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RADA hosts inaugural OpenStage event

The first ever OpenStage event was held at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) in London this month, writes Paul Watson.

This month’s inaugural OpenStage event was hosted by RADA’s head of sound Chris Mock and took place at RADA’s 180-seat Jerwood Vanbrugh theatre in London where theatre sound specialists from d&b audiotechnik, Shure UK, RTS Telex, Roland Systems Group, TTA and Figure 53 shared their opinions on the future of theatre sound. Each of the six discrete companies sponsored the event. TTA’s John Torger Skjelstad started the day off with a discussion of the art of localisation and performer tracking, demonstrating the StageTracker system that he authored, which is currently being used across Europe in a string of cultural centres. QLab developer Chris Ashworth later joined Skjelstad via a Skype link from his base in Baltimore to talk about QLab’s recent integration with StageTracker. Tuomo Tolonen of Shure (pictured) discussed spectrum allocation in the UK offering all the knowledge gained from his position on the BEIRG steering committee; and in his second presentation, he talked about Shure’s new Axient Wireless system.
Roland Systems Group’s Phil Palmer and Simon Kenning discussed systems integration, which is the basis of Roland’s theatre sound philosophy. Roland’s M-48 monitoring systems have recently been used extensively on the first ever touring production of We Will Rock You. For many, the event’s highlight was a fun-filled presentation by d&b’s John Taylor and Steve Jones, who analysed the anatomy of point source and line array systems, looking at their respective pros and cons.