Broadway’s Bombay Dreams is the story of a slum boy who rises to fame and fortune making “Bollywood” movies and features a 5.1 score combining traditional Indian rhythms, pop music, hard rock, soft ballads and lots of ethnic percussion. The show’s sound designer, Mick Potter, selected a Yamaha PM1D digital board (provided by Masque Sound) because nearly all of the orchestra is mixed in surround.
“The idea for making Bombay Dreams sound like a movie is due to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record producer Nigel Wright,” says Potter. “The biggest singular challenge was figuring out which numbers would work in surround and which wouldn’t.” Part of the “aural experience” — and another mixing challenge — includes two percussionists housed in two of the theater’s boxes on either side of the stage. “They obviously have to play with the orchestra and with each other,” Potter explains. “And they are very loud, acoustically. I fed them gradually into the systems that were further away from them. The further away you sit from them, the more of them you hear through the sound system.”
Engineer Jordan Pankin handled front-of-house duties and is enthusiastic about the PM1D. “The onboard effects virtually eliminate having extra racks. The recall is amazing — especially when you can bring up your scenes again and again and all the settings are there at the touch of a button.”