CMU School of Drama

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Sound Designer Nevin Steinberg Podcast | : Broadway Musical Hamilton Sound Design

Theatre content from Live Design: In this podcast, leading Broadway sound designer Nevin Steinberg discusses his work on hit shows including Hamilton, Bright Star, The Full Monty, and Spamalot; why he doesn’t listen to the cast albums of his shows, the trials of redesigning theater sound for touring companies, coming trends in Broadway sound design, and his experiences working with such legendary artists as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mike Nichols, Steve Martin, and Edie Brickell.


Mark Ivachtchenko said...

Hamilton's sound design is undoubtedly one of the most memorable moments in the show. I, myself, have heard it being played by the school of drama in high school and now in university as well. I will agree that it's catchy but I'm just not a fan of it. I understand Miranda's inspiration focuses on bringing hip hop to the big stage on Broadway but his hip hop just isn't hip hop I know and love. When I began following Hamilton and first heard Miranda's rough draft when he sang his intro song to Barrack Obama I was extremely hyped and excited for what the show would become. I think the first song is probably his strongest and sounds just like a rap. However, the end product just wasn't what I was hoping it would be. The chorus in Hamilton really drowns out the "rap-like" lyrics and tempo--it snaps you back as you realize it's not really hip hop.

Tahirah Agbamuche said...

One thing I particularly appreciate about this podcast is that even though I have limited sound tech experience, I was able to follow the conversation. Kevin Steinberg does a brilliant job of defining what exactly his job is, and how he does it. I really felt I was able to walk away from the podcast having learned something from his humility and skill. What I like about rap in hamilton is that it is so clear and crisp. This is in part the actors, but also the careful work of Steinberg. Audiences from around the world have been able to come and see the show, leaving fully aware of what was going on. I can't name the number of shows I have attended and missed half the content. Steinberg really reminded me of the stakes of Hamilton. There really only is one or two lines which are spoken, meaning clarity and enhancement of sound is one of the most important elements. It makes my heart arch that there is no longer a sound design category, because this piece really deserved it.