Opened in December of 2001, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts flaunted a vast vaulted glass ceiling that encloses the entire structure, providing a common lobby for all facilities, including the centrepiece 2,500-seat Verizon Hall. Its long journey to completion ended recently, with the installation of a DiGiCo digital ecosystem comprising a Quantum338 console, two SD-Racks, and a 4REA4 Processor with multiple controllers.

A Soulful Christmas in the Verizon HallThe system components all came from local company Bauder Audio, which also consulted with the Kimmel Cultural Campus technical team during their installation of the gear.

‘We have a lot of choices when it comes to quality audio systems on the market now, but we felt that the DiGiCo Quantum console was the one that best meets the needs of our various clients, including Kimmel Center Presents engagements and different touring productions,’ explains André Barette, Kimmel Cultural Campus Director of Production.

He further notes that the venue is also home to the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and Kimmel Center Presents performance series, which features a variety of jazz, classical, and pop music performers. ‘And it’s also one that touring engineers are very familiar with and often specify in touring contracts. It’s a very rider-friendly console,’ he adds.

While the Quantum338 console and SD-Racks address the centre’s immediate audio production needs, the 4REA4 processor is a more strategic acquisition. It is currently being used as a backup processor for the Verizon Hall sound system, routing paging and programme audio to various zones in the venue’s back-of-house areas. But, in the future, Barette expects its capabilities to be extended to the centre’s other performance spaces, including the 650-seat Perelman Theater and its 75ft-diameter turntable stage that permits the space to be used as a recital hall or a proscenium theatre, and the SEI Innovation Studio, a 2,688-square-foot black-box theatre.

‘The 4REA4 is a very powerful and versatile processor, and we foresee it becoming an important part of our digital audio infrastructure in the future,’ he says.

Additionally, a pair of DiGiCo A168 stageboxes, one on the stage in the Verizon Hall and the other in the venue’s equipment room, connect with the 4REA4 processor, extending its reach from the main hall into other areas of the facility, such as the lobby, and replace a number of older rackmount mixers and processors.

This combination of the 4REA4 and stageboxes is controlled using DiGiCo’s AControl6 and AControl8 multi-layer programmable remote controllers. The AControl8’s eight faders and six layers are used to manage audio when the hall is being used by the orchestra without amplified sound. The console is removed, allowing eight futher seats to be made available, and control of basic audio elements such as PA announcements and bell effects signalling that a show is about to commence is handled efficiently by this tablet-like controller. Meanwhile, the smaller AControl6 acts as a compact submixer in the equipment room.

‘The Quantum338 console solved the input channel count problem,’ says Brian Naab, Production Manager at Bauder Audio Systems. ‘Before, they had to resort to sidecar mixers as the channel counts got larger for pop shows with orchestras. Now, with the SD-Racks, they have 112 channels to work with, and they’ve got a lot of console in a small footprint. It’s one amazing desk. But the combination of the 4REA4 processor, the stage boxes, and the AControl devices really gives lots of flexibility in terms of configuring the hall, and for future extension of audio throughout the venue. Eventually, the 4REA4 will distribute and control audio everywhere, so future growth is built into the system.’

Kenny Nash mixing on the Quantum338Operationally, the new DiGiCo ecosystem has made things even easier for Kenny Nash, the venue’s Senior Audio Engineer. ‘I’ve been working on DiGiCo consoles as a touring engineer for years, from the D5 to the SD5 and the SD7, so I’m familiar with their worksurface and software. I was always able to make whatever I needed happen on them, but the Quantum really takes it to a whole new level for me,’ he says.

For instance, Nash says he’s able to distribute audio from a single channel to multiple locations, using the Quantum’s inherent routing flexibility that’s now also enhanced by the inclusion of an Optocore network that links the console, the two SD-Racks backstage, and the 4REA4 processor by fibre.

‘We’re getting ready to do our A Soulful Christmas show, and I can route any channel to front of house, to a record feed, or to any of the streaming we do, without having to manually set up multiple paths of dedicated channels,’ he explains. ‘It’s much more efficient. And the 4REA4 pops up as a Madi feed on the console, so that means less cabling is needed. The Quantum is the next step, but it’s one that’s going to let us be future-proof.’

The new DiGiCo technology package is as much a part of the Kimmel Center’s sound now as its classic acoustics. ‘As the spring performance schedule in all of the venues expands, all of the DiGiCo technology will play a big part of the music that happens here,’ says Barette. ‘We’re ready for the future right now.’

TwitterGoogle BookmarksRedditLinkedIn Pin It

Fast News

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30
  • 31
  • 32
  • 33
  • 34
  • 35
  • 36
  • 37
  • 38
  • 39
  • 40
  • 41
  • 42
  • 43
  • 44
  • 45
  • 46
  • 47
  • 48
  • 49
  • 50
  • 51
  • 52
  • 53
  • 54
  • 55
  • 56
  • 57
  • 58
  • 59
  • 60
  • 61
  • 62
  • 63
  • 64
  • 65
  • 66
  • 67
  • 68
  • 69
  • 70
  • 71
  • 72
  • 73
  • 74
  • 75
  • 76
  • 77
  • 78
  • 79
  • 80
  • 81
  • 82
  • 83
  • 84
  • 85
  • 86
  • 87
  • 88
  • 89
  • 90
  • 91
  • 92
  • 93
  • 94
  • 95
  • 96
  • 97
  • 98
  • 99
  • 100 An independent news site and blog for professional audio and related businesses, provides a platform for discussion and information exchange in one of the world's fastest-moving technology-based industries.
Fast Touch:
Author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Fast Thinking:Marketing:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: Latitude Hosting