Having enjoyed its heyday in the 1930s and closed in 1987, New York’s Suffolk Theater is a monument to the history of stage entertainment. Neglected for years, it has now seen a renovation that has restored its Depression-era art-deco façade and brought it a 21st century audio/video/lighting system.

Suffolk TheaterThe technical system design and commissioning fell to theatre and A/V specialist Stuart Allyn of ADR Studios, while Theatrical Services & Supplies handled the installation: ‘A lot of thought goes into every aspect of a system like this,’ Allyn says.

The theatre required a large number of inputs and outputs because the entire system throughout the building is fed from the FOH position. A number of areas (bars, offices, restrooms, backstage) can all receive audio from the main show (and video in some cases), and each area can optionally receive a local source such as cable TV or a Blu-ray player. Each area when viewing the stage feed must be time aligned to the stage, and when viewing local sources that timing needs to be synced to the video, so each zone required speaker processing for each mode of operation.

‘I went with Symetrix’s SymNet Radius 12x8 because it’s a cost-effective processor that is totally flexible, both in terms of its processing power and its input/output count,’ Allyn reports.

This includes a 36-input/20-output Symetrix SymNet Radius 12x8 Dante networked DSP system. By having all the system processing centralised and separate, sound mixers are free to use whatever systems and EQ they desire in the console, while the main speaker and system processing remains in place. Allyn added two Symetrix SymNet xIn 12 expansion boxes and one Symetrix SymNet xOut 12 (via Dante network protocol) to the 12 inputs and eight outputs of the system’s single Radius 12x8.

Suffolk TheaterThe installation includes comprehensive Crestron control, to which Allyn added cost-effective Symetrix’ inexpensive ARC-2e wall panel remotes. Eight panels placed at strategic locations in ancillary rooms and spaces allow users to select from presets and to change input sources and volumes. Several of the Symetrix ARC-2e’s send command strings to the SymNet Radius 12x8 system and to the system’s Crestron video switcher.

Although the low latency Dante network plays no larger role in the system, the scalability of the Symetrix SymNet system via Dante was a critical factor in its selection: ‘We designed the system with possible future expansion in mind,’ Allyn explains. ‘There’s a lot of extra wiring in place that will allow them to expand the stage and the dressing room areas. If needed, we can simply add another Symetrix SymNet Radius 12x8 to the system via Dante to accommodate even more inputs, outputs, and processing. It is a beautiful venue that should provide great entertainment to Long Island for many years to come.’

More: www.symetrix.co

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