Agatha Christies Courtroom Drama Is Brought To Life By DPA

Date: 06/12/2017
Agatha Christies Courtroom Drama Is Brought To Life By DPA
Setting Agatha Christies classic play Witness for the Prosecution in the debating chamber of Londons County Hall proved quite a trial for the productions sound crew, who had to cope with a variety of issues not least a notoriously difficult acoustic environment. Yet thanks to the judicious deployment of numerous loudspeakers and a selection of DPA microphones, the challenges were overcome so well that the play opened to four- and five-star reviews and plenty of positive audience feedback.
Tony Award-winning sound designer Mic Pool, who is responsible for the system design, speech reinforcement and the content of the plays soundscape, is using four DPA d:dicate 2011C Twin Diaphragm Cardioid Microphones as the fixed microphones for the judge, witness box and clerks. The actors are fitted with a total of 10 d:screet 4061 Miniature Microphones, which are hidden in their hair. The microphones and other sound equipment was supplied by Stage Sound Services a company Pool often uses because they provide excellent support and maximise what he can achieve within his budget.
The DPA microphones contribute enormously to the success of the sound design for this production, he says. It is clear the audience is connecting with the performances and responding, moment by moment, and that is a positive indication that we have overcome the acoustics of the venue and created that vital aural connection between actor and audience on which the success of any play depends.
Pool has been involved in theatre sound for over 40 years and has worked across the entire scale of theatrical activity, from productions in the West End and on Broadway, to regional, fringe and community companies. He was recommended as the sound designer for Witness for the Prosecution by the plays director Lucy Bailey, with whom he has worked on six previous productions.
Witness for the Prosecution is presented by Rebecca Stafford and Eleanor LLoyd. Stafford previously staged a different production in council chambers in Leeds and York, Pool explains. Stafford found the County Hall venue when she was looking for somewhere suitable for a London run. She joined forces with LLoyd, and together they developed and co-produced this production.
With its 50-foot high marbled walls, the debating chamber at County Hall is visually magnificent, but this has resulted in an acoustic entirely unsuited to speech; as far back as 1922 there were letters and articles in the press bemoaning the poor audibility of debates.
We resolved to correct this, and our aim was to design a system that would allow every word to be heard, Pool says. We also wanted to enhance the audience experience and create the impression of a great acoustic to match the thrilling visual setting.
The principal challenge was to drastically increase the ratio of direct to reverberant sound. Pool tackled this by designing a system that uses over 120 loudspeakers.
That equates to one speaker, no further than a metre away, for every three audience members, which had to be installed without making any alterations to the Grade II listed fabric and fittings of the building, he says. It was a very difficult and time-consuming job for our installation team led by Production Sound Engineer Aidan Jones.
Because the loudspeakers are close to the audience, the performance of the microphones is exposed in almost microscopic detail. We set up a small area of audience seating with loudspeakers and associated processing and brought in two of the cast to experiment with many models of microphones as a test prior to putting the final spec out for quotation, says Pool. I had previously used d:dicate 2011Cs as float microphones for the vocal reinforcement of The 39 Steps on Broadway and had achieved great results. For this reason, I included them in our testing shoot out. We were selecting for transparency and speech intelligibility and on that basis the 2011Cs were clearly superior to other tested models and were far more forgiving in off-axis use. An additional advantage was that they were visually extremely neutral, so much so that we decided to use them 'as is' rather than attempting to disguise them as the actual period microphones that would have been in use in court rooms in 1952 when our play is set.
Pool adds that in this production the actors who play the lawyers are more mobile than they would be in a genuine court setting. "The 370 members of the audience are wrapped around the acting area, both at floor level and in three high galleries, so they need to move freely in order to play to all these seats.
For them, and for all actors in other scenes, which are performed on a thrust stage in the centre of the room, Pool is using d:screet 4061 Miniature Microphones in conjunction with wireless transmitters.
I have used d:screet 4061s on most productions Ive designed in recent years as they work well in a variety of positions on actors heads, Pool says. This is very important for this production because we are coping with hats and legal wigs, so we have to find positions that give good results for all these scenarios without resorting to excessive equalisation. The closest members of our audience are less than a metre from the stage so we bought the microphones in beige and they were expertly camouflaged using paint marker pens to precisely match hair and skin tones and patterning, by sound engineer Phoebe Jean Gosling so as to be practically invisible to the audience.
We have eight areas where microphones are used. Each of these areas are fed, with individual time delay and level control, to 16 loudspeaker zones so that every audience member hears the live sound from the actor first. This means that the loudspeakers no longer appear to be the source of the reinforced sound instead the audience believe they are listening directly to the actors voices from the position they are speaking from.
To further enhance the clarity of the reinforced sound, the production is mixed line by line by Sound Operator Henry Harrod so that generally there is only one microphone live at any time.
Adapted from an Agatha Christie short story, Witness for the Prosecution details the trial of Leonard Vole a man accused of murdering a widow to inherit her wealth. The original play premiered in London in 1953 and was described by Christie as one of my plays that I like best myself. This particular version premiered in October and runs through to March, 2018.
www.dpamicrophones.com


