Japan’s historical Imperial Theatre upgrades with DiGiCo

Japan’s Imperial Theatre in central Tokyo has upgraded its audio system with theatre software from DiGiCo.

The theatre, locally known as Teigeki, was built in 1911 in a Renaissance architectural style, popular for being the first European style theatre in Japan. During the summer of 2018, the theatre’s audio system was upgraded, constituting the installation of a DiGiCo SD10T, SD-Rack, SD-MINI Rack and SD-Nano Rack with new 32Bit ADC/ DAC cards.

The software was supplied by DiGiCo’s Japanese distributor Hibino Intersound Corporation, adding to the existing SD7T and SD8 system in the theatre.

Mr. Akiyama, an engineer from flicpro co. who does audio operation for the Imperial Theatre, said: “DiGiCo consoles and the theatre version software are essential for our work in musical theatre. In musicals, it is common for more than two actors to play the same role. Before we had the DiGiCo theatre specific software, we used to look at the cast lists to check which role was performed by whom, and then recall a library to set up EQ and so on. Now, we don’t have to go through this process because the players function allows us to set up EQ, compression and attenuators for each actor and actress and each setup can be reflected in a scene really easily. It helps us a lot!”

Akiyama has already operated many shows at the Imperial Theatre, including Miss Saigon in 2012 using the original SD7, SD8 and SD10.

“Having a common way of working across all DiGiCo consoles is amazing,” he added. “Once we learnt the SD7, we could easily use other DiGiCo consoles. Also, being able to set everything up using the offline software allows us to imagine the actual operation of the console, which means there is no stress when we actually load session files to it. Not only is the functionality great, but so is the physical size of console since musicals in Japan are often done by two operators; one for the wireless microphone and another for mixing the orchestra, which means two consoles occupy more space. Taking all this into consideration, we chose the SD10T as the ideal solution.

“When I saw the news about the 32-Bit cards, I couldn’t imagine how they would sound at all, but as soon as I heard them, I knew this was quality on another level. With the same system and the same tuning as I do for the main loudspeakers and wireless microphones, I used the 32-Bit cards, did a ‘Check One Two’ and felt the dynamic range widen and become more intelligible. When I listened to the chorus, which was made up of 30 members in the actual show, I felt each singers’ voice get clearer.”