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Live Sound

Montgomery PAC Upgrades Consoles

Mixing desks find a new home in Montgomery, AL.

Montgomery, AL (August 19, 2019)—This year, artists like Charlie Daniels, The Temptations and REO Speedwagon have all made their way to The Montgomery Performing Arts Centre (MPAC) in Montgomery, AL. As it turns out, a pair of new mixing desks has also journeyed there, as the facility recently added Yamaha RIVAGE PM7 and CL5 digital consoles.

“We have a killer acoustic room with great sound treatments,” said Bill Young, senior technical director at MPAC. “Since opening in 2008, we’ve made serious upgrades in our hall’s design and loudspeaker systems and these new consoles were the final piece. Now we can hear what our system should really sound like.”

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Many of the musical acts that play at MPAC don’t tour with front-of-house (FOH) or monitor consoles as part of their regular inventories. As a result, the MPAC team has often had to rent consoles to accommodate each tour.

“We needed house consoles that would step us up sonically and also be as ‘rider-friendly’ as possible with little training time needed for tour engineers who might be unfamiliar with the desks,” Young said. “The PM7 and CL5 addressed all our points and then some,” he added.

The consoles run on a redundant Audinate Dante network using Yamaha 16-port network switches to manage primary and secondary lines into the consoles. “If the primary network goes down then the secondary takes over immediately,” he said.

This also gives Young the flexibility to use either desk at FOH or monitors. “If we need 20 stereo ear mixes for a show, then the PM7 goes to monitors,” he said. “Another show may only need six wedge mixes on stage so then the CL5 takes the monitor job. We can do either easily with the added benefit of multitracking everything for a live recording, for later editing in post-production or doing virtual soundchecks, all without having another copper split.”

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MPAC is using Yamaha Rio I/O boxes running Yamaha sample rate conversion HY cards to support different sample rates. “We can run the PM7 at FOH at 96 kHz and the CL5 on monitors operating at 48 kHz,” he said. “This card lets us use both consoles at those different rates and the Dante technology figures it out and makes it work. It’s human-friendly.”

Yamaha •