Tags: DPA Microphones | Mic Pool | d:dicate recording microphone | d:screet miniature microphone | Agatha Christie | Witness For The Prosecution
Submitted by Sue Sillitoe (White Noise Public Relations Ltd)
View author's directory page

Related Interviews
  • DPA Microphones at NAB 2015

    DPA Microphones at NAB 2015

  • DPA Microphones at NAB 2014

    DPA Microphones at NAB 2014

  • DPA Microphones and Bubblebee Industries at BVE 2014

    DPA Microphones and Bubblebee Industries at BVE 2014

  • DPA Microphones at IBC 2013

    DPA Microphones at IBC 2013

  • DPA Microphones at NAB 2013

    DPA Microphones at NAB 2013

  • DPA Microphones at NAB 2012

    DPA Microphones at NAB 2012


Related Shows
  • Show 19 - June 19th 2013

    Show 19 - June 19th 2013


Related Articles
  • How to choose the right broadcast microphone

    How to choose the right broadcast microphone


News
Sixty outlines power of interactive graphics in the future of sports video delivery at Sportel Monaco 2018 Posted: 16/10/2018
Sixty outlines power of interactive graphics in the future of sports video delivery at Sportel Monaco 2018

Sixty, the interactive TV company, today announced that it will be attending this year’s Sportel Monaco Show, October 22-24, where the company’s Chief Commercial Officer, Henriette Sæther, will be a key speaker.

Tags: Sportel | Monaco | Graphics | Interactive | TV | Broadcast | Sports
Submitted by Staff
More from this author
FansUnite Signs Sponsorship Agreement with QYOU eSports Platform Heads Up Daily Posted: 16/10/2018
FansUnite Signs Sponsorship Agreement with QYOU eSports Platform Heads Up Daily

QYOU Media (TSXV:QYOU; OTCQB: QYOUF), the world's leading curator of premium 'best-of-the-web' video for multiscreen distribution today announced a major marketing agreement with FansUnite Entertainment Inc. (“FansUnite”), a blockchain-based sports betting company, around its flagship eSports platform, “Heads Up Daily” (HUD). The sponsorship agreement will see FansUnite content and messaging available to a potential audience of millions across multiple screens, including broadcast, mobile, and social TV.

Tags: QYOU | Heads Up Daily | FansUnite
Submitted by platformcomms
More from this author
ATEME Enables CJ Hello to Virtualize its Traditional HW based Technology to Allow for Increased HD Channel Capacity Posted: 16/10/2018
ATEME Enables CJ Hello to Virtualize its Traditional HW based Technology to Allow for Increased HD Channel Capacity

ATEME, the emerging leader in video delivery solutions for broadcast, cable, DTH, IPTV and OTT announced today that CJ Hello, the number one cable operator and one of the leading companies in Korea’s media industry, has successfully deployed its TITAN LIVE solution for its innovative HD project.

