The Warehouse helps Edinburgh achieve diverse sound

The Warehouse Sound Services, helped this year’s Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) achieve its many and diverse sound requirements across the summer season after designing, installing and engineering the sound for the opening and closing shows. As a lead partner supplier to the EIF, the company also provided the audio solutions for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and FFS (Franz Ferdinand and Sparks) amongst others, working closely with Tom Zwitserlood Head of Sound and John Robb Head of Technical at EIF.

The Warehouse provided a range of diverse audio solutions for the spectacular opening & closing shows at the EIF as well as a diverse range of shows across the Festival’s calendar from 7-31 August 2015. The company has been a supplier to EIF for over three decades as a key provider of audio equipment and sound design and engineering.

The Warehouse Sound Services supplied and installed the outdoor sound system for The Harmonium Project, the opening event of this year’s Edinburgh International Festival at the Usher Hall and Festival Square. Tom Zwitserlood, head of sound for the Edinburgh International Festival and Anne Sullivan from The Warehouse, designed the system. Sound design for the event was by Tom Hackley of Have Sound.

The Harmonium Project was a free outdoor event marking the opening of the festival and the 50th anniversary of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus. An innovative sound and light spectacular, it lit up the city’s Usher Hall in spectacular fashion in front of an audience of around 20,000.

A series of artworks, designed by 59 Productions, were projected on to Edinburgh’s Usher Hall, one of the Festival’s key venues. The visual display was accompanied by a recording of John Adams’s choral work Harmonium, recorded by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, conducted by Peter Oundjian. The artworks used in The Harmonium Project are a digital representation of the experience singing has on the mind and body.

59 Productions combines technology and art to tell amazing stories. In recent years it has created the video design for the opening of the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Digital Revolution exhibition at the Barbican, London, and the Lighting of the Sydney Opera House sails for the Vivid Live festival.

Derek Blair, Director, of The Warehouse Sound Services said, “The team of sound designers and engineers had to create a 360-degree, three dimension sound that created a multi-sensory effect to match the spectacular visuals. Our challenge was to produce a pure and sensational sound in a challenging outdoor environment

“The d&B J-Series line array system is designed specifically for use in large-scale sound reinforcement applications. The crystal clear and detailed audio performance, smooth and even frequency response over distance, high dynamic bandwidth, power and headroom capabilities were the perfect choice for this show.

“The design comprised of left and right hangs of ten J8 loudspeakers, three J-SUBs, a central rolling riser with four J12s positioned at the front of the Usher Hall with left and right delays consisting of eight Q1 and two Q7 loudspeakers. The FOH mixer was a Yamaha CL5, with RF links to loudspeaker positions via Shure PSM1000 TX and Shure UHF-R receivers.”

The Warehouse also supplied all of the sound equipment along with crew for the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. The Warehouse have worked on all 34 Fireworks concerts, all mixed by front of house engineer and former Director Cameron Crosby who has overseen the event since inception.

This year’s Fireworks Concert brought Edinburgh’s summer festival season to a spectacular conclusion. In a celebration inspired by dance, the concert set stirring and delightful music with an outstanding and sparkling visual extravaganza. The breath-taking fireworks display is specially choreographed by international fireworks artists Pyrovision.

Equipment for this year’s concert included a DiGiCo SD10 at front of house, more than 100 d&b audiotechnik loudspeakers including Q-Series, V-Series and J-Series, all powered by D80 amplifiers. Axient, Shure’s flagship RF microphone system and PSM1000 in-ear monitoring were also employed.

The Warehouse also provided audio solutions for a range of diverse and exciting shows. Highlights across August included Ballett am Rhein and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s Seven – an interpretation of Mahler’s 7th Symphony, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Max Richter’s Memoryhouse, Switzerland’s leading ballet company Ballett Zürich’s multiple performances and Sufjan Steven’s performance at the Edinburgh Playhouse.

Franz Ferdinand and Sparks combined as the fantastic FFS to play the Edinburgh International Festival and The Warehouse provided the sound set up for this amazing show.

In addition to the EIF, the company also supplied all of the sound equipment for the Edinburgh International Book Festival in Charlotte Square.

The Warehouse also provided sound for The Animotion Show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The spectacular audio-visual show featured percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie and acclaimed Russian visual artist Maria Rud.

Derek concluded, “Our work at this year’s Edinburgh festivals was both challenging and fantastic. The opportunity to provide audio solutions to such as phenomenal range of amazing artists was such a privilege and we’ve had such amazing feedback. Once again our staff rose to the many challenges associated with supplying systems to EIF and other festivals, we’re already planning ahead for next year and looking forward to it.”


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