Scott Lehrer Designs Sound for The King & I

by Michael Eddy

Masque Sound recently provided Tony Award®-Winning Sound Designer Scott Lehrer with a custom audio package to bring his vision to the road for the highly anticipated North American tour of the Lincoln Center Theater Production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I. The touring production required an audio package that was flexible, yet able retain the high-quality, signature sound design for which Lehrer is known.

“There were a few requirements the touring sound package needed to meet — it had to move efficiently, play in a variety of different theatres and still provide quality sound for the audience, at every venue,” explains Lehrer. “Masque Sound provided us with the audio equipment for the Broadway production of The King and I in New York, so we felt confident that it would once again be able to provide us with a great touring system.”

A key component to Lehrer’s sound design was a new approach to the touring PA system. Masque Sound supplied him with a d&b audiotechnik® speaker package featuring V- and Y-Series arrays. This marked the first time that Lehrer used d&b’s array processing technology on tour. “We used the new array processing technology for the left, right and center clusters in the balcony and mezzanine, which made a big difference in terms of coverage in those areas. This allowed our FOH Engineer Tim Smith to create even coverage from city-to-city in the mezzanine and balcony areas. For a tour, array processing is a game-changer. With the careful dimensional measurement, you can achieve better coverage from seat-to-seat and know you are getting to the far reaches of the balcony and mezzanine with much more even frequency response and level.”  

Another interesting component of the sound design was the use of Point Source Audio® microphones. “Point Source is a relative newcomer to the Broadway theatrical game, but using these mics proved to be a cost-effective solution that did not compromise the audio quality of the show. They are very consistent and vocally friendly mics.” In addition, Lehrer utilized 40+ channels of wireless using a Sennheiser wireless microphone system. For the console, Masque Sound supplied a DiGiCo SD7, which provided fast and seamless programming.

“It was great to work with Masque Sound once again,” adds Lehrer. “Masque Sound provided its usual outstanding support. The crew at Masque Sound was prepared for anything and was super helpful with building custom left/right towers that met our needs in a very specific way. Gary Stocker at Masque Sound was great in the design of our touring towers. My team, including my Associate Sound Designer Alex Neumann and A1 Timothy Schmidt, also did a wonderful job. The show sounds great!”

One of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s finest works, The King and I boasts a score that features such beloved classics as Getting to Know You, Hello Young Lovers, Shall We Dance, I Have Dreamed and Something Wonderful. Set in Bangkok in the 1860s, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher, whom the imperious King brings to Siam to tutor his many wives and children.

The tour is currently scheduled to run through July of 2018 with upcoming stops including Washington D.C., Atlanta, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Dallas, Denver, Nashville, Cincinnati, San Diego, Toronto and many more. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.thekinganditour.com.

Further information from Masque Sound: www.MasqueSound.com