Tags: ATEME | Broadcast | CJ Hello | Cable
Submitted by Whiteoaks
More from this author
ATEM 4ME Production Studio 4K and DeckLink 8K Power Red Bulls Gaming Sphere Posted: 16/10/2018
ATEM and nbsp;4 and nbsp;ME and nbsp;Production and nbsp;Studio and nbsp;4K and DeckLink and nbsp;8K Power and nbsp;Red Bulls Gaming and nbsp;Sphere
Blackmagic Design today announced that Red Bull’s Gaming Sphere in London has been built on a live production workflow incorporating the URSA Mini Pro, Micro Studio Camera 4K, ATEM 4 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K and DeckLink 8K Pro.
Tags: Blackmagic Design | Blackmagic | BMD | ATEM | ATEM Production Studio | DeckLink | RedBull | esports | gaming | Live Stream
Submitted by Blackmagic design
More from this author
FIA World Rally Championship Brings Fresh Dynamism to its Live Coverage with LiveU HEVC Posted: 16/10/2018
FIA World Rally Championship Brings Fresh Dynamism to its Live Coverage with LiveU HEVC
WRC Promoter GmbH, the company that’s responsible for all commercial aspects of the FIA World Rally Championship, has for the first time used LiveU technology to help bring a fresh approach to its rally coverage. LiveU’s LU600 HEVC solution was used at the recent ADAC Rallye Deutschland in Germany, which took place over four days, for transmitting live footage from different stages of the rally, interviews in the service park, and file transfer from the field. The LiveU units were controlled and monitored remotely via the LiveU Central management platform by WRC TV personnel.
Tags: Cellular bonding. acquisition | uplinking | contribution | news | sport | HEVC | 4K
Submitted by Jump PR
More from this author
TVB Hong Kong continues to upgrade its Calrec tech with purchase of three Artemis consoles Posted: 16/10/2018
TVB Hong Kong continues to upgrade its Calrec tech with purchase of three Artemis consoles
TVB, the largest broadcaster in Hong Kong, recently purchased two Artemis Beam and one Artemis Light consoles as part of its continuing audio technology upgrade. The latest installations bring the total of Artemis consoles at TVB to eight.
Tags: Audio; audio consoles; audio routing; OB truck | OB
Submitted by Jump PR
More from this author
Symply Demonstrate Industry First Affordable High-Speed Multi-User StorNext6 Powered Thunderbolt3 Storage Solution at NAB Posted: 15/10/2018
Symply Demonstrate Industry and rsquo;s First Affordable High-Speed Multi-User StorNext6 Powered Thunderbolt3 Storage Solution at NAB

Symply, a Global Distribution brand, will be demonstrating SymplyWORKSPACE, the first Thunderbolt™3 based SAN technology using StorNext®6, at NAB New York (booth N237).

With the high adoption rates of Thunderbolt equipped workstations and laptops being used in media production, being able to connect high-speed shared storage has not been easy and requires expensive and bulky adapters. SymplyWORKSPACE allows laptops and workstations equipped with Thunderbolt™3 to ingest, edit, finish, and deliver without the need to move content locally, even at 4K resolutions with a direct Thunderbolt™3 cable connection, and with no adapter needed.

Tags: Symply | SymplyWORKSPACE | NAB New York
Submitted by Symply
More from this author
New JVC ProHD zRAMP Delivers Broadcast Quality Error Correction for Live Webcasts from Zixi-Enabled Cameras Posted: 15/10/2018
New JVC ProHD zRAMP Delivers Broadcast Quality Error Correction for Live Webcasts from Zixi-Enabled Cameras

JVC Professional Video, a division of JVCKENWOOD USA Corporation, today announced the ProHD zRAMP, an appliance that provides Zixi’s robust, content aware error correction for simultaneous live video streaming to multiple CDNs like Facebook Live and YouTube, as well as decoders for distribution to a local cable headend. Designed for live sports, events, houses of worship, schools, and local governments, the ProHD zRAMP delivers reliable QoS video streaming from Zixi-enabled JVC streaming camcorders. The ProHD zRAMP will be demonstrated at the 2018 NAB Show New York (Booth N333), which runs Oct. 17-18 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City.

