Twenty four days on the front line for d&b
A nexus of performance art, Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) provides a sustaining alternative to the relentless humour of the Fringe. Dance, drama, music, musical drama, and yes, even a little humour, is the breadth of what's available. With such variety, and a furious turn over where shows move in and out on an almost daily basis, it's an exhausting month for the stage crews and technicians. Yet Tom Zwitserlood, Head of Sound for the EIF, was heard to say, "For me, if anything, introducing V-Series at the festival has made life easier for us." He's talking about the premier appearance of the d&b audiotechnik V-Series medium size line array in Scotland, in particular its use at the Playhouse theatre, where it has sustained every show that has passed through in the hectic twenty four days of the EIF.
"First of all, the reaction from visiting companies to the festival has been amazing. They expect the usual PAs, the ones they work with all over the world; but none who came to the Playhouse had yet heard or used the d&b V-Series. Of course they don't know the system so in advance they still request lots of outboard gear: EQ and such, yet when they arrive not one ends up using it; the sound of the V system is that stunning."
The fact that Zwitserlood chose to debut an unheard system in the principal venue of the revered International Festival is frankly audacious; but he had good justification. "The Warehouse sound hire department who provided us with the complete audio system has an ongoing commitment to the Festival. Their care and attention in providing us with the highest quality equipment and service over many years is greatly valued. The key to the successful introduction of the d&b V-Series to this year's festival is the great relationship we have with them. As no other company, they understand how we strive to provide the best for our audiences and the visiting companies that grace our stage. They are a highly regarded partner with their vast knowledge about, and experience with d&b systems."
With advice from the Warehouse, Zwitserlood flew the wider horizontal dispersion V12 cabinets positioned either side of the Playhouse proscenium. "It worked extremely well; not to need hours of sound check when you're running a busy festival like the EIF is ideal. With the V-SUBs we split them, either side on the stage, and up in the 'ashtray' boxes immediately beside the pros' at balcony level. We wanted to get some low end into the upper reaches of the audience. Now we know just how well they work, next year we will fly them. A very controllable subwoofer with great tone and warmth even at the lowest levels; we found it also has all the power to be overwhelming in a venue like this, if that's what you want."
Zwitserlood and his audio team work to a simple ethic, "Companies and audiences deserve the latest technology and highest quality and that's what we always aim to give; the highest quality possible. There was never any doubt in our minds that the V-Series was going to cope with that demand. In the end I can only say I haven't been disappointed in the slightest and received nothing but rave reviews from both sides."