YAMAHA QL1 STEALS THE SHOW AT V&A THEATRE EXHIBITION
‘Curtain Up’ is a special exhibition staged at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) that invites visitors to look behind the scenes and discover how the many aspects of a theatrical production come together. The exhibition’s technical production was designed and supplied by White Light, the company’s Creative Producer Richard Stirzaker specifying a Yamaha QL1 with the StageMix iPad app to let visitors experience what it’s like mixing a show.
“We wanted to give the public a genuinely interactive experience and chose the QL1 because of its easy-to-use interface, which would show how theatre audio technology has progressed over the years,” he says.
The console ran a multitrack recording of a song from the touring production of Hairspray, with drums, bass guitar, electric guitar, keyboards, brass section, lead vocals and backing vocals. These were grouped to eight DCAs, which were then represented as eight faders on an iPad using StageMix, which exhibition visitors could use to get a feel of mixing the song.
“The console is locked in a Perspex display case, so the public cannot access it, but they can see the faders moving in response to touching the StageMix faders,” says Richard. “The versatility of the QL/StageMix combination meant that it was possible to lock the EQ section, outputs, inputs and the other controls on the StageMix app, so visitors can only change the volume of each channel.”
An important part of the display was being able to trigger the recording to loop back to the beginning and, at the same time, have the QL1 reset the faders to zero. The QL1 made this easy, and the system was ready for a busy few months in the unusual position of being operated by the public.
“Both we and the V&A are extremely happy with the system,” Richard continues. “Everything was set up with the desk and multitrack very quickly, while the performance of the QL1 and StageMix has left people amazed and fascinated at what it can do. An iPad app moving a fader on a mixing console by imaginary dark forces is still very exciting for the public. It has given the exhibition a real wow factor.”