London, UK (October 28, 2014)—Now on its UK tour, the hair-metal musical Rock of Ages features ’80s hits like “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “We Built This City,” “Wanted Dead or Alive” and “Here I Go Again,” performed by a cast of characters, and all heard through an audio system provided by London-based Autograph Sound.
Chris Full, Sound Designer at Creative Sound Design, is the Associate Sound Designer for the show. Working with Autograph Sound, Full spec’d a JBL AXYS system for the Rock of Ages tour. “We have a ruthless touring schedule throughout the UK,” he said. “Weekly touring in the UK is an art form, and with limited truck access and the vastly different size and shape of the venues, from under 1,000 seats to nearly 3,000, it’s challenging!”
The show features an elaborate wraparound set that has walls across the back of the stage and up each side, and many loudspeakers integrated into the set itself. “We can’t start to build the onstage audio system until the set is completed, which leaves us with an even tighter timeline than usual to put the sound system together,” Full explained. “So we needed a system that could be set up quickly with easy rigging and be integrated into each venue without calling attention to itself visually or restricting audience sightlines, while still delivering very loud and proud rock and roll sound levels.”
Full chose a JBL AXYS setup comprised of six Scope T-2115G2 15-inch 3-way loudspeakers, six Scope T-2112G2 12-inch 3-way speakers, 16 Flex U-14G2 and two Flex U-12G2 compact 2-way speakers plus four UB-25 15-inch vented direct-radiating subwoofers. “We used a JBL AXYS rig for the London stage production prior to the tour with excellent results, so we knew it would work well sonically for the tour production, but we had to make some changes and adaptations to accommodate the quick setup and teardown required.”
“So many UK venues are like miniature opera houses—very ornate theaters where you find you have to make a concerted effort to deliver high-quality audio but without disturbing the appearance of these older, beautiful structures.” Each venue uses the same core loudspeaker configuration, with modifications as required to accommodate a particular hall.
“We’re very pleased with the way the touring production of Rock of Ages sounds and the audience reaction has been fantastic,” Full said. “The attributes of the JBL AXYS loudspeakers, especially the ability to shape their sonic performance and coverage via DSP, are tailor-made for a show like this.”