Sound designer Kai Harada has won a Tony Award for Best Sound Design in a Musical, including fully object-based 3D sound courtesy of Astro Spatial Audio, for the Broadway musical The Band's Visit.
The Band's Visit was a big winner of the night at the Radio City Music Hall, with a total of 10 wins out of 11 nominations, including Best Musical, Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical, and Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical.
The show, which opened in November 2017 to rave reviews at Broadway’s Barrymore Theater, tells the story of the Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra’s arrival in Israel for the opening of an Arab Cultural Centre, only to find out that they have boarded the wrong bus to the wrong town—with some inevitably amusing consequences.
The show marked the Broadway debut of Astro Spatial Audio.
“ASA allowed us to precisely place the instrument source as an audio object within a graphical interface, while it did all the calculations to make it sound correct. Changes to staging were easily accommodated,” said Harada. "In addition, having used other acoustic enhancement systems on other shows, I was eager to try the ASA room enhancement to give the illusion that the theatre was a larger acoustic space for some key moments in the show.”
He added: “Without the functionality of the ASA system, the sound of The Band’s Visit would have remained two-dimensional. I'm extremely pleased with the results. I am eager to find another show that would lend itself to using Astro Spatial Audio.”
Astro Spatial Audio Managing Director Bjorn van Munster said: “We are delighted to have contributed to the success of The Band’s Visit, and now this prestigious Tony Award. Kai’s remarkable work on Broadway really deserves this recognition, and for Astro Spatial Audio this is another wonderful demonstration of how our object-based immersive audio solution can create truly innovative and inspired sound designs.
“With The Band’s Visit on Broadway, Tina The Musical in London’s West End, and The Who’s Tommy in Denver, audiences all over the world are getting the chance to experience real 3D sound like never before.”