Designed by Autograph Sound’s Nick Lidster, the “Virtual Sinatra” live show at the London Palladium has been made possible by the discovery of vintage 35mm archive footage, extensive tape restoration and the resolution of challenging timecode issues — allowing an image of Frank Sinatra (portrayed on nine moving video screens) to be synched to a 24-piece orchestra and the whole production under the direction of David Leveaux.
With an L/C/R line array hang (and 54 distributed Martin Audio Effect 3R cinema speakers), the audio is run in 5.1, with two suspended five-box Martin W8LCs taking care of the two flanks and the vocals coming as a mono signal through the center cluster. Autograph used a custom frame to fly the Martin WSX subs above the W8LCs. “They screw into the dolly boards and ensure we can rig them on trusses,” explains Lidster. “We have one WSX each side in the air and another each side on the ground.” Six more W8LCs are ground-stacked on each side of the stage with the WSX sub and strategically placed delays and front-fills. Effect 3Rs are spread throughout the different levels.
“This is a good-sounding room, but there are difficult areas,” says Lidster. “As the Martin Audio W8LC is fully horn-loaded, we’ve been able to ‘steer’ the audio accurately into the different areas. At the back of the circle, the sound is bright, clean and crisp, with no delays upstairs. It means I can turn up the HF without killing people downstairs near the stage.”