Peter Pan National Tour

Paul Kavicky
July 2010

Tony award-winning designer Gregory Clarke designed this new national touring production of Peter Pan with significant use of QLab.

Gregory, Gino Scarpino (who installed the sound system and served as the A1 in the show's first stop), and I are all QLab users and fans. We've all utilized QLab in numerous shows prior to our collective work on Peter Pan. We were happy and relieved to see that Gregory had chosen QLab for all of the audio and sound effects playback for the show as it was the most comfortable and reliable system for us. Its implementation was straightforward, but its use in the show is aggressive. At any given time there may be an ambience playing, sound effects, or a loud and proud music underscore. Gregory utilized the capabilities of QLab superbly, and we production audio engineers who drive the system for 8 shows a week are happy to see a rock solid QLab rig in front of us.

There are a variety of unique challenges to the sound of this show. The performance is in the round style, with audience surrounding the action on almost 360 degrees. This means that our speaker placement and sound system must accommodate this. The theatre has 88 speakers divided into the five audience zones right now, not counting all of the other backstage/paging/pavilion speakers. There are 32 channels of wireless mics using DPA 4061's as well as redundant QLab systems each outputting 32 channels of audio to our system.

Paul Kavicky has acted as the A2 for Peter Pan in San Francisco, and will be moving up to the A1 spot as the show moves to Los Angeles. His background includes mixing for a variety of shows including symphony, ballet, and theatre — most recently including Wicked, Showboat, and currently Peter Pan.

We have two Mac Pro's synced together running the audio into our Digico D5T console. A CueOne switching system makes changing from the main to the backup computer a breeze. That system also provides an excellent controller for QLab. Proper GO buttons as provided by that system really feel great, give you an excellent confirmation that you've hit GO, and really reduce any possibility of double triggers. We have a Presonus lightpipe interface on each computer giving us 4 lightpipe outputs per machine fed into a switcher, and then to the D5T. The switching is fairly transparent even mid cue, but we've not had to do it in any show or rehearsal. We only tried it to test the system.

This show has a VERY heavy amount of scoring and fx played back from the QLab rigs. We are banging on the GO button regularly during every show, 8 shows a week. In fact, in training I learned the complete set of audio GO's before I even started mixing the RF mics. QLab has been highly integral to the show. I'm also quite pleased that I have a copy of QLab on my Macbook Pro and was able to keep a copy of the show files at home base while I was marking up my mix script and otherwise designing the mix for the show. Great to have the actual show sound design right there on my laptop. In fact, I keep a Metric Halo Mobile I/O, my Macbook Pro, and QLab with me at all gigs because they come in handy all the time. Brilliant.

It has been working flawlessly for us, sending audio to any specific effects speakers as needed, sending atmospheric elements to the surround speakers, and sending music and effects to the whole system. Just a pleasure to have QLab around. This show wouldn't work without it.

Paul Kavicky