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Sweetwater Renovates Fort Wayne Theater

Renovates Historic Theater Into World-Class Music Venue

Fort Wayne, IN (May 23, 2018)—Every company is located somewhere, but being a part of that region is something entirely different. Over the last few years, it’s become clear that Sweetwater is a part of its local community, whether drawing thousands of musicians and audio pros to the city every summer for GearFest, being a sponsor of the region’s Middle Waves Music Festivalcontributing to (and in one case, hosting) multiple local colleges’ music programs, or backing the recording of local musician/former The Voice contestant Addison Agen’s first album. Now added to that list is the extensive renovation of Fort Wayne’s Clyde Theatre, transforming the former art deco movie palace into a state-of-the-art music/performance/arts venue.

The building began as a movie theater in 1951, but it had been shuttered since the early 1990s. With funding provided by Sweetwater founders Chuck and Lisa Surack, along with incentives from local and regional economic development organizations, it was purchased in 2012; in 2017, the project of re-creating the space as a modern performance and arts venue began. Sweetwater provided the technology specifications and fulfilled the venue’s massive gear requirements. Acoustic and design work was tackled by Russ Berger Design Group.

The 21,000-square-foot main performance area has been reconfigured into a multifunctional concert hall and special event center with a capacity of 2,150 people in general admission. Chairs can be brought in to seat 830 theater-style. Artist amenities include 7,000 square feet of dressing rooms and hospitality, as well as backstage loading docks. New HVAC, electrical, plumbing, acoustical plaster, roof, and offices were also part of the renovation.

The audio system is centered around JBL loudspeakers and subwoofers, with left and right hangs of 20 VTX A12 dual 12” line array loudspeakers, supported by eight VTX G28 dual 18” subs. Frontfill duties are handled by seven VT4886 subcompact boxes, while five F12 loudspeakers are used as delays. The system is driven by 18 Crown I-Tech 4x3500HD and I-Tech 12000 HD power amplifiers. Stage monitoring is also via JBL, with eight VTX M22 dual-12” and two VTXF35/95 dual 15” stage monitors, supplemented by a VTX F18S compact subwoofer.

For FOH and monitor engineers, the house desks are both Avid Venue S6L-192 consoles, with signal routing handled by a Venue Stage 64, with 64 analog inputs, 24 analog outputs, and eight digital outputs. Additional processing power is provided by a Waves Extreme server.

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The venue has an extensive arsenal of Shure microphones on-hand for performers’ use, including multiple SM57, SM58, Beta57a, Beta58a, Beta181, Beta87a, Beta52a, and Beta98AMP mics. Shure condenser mics include multiple KSM141, KSM32 and KSM44a. Vocalists and performers can also choose to use up to eight Shure Axient wireless mic systems and eight Shure P10T in-ear wireless systems. Telefunken M80 and Drum Mic Packs, and Sennheiser MD421 and e906 mics round out the selection, augmented with Radial JDI, J48, and JDI stereo direct boxes. A full complement of K&M microphone stands support the extensive mic list.

Surack added, “The Clyde Theatre was a shining light in the Fort Wayne area, and it has been a real thrill to be part of bringing this historic and gorgeous facility back to prominence as a beautiful, world-class venue for music. We left no stone unturned to ensure a comfortable, safe environment for those attending concerts and other events.” There will be other events, too, as the Clyde is also available to host private and public events, including weddings, receptions, corporate events, non-profit fundraisers and more.

Sweetwater •