Posted by Alex Mundy on Jul 13, 2017

Chris Porter, Front of House sound engineer for King Crimson, has taken time out to explain the difficulties that arise at this venue.


Firstly here is another comment from a customer at the Count Basie Theatre .
"The sound was pristine at the Count Basie theatre, best by far for any of the shows I've seen there over the decades, even from my seats at the rear of the left orchestra. Tonight, I'll be front and center. Let the beast roar!! More thoughts tomorrow..."
Every theatre has it's peculiarities sonically and Count Basie theatre has a number.
Firstly, there is a cupola above the centre of the auditorium that creates a reverberation chamber focused on a number of seats directly below it, the cupola is large, as you may have noticed and the effect pronounced. It results in a muddying and confusion of sound. Whilst tuning the PA and checking the sound around the venue this was noticed but it is a quirk of the venue we were unable to overcome , short of rebuilding .
Secondly, the flown PA which shoots into the balcony has been obstructed by a Perspex video display screen which is about 3 feet deep and spans the width of the theatre. This display screen masks mid and high frequencies. The sound in the balcony is further complicated by the ceiling height and rake of the seating which serves to accentuate "low end" frequencies.
We obviously strive to provide King Crimson audiences with the best possible aural experience. 
You will understand that we arrive at a venue which, if it is a theatre, was probably designed in the early 1900's for performances which had no amplification at all. Many have had no acoustic treatments made since their construction and many are also the subject of conservation orders which prevent changing unfortunate acoustic properties unsuited to today's powerful PA systems.
We were at the Count Basie Theatre for two nights and we learnt some lessons from night one and made some minor but effective changes to our setup on night two. However, on both nights, as is usual I am happy to say, the stream of exiting audience members who congratulated us on a "great job" and "fantastic sound" were many
I'm sorry that the sound  did not meet your expectations. We are obviously disappointed if anyone has a poor experience.
Chris Porter Front of House engineer for King Crimson.