Dancing in Memphis

Featuring original songs from Bon Jovi’s David Bryan and a storyline from Joe DiPietro, Memphis is a tale of racial challenge set in the 1950s underground clubs of Memphis Tennessee, starring Beverley Knight and Killian Donnelly with sound design by Gareth Owen.

At the heart of the sound system is a pair of Avid Venue control surfaces and the sizeable sound system is an all-d&b audiotechnik affair, with amplification coming from a mix of d&b audiotechnik D12 and D6 amplifiers. V-Series forms the core proscenium system (V8 and V12 cabinets), complemented by V and J-Infra Subs and a T-Series centre cluster. The complete system totals some 120 speakers, including a combination of E8/E6/E0s as outfills, E6 and E0s on front fill duties and a hefty 57 E6s deployed as delays.

A significant innovation is the communications system, with the first ever use of the Clear-Com Helixnet 4-channel remote, as well as integrating the Clear-Com FreeSpeak wireless intercom system, which Owen used for the first time on the musical I Can’t Sing:

"Helixnet is just so impressive, giving us 12-channel comms down a single cable so you can pull up any channel on any pack. Clear-Com has been working closely with the team to finetune certain elements, such as the latency on the side tone, especially on the 4-channel status,” Owen explained. “The result is a fabulous radio communications system, and we are extremely impressed with it.”

Another departure for the team is the introduction of Shure Axient AXT400 receivers in conjunction with the UR1M transmitters. The Axient bodypack transmitters were slightly too large to hide on an average cast member, but the combination of the standard micro UR1-M packs combined with the AXT400s is proving a real success.

To find out more about the production of Memphis,read our interview with the show’s production sound engineer and Pro Sound Awards Best Theatre Sound winner Chris Mace here: