Little Britain, a staged version of a British TV comedy, has brought in a Meyer Sound MICA compact high-power curvilinear array loudspeakers provided by a new UK sound hire company, Sonalyst of Crayford, Kent.
“MICA has been absolutely stunning,” comments Sonalyst owner Rory Madden, a touring sound veteran whose front-of-house and monitor mixing credits include Tina Turner, Mark Knopfler, Joe Cocker, The Clash and Dean Martin, among others. “At the Manchester Evening News Arena, which was set up for 12,000 people, we used 16 MICA per side and the sound was crystal-clear in every corner. The management told us afterward that it was the first time they had a comedy show like this with no complaints about the sound.”
The Manchester arena was among the larger venues on the tour, as most Little Britain performances play to houses having between 3,000 and 5,000-seat capacity. The typical system deployment on each side of the house is 10 MICA cabinets (usually flown), four groundstacked M1D ultra-compact curvilinear array loudspeakers to cover the front corners, two 600-HP compact high-power subwoofers and four UPM-1P ultra-compact wide-coverage loudspeakers for frontfill from the stage lip. Four UPA-1P compact wide-coverage loudspeakers supply monitoring onstage, with six additional UPA-1P units available for fill as needed, though often they are not. “The M1D arrays are the real stars down below,” says Madden. “They do so well that we rarely need other fills.”
The customary load carried by Little Britain’s trucks represents one of two essentially identical systems purchased by Madden when he launched Sonalyst. Each system includes the same complement of Meyer Sound self-powered loudspeakers, along with a Yamaha M7CL digital console, the latest generation of Shure wireless systems and a generous stock of microphones, such as the DPA 4061 capsules used by Little Britain stars Matt Lucas and David Walliams. Throughout much of 2005, the second system was touring with another British comedy phenomenon, the League of Gentlemen; judicious scheduling allowed merging the two systems for the larger arena bookings. Shortly after the League of Gentlemen tour concluded, the second Sonalyst system embarked on a tour of Britain with a new musical, Tonight’s the Night, based on the music of Rod Stewart.
Madden notes that by using the combination of the MICA arrays and Meyer Sound’s MAPP Online Pro™ acoustical prediction software, his new systems can penetrate to the back rows without deploying delay loudspeakers. “There’s no need to come in a day ahead and put up the under-balconies,” notes Madden. “It’s fabulous. The producers love it because you can do back-to-backs, with no days between for fit-ups.”
For more information, visit Meyer Sound at www.meyersound.com.