Death and the Powers is a massive technical undertaking that keeps growing even more massive. The February 2014 performance in Dallas, TX added another layer of technology connecting the audiences across the globe.
Tod Machover's composition blends acoustic orchestra with carefully engineered and synthesized electronic samples to create the unique sound of the Opera.
Close mics from the orchestra, lavalieres on the singers, a variety of synthesizers, samplers, and 16 channel encoded ambisonic playback make up the 100+ channels to be mixed at the Front of house on a Studer Vista 5.1.
For the Dallas performance, we broadcast a multi-camera shoot with 5.1 and stereo mixes to 9 different theaters all around the world, leaving us with 3 simultaneous mixes.
- Live mix for the PA in the hall, mixed from on a Studer Vista 5 at the front of house
- Surround 5.1 mix for the simulcast mixed on a Studer Vista 1 in our makeshift sound studio
- Stereo mix for the simulcast also mixed on the Studer Vista 1
Audiences in the remote venues were encouraged to download our mobile app that synchronized with the performance adding additional content and interactivity with the performance happening in Dallas.
I got to mix the two like simulcast mixes, and learned my way around the Studer Vista in the process. I've done lots of mixing before, but not a lot of live sound, so this was a very exciting opportunity. The Vista Console is also an amazing piece of gear. Every console has a predetermined amount of DSP all running on FPGAs. The assignment of the FPGAs is also totally customizable, so you choose the number of busses, sends, EQs Compressors, needed for your given show, and compile a virtual machine, loading it into the console before the show.