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Wicked Takes Quantum Leap with New Console

The touring edition of the Broadway musical Wicked has taken a DiGiCo Quantum 7T console on the road.

Wicked FOH Engineer David Romich (left) and Assistant Sound Engineer James Wilcox at the tour’s new DiGiCo Quantum 7T console (photo credit: Megan Loomis)
Wicked FOH Engineer David Romich (left) and Assistant Sound Engineer James Wilcox at the tour’s new DiGiCo Quantum 7T console (photo credit: Megan Loomis)

New York, NY (March 5, 2020)—Long a mainstay of Broadway, the musical Wicked has nearly a half-dozen licensed touring versions treading the boards around the world at any given time. The North American edition, set to hit 15 cities this year, has something new up its sleeve this year, in the form of a DiGiCo Quantum 7T console.

Purchased through Milwaukee-based Clearwing Productions, the desk is outfitted with DiGiCo’s theatre software, used to tackle theatrical workflows by way of features such as an Auto Update System, Aliases, the Players tool and a VCA programming map.

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“We spent the better part of two years planning the upgrade for the touring show,” says Zach Williamson, current associate sound designer for the Broadway and touring productions of Wicked. “We were looking for the console that will take us for the next 10 to 15 years on the road, and the Quantum 7T is it. The Quantum 7T is light to travel with and load in, and its reliability is exceptional, which is critical for a touring console.”

Both he and Wicked sound designer Tony Meola spec’d the desk for tours that have taken it from Seoul to Sao Paulo, as well as for extended “sit-down” runs in Mexico City and Tokyo.

“We like the sound of the console, and the Quantum engine gives us a lot of security, allowing us to actually eliminate the monitor console we had been using and take our monitoring feeds directly off of the front-of-house console for the Aviom monitors,” Williamson explains. “The Quantum processor can support that for our fairly high channel count, while the console’s theatre software gives us features such as aliases and profiles that track individual performers. And the 7T’s flexibility of layout means we can condense the entire production to layers on two fader banks and the master section.”

FOH Engineer David Romich, who noted that the new desk “eliminated at least 1,500 pounds of console and outboard gear, with the 7T also taking on the load of onstage and orchestra monitor mixes,” has made extensive use of the “T” theatre software, which allowed him to transpose and edit the show’s 300-plus cues from its original analog system, including MIDI commands, fader positions, plus dynamic channel and routing settings. “The theatre software allows us to operate the show with the same fluidity of analog, but allows every parameter to be recalled if we choose. ‘Channel Cues’ is an incredible powerful view that reveals every channel parameter for programming and troubleshooting.”

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