During this summer’s concerts, enjoy a new sound on the lawn.
This spring, the Festival upgraded several components of the lawn audio system. While state-of-the-art in 2008, it has naturally aged and needed to be replaced. At the same time, new technology has been invented to take on the challenge of reproducing the sound of an acoustic orchestra through a sound system.
Over the course of two weeks in June, technicians installed a new D&B Soundscape system, including 48 channels of amplifiers and a brand new virtual acoustic processor. The crew also replaced cables and upgraded connections throughout the lawn.
What this means is that the sound on the lawn will emulate even more accurately the experience in the Pavilion. The audience should hear the violins on the left, the basses on the right, the winds midway back, and the horns and percussion echoing off the rear wall. This is accomplished through a sophisticated mixing technology that channels the sound from the microphones above the stage and adds tiny amounts of variation in volume, reverb, and spatial location to mimic what the audience inside the Pavilion hears.
In addition, you may have noticed physical changes on stage when the Festival presents a recital, chamber concert, or chamber orchestra. Prior to these concerts, the crew installs a temporary wall to bring the back of the stage forward and in from the sides, and lowers the wooden panels hung above the stage. These changes help create a more intimate acoustic and help the smaller ensemble “fill” the available space. The new audio system replicates these changes for the lawn audience using technology. With the click of a button, the Festival’s sound crew can change the acoustic on the lawn from chamber to concert hall to cathedral.
These upgrades are designed to help those of you on the lawn hear your Festival Orchestra, with all of its varied colors and sonorities, as if you were sitting inside the Pavilion.