XL Events is supplying audio and video equipment plus 4 crew for the CBeeBies Live "Treasure Hunt" UK arena tour which is being production managed by Nigel Mousley for BBC Worldwide.
XL Events' Rich Rowley says "This is the 4th year that I have been involved in this project and every year brings a new set of challenges! This year we were looking at big rear projected images with the addition of a â€˜lifesize' giraffe and elephant to contend with. As you can imagine some pretty creative keystoning was needed to allow the beasts to move around backstage.”
Ade Moore is looking after this department for XL Events, which consists of a 32 by 24 ft centre stage projection screen being fed by a triple stack of rear-projecting Barco ELM R18 'Director' machines fitted with 1.2 wide angle lenses.
These receive content programmed into 2 Coolux Pandora's Box digital media servers running the latest software, which are independently triggered by show caller Erica Southon from FOH, who activates all the VT cues from Pandora's Box Media Manager control.
Video runs constantly throughout the show and is used to create dynamic backdrops and as digital scenery, allowing the stage to be kept clear and clean for all the action. All video content has been supplied by the BBC and was programmed into the Pandora's Box's by XL Events Technical Director David Mulcahy, with show director Ian Loughlan deciding the order of the cues.
Moore is impressed with the latest Coolux software particularly with the Warp function, which takes the vital task of line up and image perspective correction into a new, quicker and much easier dimension, also allowing them far greater flexibility with the positioning of the projectors.
Craig Pryde is mixing FOH and monitors, both from the FOH position.
The main arrays are 4 hangs of 12 dVDOSC elements positioned for 270 degree coverage around the arenas, plus 6 flown dV subs.
They're using 8 of the new L-Acoustics 108P speakers for front fills, with these and the flown arrays are set up in a standard arena design format at each venue, with the only variable aspect being the trim height. The system is tuned and calculated each day by XL Events systems engineer James Neale to deliver crisp, clear and even coverage with excellent vocal intelligibility.
There are also two D&B B2 subs a side to enhance the elephant in the African section of the Treasure Hunt.
The PA is powered by LA 48 amps, and the system is processed with XTA 448s loaded with all the L-Acoustics presets.
Pryde mixes the show with a Soundcraft Vi4 console which "Works extremely well and gets a great sound". He takes advantage of all the onboard effects on this, making a nice tidy footprint at FOH. He's used a Vi4 all year including for the indie concept band, The Last Shadow Puppets.
Nathan Avery, one of the XL Events crew is running 2 Spot On PC based HD touch screen interactive polyphonic replay units at FOH to trigger all the vocal effects and play back the animatronics voices. It works on a cue stack system that allows cues to be overlaid and flipped between creating a totally interactive environment between the cast members and the audience.
The Spot On system comes into the desk and is treated like a monitor mix, with the voices output via a Sennheiser G2 system fitted into each of the 6 animatronic heads that triggers the mouth actions.
The 3 main presenters use DPA headset mics and IEMs, making a total of 16 Sennheiser G2 IEM mixes covering all cast and presenters.
They spent 4 days rehearsing at LiteStructures in Wakefield before the tour commenced, and have a load in day at each venue followed by 2 shows a day.
Lighting is being supplied by PRG. The LD is Mark Cunniffe, and the show is being operated by Markus Robinson using a grandMA full size console.