The Addams Family Creeps with DiGiCo SD7T
Since 2009, The Addams Family musical has been entertaining audiences on Broadway and on tour across the US. In 2012, an additional production opened in São Paulo (Brazil), followed by Rio de Janeiro and Sydney in 2013. This year saw further international expansion with a new production in Argentina where a DiGiCo SD7T will be back at the helm.
The original production was the first Broadway show to use a DiGiCo SD7T, with sound designers Acme Sound Partners working closely with DiGiCo, UK rental company Autograph, and local provider Masque Sound. Subsequent touring and productions had fewer demands for the Front of House console so the SD7 was not specified. But Associate Sound Designer Jason Crystal, who has represented the show on these various productions, was very pleased when Loudness Sound Rental & Services, the local audio provider, requested that an SD7T be used on this latest iteration.
"When it became clear that they were willing to change all the other necessary parts of the system to make upping the spec to the SD7T worthwhile, I was more than happy," he says. "Being intimately familiar with the console, it only took a few days of programming to have the entire show re-written for the SD7T.
"The production in Buenos Aires is very closely related to the São Paulo production that closed a few months ago. I was very happy with the sound of that show and our goal was to recreate the experience.
"The acoustic and physical challenges of the Buenos Aires venue were very different, however, the main one being the coverage required, with the venue - the Teatro Opera - seating close to 2000 people and having a large balcony. Other physical challenges that needed to be overcome included an asymmetrical stalls level and an unusually exposed pit."
With the SD7T running at 96kHz, the show uses around 120 input channels, over 30 auxes and a dozen groups. The console I/O runs over Optocore, and the local MADI I/O is used for offline playback.
"I am a huge fan of DiGiCo's theatre-specific T software and have been since first using it on the D5T with Acme," says Jason. "The speed at which you can make smart and calculated changes to your show is unlike any other console software I have come across.
"The T software has a bunch of great features, but the two I find especially useful are Auto-Update (and the exclusions and inversions the T software allows) and Aliases. Most powerful is the way these two features work together. The ability to make a change and know that it appears instantly throughout your show and in the correct places is invaluable. It takes a lot of the guesswork and tracking out of the equation and lets you confidently modify the sound of the show without worrying about a potentially complex world of snapshots, safes, presets, and libraries.
"It was a real pleasure to be back working with the SD7T again."