Monks Surround Audience With JBL

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As part of their recent 2005-06 inter-continental tour of major performing arts venues, the Shaolin Monks included a stop at the Madinath Jumeirah MPV Arena (Dubai, U.A.E.). The production is based upon the historical Shaolin Monks who practiced martial arts as devoted Buddhist monks, living in the Shaolin Temple that has become popular in Chinese history, folklore, literature and movies. Vibe Entertainment L.L.C., promoters for the show, turned to their preferred production partners, Sun Light & Sound,to supply lights, sound and audio/visual support. A JBL VerTec VT4888 midsize line array system with Crown power amplification was provided, supported by VT4880 full-size subwoofers. Signal processing from BSS, dbx and Lexicon rounded out the audio package.

Left, center, right and surround audio channels for the choreographed theatrical production were routed from an 8-track Akai S6000 sampler. Each main left/right array included 10 VT4888 line array elements flown at a height of 33 feet with five supporting VT4880 subwoofers positioned directly below each suspended main array. Crown MA3600 and MA5002VZ amplifiers were employed. JBL EON-15 compact powered systems were discreetly positioned throughout the venue's ceiling to support the multichannel audio requirements.

"As a theatrical show, the Shaolin Monks' touring production had some stringent requirements as regards sound, lights and staging," says Tariq Khalid, technical director for Sun Light & Sound Productions. "We converted the arena into a large virtual theater space. We used the JBL VerTec line arrays for the main left and right audio sources, along with a separate center array."

Seven sets of curtain legs, borders and fly-tracks were set up. This presented a masked, 58x29.5-foot proscenium-arch stage opening in the multipurpose arena. "The overall effect of the event audio was very different from normal concert P.A. applications," continues Khalid. "This production gave the audience an experience more like a movie theater, with sound encompassing listeners from all directions. Overall, this show demonstrated the versatility and the challenges that we can take up at Sun Light & Sound, in terms of complex audio productions."

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