Since its world premiere in 2016, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has been a worldwide hit in London’s West End, on Broadway, in Hamburg, Melbourne, San Francisco and Toronto. For the latest production, which opened at Tokyo’s TBS Akasaka ACT Theatre in July 2023, the show’s Olivier and Tony award-winning sound designer Gareth Fry has trusted a Yamaha RIVAGE PM5 digital mixing system to handle a globally popular production, which previously needed two mixing surfaces.
The production features more than 150 inputs, approximately 50 microphone inputs and 80 channels of playback, with around 500 cues. All inputs are digital - each microphone feed being converted from analogue at the wireless transmitter, with the audio processing fully digital until the sound leaves the amplifiers for the PA system. Previous productions of the play saw sound effects and music mixed on a Yamaha CL5 digital console, with the cast microphones mixed on a separate console.
Key to the new production was the RIVAGE PM series’ advanced theatre software, which offers a number of advantages to theatre sound designers.
“The RIVAGE PM5 combines the features we liked about both previous consoles. One is the benefit of running it in dual monitor mode,” says Gareth. “It means the SFX operator can use the left fader bank of the control surface and the microphone mixer can use the rest. It made for a much simpler overall signal flow and we were also able to reduce our seat kill considerably.”