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Training tops the bill with Orbital's 11th
Orbital's training count passes an impressive 250 students with successful 2012 course
Orbital Sound's annual Easter "Sound Fundamentals for Theatre" training course was fully subscribed, with over 20 students taking part in the 4-day programme. Now in its 11th year, Orbital reports that to date it has helped prepare more than 250 theatre sound and technical theatre students for careers in live entertainment, with the latest contingent principally drawn from the UK's leading drama schools, as well as freelancers and the corporate sector.

The course took place at Orbital's purpose-built Brixton training facility, with the students guided through the essentials of theatre sound by course leader Richard Carter, supported by Orbital's Technical Director, Bill Addison. Richard explains the course's rationale:
"This course is very much about combining a solid grounding in theory with practical skills, aiming to cater for a varied mix of skill levels. We focus on providing as much of the training as possible from the in-house team, with expert support from a number of manufacturers to give students access to the latest equipment. We also introduced a new module this year on rigging, which proved to be very popular, and we had guest lectures from sound designers including the National Theatre's Rich Walsh and Rick Clarke. The feedback from the students has been very positive with the emphasis on how much they got out of the course in just four days, and the inspiration and confidence gained as a result. This is perhaps the most rewarding aspect for everyone involved in the tuition, providing the motivation to train future generations of sound professionals."

Orbital's team was supported by presentations from d&b audiotechnik, Yamaha Commercial Audio, and for the first time this year, Shure, providing the students with the opportunity to use some of the latest audio equipment and gain hands-on experience. The week concluded with the chance to go backstage on two West End productions Blood Brothers and Dreamboats and Petticoats - providing an in-depth insight into the real-world challenges of big modern musicals.

The annual Easter "Sound Fundamentals for Theatre" week forms a key component of Orbital's long-standing training contribution, which now includes a brand new training course for later this year Mixing Musicals. Focusing on FOH mixing and the critical backstage roles of No 2 and No 3 operators in the sound department, the course is designed to help aspiring theatre sound operators take their musical mixing skills to the next level. Taking place in late October, it will be taught by experienced operators using the latest big board digital mixing technology.

"This course was a fantastic opportunity for me to learn about sound and also gave me lots of inspiration to get out and start practicing!"

"I learnt more in those four days than I have in the last 6 months at University."