Tags: video production | streaming video | error correction | JVC | NAB New York
Submitted by Pipeline Communications
More from this author
Jim Dugan, President of Wisycom USA, Shares RF Expertise at AES New York 2018 Sound Reinforcement RF Super Session Posted: 15/10/2018
Jim Dugan, President of Wisycom USA, Shares RF Expertise at AES New York 2018 Sound Reinforcement RF Super Session
Jim Dugan, President of Wisycom USA, will be taking part in panel discussions at the forthcoming AES 2018 show, where he will join industry pros presenting on best practices and implementation for production wireless as well as the manufacturer’s response to the latest developments to the RF spectrum. The AES New York 2018 Sound Reinforcement: SR03 - RF Super Session at which he is speaking will take place in Room 1E10 on Wednesday, October 17 from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Tags: Wisycom
Submitted by D. Pagan Communications
More from this author
Marshall Electronics Showcases New Cameras at NAB NY 2018 Posted: 15/10/2018
Marshall Electronics Showcases New Cameras at NAB NY 2018
Marshall Electronics is adding to its range of camera offerings with three new compact and miniature cameras: the compact true 4K60 Marshall CV420-CS, the compact true 4K30 Marshall CV380-CS, and the new ultra-high-speed Marshall CV506-H12, all of which will be showcased for the first time in the U.S. at NAB NY (Booth N733).
Tags: Marshall
Submitted by D. Pagan Communications
More from this author
NUGEN Audio Loudness Toolkit 2.8 Makes U.S. Debut at AES NY 2018 Posted: 15/10/2018
NUGEN Audio and rsquo;s Loudness Toolkit 2.8 Makes U.S. Debut at AES NY 2018
NUGEN Audio debuts its latest Loudness Toolkit updates for the first time in the U.S. at AES NY 2018 (Booth 5041). Loudness Toolkit 2.8 provides a new loudness parameter, Dialogue LRA as well as new flexibility to simultaneously monitor multiple integrated measures. These updates help facilitate an efficient workflow when working with the recent loudness guidelines, such as the new Netflix best practice document.
Tags: NUGEN
Submitted by D. Pagan Communications
More from this author
Insight TV Signs YouTube Stars Josh and Cody to Front New Social Influencer Adventure Show Urban Explorers Posted: 15/10/2018
Insight TV Signs YouTube Stars Josh and Cody to Front New Social Influencer Adventure Show Urban Explorers

Insight TV, the world’s leading UHD 4K broadcaster and producer of native UHD content, has announced exciting new cast updates to its social influencer adventure show, Urban Explorers. Insight TV has secured YouTube sensations and professional urban explorers Josh and Cody as the show’s team leaders. Scheduled to premiere on Insight TV and Insight.TV in 2019, the show has 10x44-minute episodes.

Tags: UHD | Ultra High Definition | 4K | SVOD | VOD | OTT | HDR | High Dynamic Range | Content | Media | Sport | Extreme Sports | Adventure | Lifestyle | Urban Explorers
Submitted by Jump PR Ltd
More from this author
Insight TV Commissions Martial Arts Extravaganza The Story of Masters in Partnership with CJ ENM Posted: 15/10/2018
Insight TV Commissions Martial Arts Extravaganza The Story of Masters in Partnership with CJ ENM

Insight TV, the world’s leading 4K UHD broadcaster and producer of native UHD content, has announced that it is building on its successful production partnership with South Korea’s largest media conglomerate CJ ENM at MIPCOM 2018, with the co-production of a new 3x60-minute show The Story of Masters. This highly anticipated new show is supported by the Korea Radio Promotion Association (RAPA).

Tags: UHD | Ultra High Definition | 4K | SVOD | VOD | OTT | HDR | High Dynamic Range | Content | Media | Sport | Extreme Sports | Adventure | Lifestyle | MIPCOM 2018
Submitted by Jump PR Ltd
More from this author
Insight TV Announces Launch of Brand Solutions and Media Sales Division Posted: 15/10/2018
Insight TV Announces Launch of Brand Solutions and Media Sales Division

Insight TV, the world’s leading 4K UHD channel, has announced the launch of its brand solutions and media sales department. By creating this consolidated offering, Insight is now able to offer brands fully integrated partnerships with bespoke solutions and the flexibility to pick and choose genres and formats.

Tags: UHD | Ultra High Definition | 4K | SVOD | VOD | OTT | HDR | High Dynamic Range | Content | Media | Sport | Extreme Sports | Adventure | Lifestyle
Submitted by Jump PR Ltd
More from this author
Streamteam picks Nevion Virtuoso to help deliver live coverage of Finnish Elite ice-hockey league Posted: 15/10/2018
Streamteam picks Nevion Virtuoso to help deliver live coverage of Finnish Elite ice-hockey league

Nevion, the award-winning provider of virtualized media production solutions, announced today that technical broadcast production service provider Streamteam Nordic Oy, has deployed Nevion Virtuoso to help the IP-based remote production (aka REMI in North America) of the Finnish Elite ice-hockey league, SM-liiga. Nevion’s flagship software defined media nodes are used to transport feeds in real-time from the ice-hockey arenas across the country to the central production facility in Helsinki. Nevion also provided professional services for the network architecture design for the project, as well as for the deployment.

Tags: Nevion | Broadcast | Streamteam | Production
Submitted by Whiteoaks
More from this author
Pages:   [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 > >>