Director: Adam Pankow
Company: Sheyenne High Theatre
Role: Sound Designer, Projection Engineer
Time: January - February, 2017
This show was one of my largest projects so far! 117 inputs across 4 sound consoles with more than 300 total cues and 40 wireless mics. The technical support for Phantom is integral to its production - especially with regards to the sound design.
A true production of the 1980's, Phantom originally incorporated state-of-the-art technology for its time, including synthesizers, drum machines, and digital vocal effects. I wanted to keep that spirit alive in this design, utilizing modern technologies including 16 channel surround sound, live effects, TCP/IP show control, iPad backing track mix and control through Lemur, and more. Every effect and element was mixed and triggered live each night by student operators under my supervision (and backup iPad mix.)
In particular, the Phantom's vocal effects were all live and panned across the space's surround speakers to create an ominous, omnipresent character in stark contrast to the "normal" vocals only present in the front clusters. A combination plate reverb and chorus effect, the mix was carefully chosen to ensure maximum intelligibility while still sounding stylized.
Variations of this effect were used throughout the show - during "Angel of Music", the vocal effect was cross-faded out and his "dry" voice panned towards forward stage left as our Phantom walked through the mirror to meet Christine in person.
Before Don Juan in Act II, the Phantom's voice bounces around the space until landing in Box 5 - something we accomplished through multiple time-zero Qlab fade cues to shift the mic feed between the surround clusters. Immediately after this the Phantom is heard through all the house speakers simultaneously - unnerving the characters onstage (and hopefully the audience, too!)
* - Unfortunately these sample tracks have been mixed down to 2-track stereo, so the surround effects are not as apparent.
Photo: Preshow Projection,
Phantom of the Opera
Sheyenne Theatre, 2017