Saturday, February 17th, 2018

Kinky Boots Has Broadway On Its Feet

By editorMay 26, 2013

INDUSTRY NEWS

Sound designer John Shivers, pictured with Associate Sound Designer & Production Sound Engineer David Patridge
Sound designer John Shivers, pictured with Associate Sound Designer & Production Sound Engineer David Patridge

With songs by rocker girl Cyndi Lauper and story by celebrated actor/playwright, Harvey Fierstein, Kinky Boots has Broadway on its proverbial feet. Based on the 2005 British flick about a struggling shoe factory that reinvigorates business by making fetish footwear for drag queens, the show opened to rave reviews—and a TONY award nom on the horizon. In keeping with many award-winning shows on the ‘Great White Way,’ sound designer John Shivers [pictured with Associate Sound Designer & Production Sound Engineer David Patridge] opted for a DiGiCo SD7T to handle the production, after becoming familiar with the system on his previous productions for Bonnie & Clyde, Sister Act and The Lion Kingoverseas. The SD7’s powerful system and diminutive size made it a perfect fit for the new show. 

“A few years ago, I saw a brief demo at Masque Sound when the SD7 first became available,” he recollected. “Seeing the feature set and the redundant engine and power supply all onboard got me interested. When designing The Lion King for Singapore in 2010, part of my negotiation involved suggesting that we swap out the Cadacs with SD7s in New York and London for both creative and financial reasons. Before I knew it, I’d gotten an email telling me to move forward. Within 6 weeks of that conversation we were implementing the SD7s on the New York show and a month after that we were doing the same in London. I’ve been using SD7s pretty much on every show since.”

Shivers says the console offers a lot of flexibility, especially with the new “T” software, which he says brings features and functionality specific to our needs on theatrical productions as well as a solid sounding foundation in a very compact package. “The SD7T software has added these very beneficial features thanks to [award-winning sound designer] Andrew Bruce’s involvement in the development. Having onboard compression, gating and delay—along with the programmability and recallability of those parameters on every channel—opens up possibilities that you just can’t have with an analog console. It’s definitely been an upgrade for us from that standpoint. A positive byproduct has definitely been the size of the console, which allows you to get into smaller spaces and require less seats and has served as a large financial windfall for producers. For me, from a purely creative and design standpoint, it’s about the capabilities of the console. I’m not one to follow the crowd necessarily, but the SD7 has become a standard of our industry and the reason everybody’s using them seems clear. It has proven itself to be a very capable and reliable console.”

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