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Yamaha and Nexo have a ball with Production Plus

Dedicated to helping disadvantaged and vulnerable young people transform their lives, the DM Thomas Foundation’s annual ball needed the audio system

Production Plus recently supplied the kit for the annual charity ball for the DM Thomas Foundation at the London Hilton on Park Lane, with Yamaha and Nexo rolled out once again.

Dedicated to helping disadvantaged and vulnerable young people transform their lives, the DM Thomas Foundation’s annual ball is a chance for the charity to highlight it’s work to an audience of invited guests, while also giving them an enjoyable evening of entertainment.

Letchworth-based Production Plus has been using Nexo loudspeakers for over 15 years and brought Yamaha digital mixers into the company’s portfolio nine years ago.

“We don’t want a lot of different brands in our rental inventory. We want equipment that we know will do everything we need, be flexible for the range of events we do, reliable and sound great,” says Production Plus director Julian Rees.

“We have been happy with Nexo loudspeakers for a long time and, when we moved our inventory of mixing consoles to digital, Yamaha was the obvious choice. You can put a Yamaha digital desk in front of literally any engineer and they will know it. We have the CL, QL and TF series, as well as M7CLs and LS9s…”

The ball featured the cast of West End production Motown The Musical, function band Rollercoaster, speeches, a raffle, auction and video presentations.

The Production Plus audio system comprised four hangs of three Nexo M6, with PS8 and PS10 infills and a Yamaha CL5 console at the front of house position.

The monitor system featured Nexo PS10s and a Yamaha QL5 mixer. The system was run on a redundant Dante network, with a Yamaha Rio3224-D handling the stage inputs.

“It was a fairly standard setup for a charity-type ball,” says Rees. “The band was drums, bass, guitar, keys and four vocals, while the Motown cast used seven wireless headset microphones and a handheld, plus live keyboards and playback. In total there were 14 RF channels.

“One advantage of the QL5 is that, at this sort of event, nobody wants to see a monitor desk. So having a high-specification desk with gain sharing, but in a very compact footprint, is very useful.”

As with most of the company’s corporate-type shows, the production was in and out within 24 hours. “We were in at 5am and ready for rehearsals at 11.30, because the Motown cast had a matinee show,” says Rees. “We know the room at the Hilton, but we’ve found two hours spent preparing the system in our warehouse saves a phenomenal amount of time on site. We literally turn up, set up, EQ the system and go. Everything else is done prior to that.”

By the end of the evening the DM Thomas Foundation had raised £425,000 for its charitable work.