. We also added four front fills, d&b e0's, two on either side of the bridge.
In terms of monitoring, I had two d&b e3's sitting right behind the the closest front fills to the bridge, this ensured a healthy amount of monitoring downstage, where a lot of the action was taking place. I also decided to put two d&b max12's behind the first flats L&R for mid stage monitoring. Lastly I decided to hang two d&b e3's on ladders upstage, this was for more specific moments like the opening where the ensemble begin upstage for the first two verses. Also for moments like the flood where star was isolated from the ensemble and behind the mound set piece and as this was a particularly loud number I decided to give her more help monitoring wise.
There were also two Genelec's borrowed from NTS to be used as stage left and right programme speakers stage right was used for offstage singing, and was positioned beside the torm. Stage left was used as show relay for the DSM and offstage singing, this was placed on top of the prompt desk.
Outside of the theatre there was a tree, this was used to enhance the audience experience before the show began, inside the tree there were two minirig's and one minirig sub, this played a 'Wasteland' soundscape and a 'Garden of Eden' soundscape on a loop until the show began.