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Live Sound

Mixing Broadway’s Carousel

Scott Lehrer discusses gear choices for his Tony-nominated sound design on Rogers & Hammerstein’s “Carousel.”

New York, NY (August 24, 2018)—Rogers & Hammerstein’s Carousel garnered 11 Tony Award nominations this year, and has been playing to packed houses at the Imperial Theatre in New York City throughout its run. The show’s complicated sound designed was created by Tony winner and five-time nominee Scott Lehrer, who was also nominated for his work on the show this year.

Lehrer said the nature of Carousel is a classic Broadway musical that doesn’t require a lot of crazy programming and bells and whistles, “The needs for this show aren’t technically very large,” says Lehrer. “With a new orchestration by Jonathan Tunick who wanted to keep the traditional musical values of the show, we worked a lot on the way the orchestrations should sound, which was partially the reason we chose the Yamaha PM10 Digital Audio Console that became instrumental in allowing this to happen.”

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For traditional revivals, Lehrer typically aims to create a fairly transparent sound system, so that that the audience isn’t aware of the reinforcement: “We typically use high-quality Sennheiser wireless mics and receivers, and on the speaker side, d&b audioteknik,” Lehrer said.

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“I have used a Yamaha CL console for smaller productions, but there are things about the PM10 I love that make me want to use it again, like the Premium plug-ins that allow me to do what I can’t do on other manufacturers’ consoles that do not have the same on-board capabilities. For example, I can have a lot of control shaping signals on inputs. I love plug-ins and use them on all channels. It makes a big difference, and I knew from the CL audio quality, the PM10 was only going to be better. The mic preamps, A/D converters and processors are a good solution for me.”

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Sound Associates provided the audio equipment for Carousel. Carin Ford has been mixing the show; previous Yamaha experience including using a PM5D for Finian’s Rainbow, another of Lehrer’s designs. “A good Broadway engineer gets around digital consoles fairly quickly,” notes Lehrer, “and Carin ultimately found the PM10 pretty ergonomic and intuitive to get around.”

Sound Associates •

Yamaha •