Together with a substantial NEXO GEO S8 PA system for The Helix venue where the shows were recorded, Dublin-based rental company Sound Design provided audio equipment and 12x N-12 wedges to set designer Fiona Cunningham and production company Screentime ShinAwil. The unusual triangular shape of the N-12s was exploited in full by arranging them in two circular groups between the judges’ armchairs and the performers’ position on stage. Out of each group of 6 speakers, 3 were delivering stereo monitor mixes forward to the performers while the other 3 were providing foldback to the judges.
The NEXO systems were installed in the 1260-seat Mahony Hall at Dublin venue The Helix for a period of 9 weeks, handling the production of nine live shows, which whittled down the final 24 contestants from a starting total of nearly 2000 at the beginning of the year.
According to Sound Design’s John Vickers, “the production designers were very drawn to the look of the NEXO monitors, which are not the norm. They have a low profile which is suited to television, but their triangular design encouraged their use as a feature on the set. From a technical point of view, they are ideal as they have very little colouration. In this type of application, the monitors need to be as quiet as possible, and the N-12s don’t pick up any of the ambient noise from the audience mics. Equally, because of their unique dispersion pattern, they don’t have too much effect on the front-of-house PA. Together the N-12s and the GEO S805s are a very effective combination.”
4x NXAMP4x4 amps were used to power the monitor system, running each group of 3x N-12s off each amplifier. “All the contestants were using the wedges for monitoring, as well as the majority of professional artists and popstars that performed as guests.”
John Vickers’ design for the production featured left/right arrays of 8x S805s with 2x S830s, and 3x RS15 subs each side, with 12x PS10-R2s for fills and hot spots. “The set designer also made a feature out of the PA hangs, highlighting them with sparkling string ‘curtains’.
‘The Voice of Ireland’ is the Irish edition of the international TV franchise ‘The Voice’, a reality singing competition created by media tycoon John de Mol. The main premise of the show is the quality of the singing talent, which is selected in blind auditions where four coaches/judges can only hear but not see the performers. These four coaches themselves are popular performing artists; in Dublin, the panel featured The Corrs musician Sharon Corr, Westlife member Kian Egan, Eurovision finalist Brian Kennedy and The Blizzards’s lead vocalist/guitarist Bressie.
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