Orbital Sound recently supplied the sound system for Sadler’s Well’s ballet première of The Most Incredible Thing – the much-publicised narrative ballet featuring a contemporary score written and recorded by the Pet Shop Boys.
The show – which has received generally positive notices – features a sound design devised by the award-winning Paul Arditti. The need to select a system that could cope both with Sadler’s Wells and venues on a prospective future tour led Arditti to base his design around d&b audiotechnik T-Series T-10 line array loudspeakers.
The main system was configured with four hangs of eight T-10s, each with a T-SUB, plus a central cluster of ten T-10s. In addition, four Q-Subs and four B2s were provided to boost low-end performance.
Delays and front-fills were predominantly L-Acoustics MTD108As, augmented by a couple of d&b E9s to cover the middle of the upper circle. Some in-house Control 1 delays were also used, while the surround system comprised 40 d&b E0s.
Matrix routing, delay and EQ was undertaken on a Yamaha DME64, while a pair of Mac Pros running QLab in ‘Guaranteed Synchronisation’ mode were deployed for playback. A DiGiCo SD8 was also part of the core sound set-up.
Describing the sound quality offered by the T-10s as “quite amazing”, Arditti said that the entire project had been “a fantastic experience. It has been great to work with Orbital again – they have been terrific – delivering us a top quality system within tight budget restraints. The Pet Shop Boys were very impressed with the result, and both Orbital and d&b audiotechnik are to be congratulated. When we started out on this journey, [PSB singer] Neil Tennant asked me to make it sound like the CD. At the end, he said it sounded even better, with the live orchestra and the surround sound giving it a very three-dimensional quality. I couldn’t have hoped for a better verdict!”