Rocky Horror presents the power of point source

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Since Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show first appeared on stage in 1973, the iconic rock and roll musical has been performed worldwide. In December 2015 it returned to the UK stage, marking the start of a major tour scheduled to run through until October 2016. Under the direction of Christopher Luscombe, the show has been given a major refresh, and features a sound design by Gareth Owen, whose association with the musical spans fifteen years.

Rocky Horror is a show with a remarkable degree of audience participation and Luscombe has focused on balancing this key aspect with the demands of one day touring and the tough schedules that go with it. The result is a tight, dynamic production that loses nothing from the original concept, maintaining the musical’s cult status and the audiences’ fun.

Owen’s design features the recently introduced V-Series V7P point source loudspeakers; supplied by Orbital Sound, it’s a stage debut for the system. For Owen, the new tour presented an opportunity to try a different dimension with the V7P system, and put the latest developments in point source technology to the test. “Point source has tended to fall by the wayside in recent years, partly due to the impact of line array in terms of improved power and coverage. For some shows, however, it’s not always the ideal solution, and when we heard about d&b audiotechnik’s new V7P, it was an obvious decision to give it a try. Rocky Horror is one of the loudest shows around, and we were able to achieve the same result with just a quarter of the speaker numbers. I can’t remember the last time I was so impressed with a speaker.

“We used one V7P aside for the circle, upper levels and the gallery, with a ground stack line array (four V8s per side) for the stalls. It sounded just as good in the circle as in the stalls – it really is quite remarkable what the V7P is capable of! Set up was straightforward, and we were able to configure the system to deliver the power and clarity required without any distortion. For a show like this where the load-in and performance are on the same day, point source is a great solution.”

The complete system is driven by the d&b four channel D20 amplifiers and in addition to the V7Ps includes E6s and E8s for fill and delay, ten V-SUBs, and Q7s and E6s for stage monitoring and special effects. “We just don’t have time to do the amount of rigging and calculation necessary to get the best out of a big line array system,” concludes Owen. “The V7P system fulfills the requirement for fast load-in and set up, without any compromise in terms of quality.”

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