As it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2021, London’s Royal Albert Hall now boasts an updated audio infrastructure that is being described as the most highly-specified venue refurbishments in the history of entertainment technology.

DiGiCo mixing at the Royal Albert HallEquipped throughout with d&b audiotechnik loudspeakers in a bespoke configuration, the new design provides seamless coverage of every seat for the first time in its 148-year history. Installed by SFL Group during the Hall’s busiest ever year, yet without any interference at all to the programme, the new audio system is comfortably capable of handling every aspect of the Hall’s diverse portfolio of events. When it came to choosing a contemporary digital audio mixing system, the choice was DiGiCo.

‘We were approached by Ollie Jeffery [Head of Production and Technical at RAH] when they decided the time was right to bring sound in-house, rather than to continue to hire in the equipment and expertise,’ says DiGiCo Technical Sales Manager, Tim Shaxson. ‘They were looking at a wide variety of options as far as PA was concerned but when it came to consoles, there was only one brand under consideration and that was DiGiCo.

‘They knew they needed a console that visiting engineers would be comfortable with, that had the flexibility to cover the wider variety of shows that the RAH gets involved in and, of course, it needed to be a console with the best possible audio quality to complement the new PA install.

‘We were pleased that the Royal Albert Hall chose Autograph as their partner in this project. The technical knowledge and support that they offer is first class.’

Autograph supplied three DiGiCo consoles – an SD7 Quantum, an SD10 (both of which are Waves-enabled and equipped with DiGiCo’s 32-bit analogue cards) and an SD9, all of which are intended to fulfil a variety of roles determined by individual productions. The consoles sit at the heart of an audio network which runs over a DiGiCo Optocore fibre loop with a redundant Dante network over Ethernet. To facilitate all possible connectivity options the DiGiCos are fitted with a selection of multi-format I/O cards including analogue, AES, ANA, DMI Optocore and DMI Dante.A pair of BroaMan Route66 Optocore AutoRouters, manage the Optocore links from the DiGiCo consoles and also act as central routers in the redundant ‘star’ network.

In addition to the DiGiCo equipment, Autograph also supplied a large inventory of new microphones and accessories from Shure, AKG, Beyerdynamic, Audix, Sennheiser, Neumann, K&M and DPA.

Autograph’s involvement started many months before delivery, as Head Of Technical Support Rob Tory explains: ‘We were approached originally by the RAH as they knew of our long experience with DiGiCo products and the systems we install and support throughout the West End. Consequently we spent a lot of time with them well before the installation began, helping to determine what control surfaces and supporting infrastructure would work best. Once the design was complete and the equipment was all in hand it was prepped, tested and fully commissioned at Autograph before being delivered to the hall.’

‘These are the first consoles the RAH has owned and, on a project of such scale, it was obvious for us to purchase DiGiCo,’ adds Ollie Jeffery. ‘DiGiCo’s reputation throughout the world as a reliable console that is used globally by touring acts, ensured that our vision to have the best was realised. Borneo Brown (Audio Manager) and Ben Evans (Audio Project Manager) have a long history with Autograph and to have the support of such a reputable company on the project was invaluable to its success.

‘We are very proud of the new relationship with DiGiCo and Autograph and look forward to continuing this for many years to come.’

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