Award-winning sound designer Jeroen ten Brinke has chosen the Meyer Sound D-Mitri® digital audio platform as the backbone of his design in ANNE, a dramatic presentation of the Anne Frank story in the 1,100-capacity Theater Amsterdam. With a CueConsole™ control surface, D-Mitri drives the play’s audio mixing, matrixing, and loudspeaker processing.
“Choosing D-Mitri as the foundation of the system was a no-brainer,” says Jeroen ten Brinke, who is a design parter at Audio Design International. “The audio quality is second-to-none, which is critical to bring out all the subtleties of the dialogue. It also works beautifully with both the orchestration and the sound effects, which range from whisper-quiet to wartime bombing scenes.”
Compared to most theatrical plays, the sound design in ANNE is extraordinarily intricate. Actors interact simultaneously across acoustically isolated “rooms” using wireless microphones. The room interior sets rotate on and off stage using sophisticated mechanics. As two of the acoustically isolated rooms are often on stage and active at once, hidden monitoring systems are needed for actors to hear each other on each set. In addition, dozens of loudspeakers are embedded in the sets to localize actors’ voices, as much of the dialogue is spoken in soft voices or whispers. Consequently, 24 microphone inputs are programmed in D-Mitri for balance, mixed with the original orchestral score and effects, and routed to the constantly changing outputs. Everything is then reproduced in 8.1 surround sound.
“D-Mitri coupled with CueStation™ is clearly the result of many years of experience in complex theatrical automation,” says ten Brinke. “It gives me endless flexibility during the design process. There’s never a ‘no can do’ response, no matter how demanding the request.”
The D-Mitri platform for ANNE comprises two digital I/O frames and three analog output frames, plus one DCP core processor, one general purpose I/O frame, and one analog input frame. D-Mitri is controlled via CueStation software and a CueConsole, and uses 48 input channels and 72 discrete outputs.
The audio production team also includes Chris Blaauw, assistant programmer, and Igor Milosavijevic, resident sound mixer. The system was supplied by Amsterdam-based Focus/Rent-All, with Meyer Sound distributor Audio Electronics Mattijsen facilitating the sale.
A three-time winner of the John Kraaijkamp Musical Award for Best Achievement in Design, ten Brinke also used D-Mitri in the Soldier of Orange production (Soldaat van Oranje), where a circular audience platform revolves inside a surrounding ring of expansive stage sets.