d&b audiotechnik technology has been revealed as the audio magic behind the multi-country live stage production of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child. With demanding production requirements, show producers turned to multi-award-winning sound designer Gareth Fry, and his experience with d&b audiotechnik, to cast a spell over the audience.
After director John Tiffany demanded that exceptional sound should be standardised across every country’s production of the Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, Fry and his team settled upon d&b audiotechnik to deliver quality and control to every seat in the house – also flexible enough to work within a wide variety of theatres around the world, each with very different architectural and acoustic challenges.
A d&b Y-Series sound system was primarily used in the London, New York, Melbourne and San Francisco productions, using a mix of line-array and point source elements, supplemented with E-Series cabinets for fill speakers. d&b V-Series was also used in some venues where a longer throw was required.
The d&b ArrayCalc simulation tool software was also a key component Fry used in his sound system design for the shows. ArrayCalc allows designers to model the acoustic design, performance prediction, alignment, rigging, and safety parameters for specific venues. The software significantly reduces setup and tuning time in mobile applications and allows for precise initial simulations when planning installations.
“ArrayCalc was a critical part of our choosing d&b systems; it allowed us to predict in advance what a theatre will sound like,” said Fry. “The software has also been very useful in terms of working with other production departments and negotiating speaker positions and other logistic concerns.
“I’ve been using d&b for years, so I have a lot of confidence in their systems. They always sound great, and have a compact footprint which makes them easy to place, so the whole system sounds better because the speakers can be in better positions to deliver the quality and power we need.”
The critically-acclaimed Harry Potter and The Cursed Child production has become the most awarded London, West End play in the history of the Olivier Awards, winning a record-breaking nine awards including Best New Play, Best Director and Best Sound Design in 2017. It also received multiple Tony Awards, including Best Sound Design, for the Broadway production in New York. There are other productions ongoing in Melbourne, San Francisco and Hamburg; and future productions have been announced in Toronto, and Tokyo.
“The show has been incredibly well received by audience members and critics alike, so we couldn’t be happier,” said Fry. “d&b stands behind their products, and they have been great to work with. We were able to do some demos of the Y- and V-series, and they were great in helping us select exactly the right product for the job. Their support has been amazing, and I look forward to more productions with d&b.”