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A Laugh In The Park for Sennheiser

Sennheiser provides three-way sound solution for Hertfordshire’s Laughs In The Park 2010, headlined by UK funnyman Eddie Izzard, writes Paul Watson

Sennheiser provided a three-way sound solution incorporating its handheld mics, K-array loudspeakers and Tour Guide system for Hertfordshire’s Laughs In The Park 2010, headlined by one of the UK’s top funnymen Eddie Izzard. The idyllic setting of Verulamium Park in St.Albans, Hertfordshire, was host to the first ever Laughs In The Park, where 15,000 people filled a purpose-built open-air auditorium for three nights of top UK comedy talent including performances from Dylan Moran, Reginald D Hunter, and headline act Eddie Izzard. Izzard is no stranger to bringing comedy to the masses. Having recently completed a 60-date arena tour, including two shows at London’s O2 Arena, George Glossop, sound designer and supervisor says bringing his comedy show outdoors has been a fairly natural progression. “Eddie and his team wanted somebody who could take a comedy act and keep it intimate in large spaces, which is what I did for them in the arenas,” explains Glossop. “And this is a good opportunity for us because a comedy event isn’t as loud as a live music event.” Glossop says keeping the sight lines as good as possible and being wary of wind drift is imperative when working on an outdoor event like this. Working to 75dB over a 15-minute LEQ, he was confident the neighbours wouldn’t have much to complain about. “In high winds you can lose the HF and the intelligibility goes out of that,” he says, “and in comedy, if you can’t hear all the words then it’s not funny, so it’s extremely important.” Glossop uses the same Sennheiser SKM 935 radio mic with a dual receiver (EM 2050) for every Izzard show and claims it’s never let him down, describing it as ‘well weighted and rock solid’. A long-time Sennheiser user, he welcomed the loan of K-array KH4s and KS4s; two subs and one top panel were deployed per-side for sidefills. “These lovely slim K-array panels on stage work great,” says Glossop. “You look at them and think ‘how does that amount of sound come out of those panels? The next stage will definitely be to look at using them for delay work.” Dave Wooster, Sennheiser’s recently appointed live sound specialist, says K-array’s potential as a full touring system is massive as it can generate full range audio from 20kHz down to 20Hz. “Initially we’re looking at how it performs in close quarters and then it’s about forging this new technology for the future,” reveals Wooster. “They’re not out there in the world at the moment, but they soon will be; people aren’t going to believe that a six-inch panel that looks like a plasma screen is capable of competing with [larger systems].”