London (February 7, 2007)–Dirty Dancing, the (ahem) classic Eighties film where Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey have the proverbial time of their lives, has been turned into a London West End musical. Helping keep audiences’ toes tapping is a DiGiCo D5T12 digital mixing console at front of house.
Sound designer Bobby Aitken and house engineer Simon King at the DiGiCo D5T12 console.The show sports a sound design by Bobby Aitken, who purportedly requested that DiGiCo create the D5T12–a hybrid of the D5T digital theatre mixing system, but with an additional four faders, taking the number to 12, rather than the standard eight and providing more DCA control within the standard console surface and footprint.
The show features a lot of original music, sixties songs, and sound and surround effects which required plenty of programming–more than six weeks in total, made necessary because the subtle changes the actors make during rehearsal. “We had to continuously update,” said Aitken, “but now that the show has opened, to a large extent the cast has to lock itself in to what we are doing, which has been a challenge for them.”
Approximately 120 of the console’s 160 inputs are in use, plus 28 matrix outs and around 16 auxes. “There’s a lot of information coming into and out of the desk,” noted Simon King, the console’s operator. “We’re using its programmability pretty to much to the max when you add in the masters and relatives. It’s quite intense.”
A Soundtracs DS-00 also sits behind the scenes, and as part of its duties provides monitor mixes and reverbs. “The band monitor with Formula Sound Q18s on mixes that originated from the DS-00, which is something I’ve been doing for a little while,” adds Aitken.