L-Acoustics fire up How to Train Your Dragon live show

DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular has enjoyed a successful launch in Australia and New Zealand, a popular run in North America, and has now landed in China.

Featuring more than a dozen dragons with 40-foot wingspans, the audio challenge for Rightway Audio Consultants and sound supplier Dadong Huahan was to make the dragons sound as impressive as they looked, while also representing spoken voice and song from the cast, all in a theater with an in-the-round configuration full of reflective surfaces. After rigorous tests, an L-Acoustics KARA and KUDO sound system was chosen to make the production soar.

“54 KARA in nine groups of six are installed for the three sides, and in using KARA and KUDO, we were able to achieve perfect clarity, intelligibility, and precision, as well as a wide dynamic range,” explained Vincent Zhou, technical manager at Rightway Audio Consultants. “We especially appreciated KUDO’s customized horizontal directivity, which enabled us to offer a superb audience experience, with crystal clear sound, free of reflections; and since both KARA and KUDO offer extended vertical coverage, the arrays provided even sound distribution, guaranteeing coverage from the last row on top, to the lowest row at the front.

Soundvision was used to work out an accurate acoustical and mechanical simulation of L-Acoustics speaker systems.

“Using Soundvision, we were able to design each of our eleven hangs to perfectly cover our in-the-round configuration. We used a distributed sub system, with an end fire array configuration in the corners to guarantee even low frequency coverage throughout the venue, while reducing excitement from the room and the seating blocks.”

For Alex Bryson, head of audio and communications at the How To Drain Your Dragon performance team, LA8 amplifiers provided peace of mind: “The simplistic networking of the LA8 amplifiers proved an efficient tool for system control, timing and tuning.”

“We were very satisfied with the system” summarised Bryson. “There was considerable and constant pressure placed on the audio system to reproduce the various audio performance levels: crystal clear live vocal reinforcement, engaging music, playback and credible SFX needed to be delivered to every single seat in the arena, without forgetting about the rich and wide bandwidth voices of the dragons. The L-Acoustics KARA and KUDO, coupled with the SB28 amplifiers, handled all these tasks simultaneously with ease.”