Toronto (July 25, 2005)–Blue Man Group has been practicing its unique combination of avant-garde theatre and populist comedy since the early Nineties, but the troupe has hardly slowed down in the time since then. BMG has released two albums, starred in countless advertisements, and its productions are scattered across the globe. The latest one recently opened in Toronto, presenting a ‘best of’ slate of bits and pieces from the other BMG productions. Helping bring the unusual theatrics to the audience (the venue, the Panasonic Theatre, seats up to 1,000) is a sizable audio rig supplied by Toronto-based PA Plus–a system that includes a variety of gear from Midas and Klark Teknik.
PA Plus project manager Rob Kennedy reported, “PA Plus was responsible for the entire performance audio system installation. The Panasonic Theatre is a brand new venue on the site of the former New Yorker Theatre in Toronto. Ross Humphrey, Blue Man Group’s sound designer, specified Midas consoles from the beginning, and we were happy to fill that spec with a Heritage 3000, Verona 320 and Venice 320 consoles. We’re using three different types of Midas with Blue Man Group, to more precisely address their production needs with the sonic performance they’ve come to expect.”
Kennedy added: “Because the show is typically run by one engineer, a lot of sub-mixing is necessary to get all the signal information to the two Venice monitor consoles, so the musicians can mix their own personal monitors. For this reason, we brought in one of our Veronas as a sidecar; we decided to put it into the theatre for the whole run.”
Sound designer and sound supervisor Ross Humphrey has worked with Blue Man group since 1999 , has designed the Las Vegas, Berlin and Toronto shows, and maintains the sound designs for all the Blue Man Group productions.
“The new show is especially powerful,” he said, “as it’s in such an intimate setting, compared to the large, rock concert scale productions we do. Rather than consider myself a ‘sound designer’ for theatre, I see it as my job to put together a PA that sounds good, that makes the unique instruments and effects in the show sound the way the three original founders and the music directors want them to sound. I loved Midas consoles when I was on the road with bands and I love them now with Blue Man Group – in whatever sized venues we’re playing. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Venice or an XL4; if it has the ‘Midas’ badge on it, you know you’re getting warm sound and responsive controls.”