Earl Turner onstage
The Mansion Ballroom at Harrah’s New Orleans recently underwent a renovation, upgrading the facility to a $5 million performance theater, which will be used to showcase performer Earl Turner. As part of the overall facilities upgrade, the casino installed a full concert sound reinforcement system with two identical 48-channel Soundcraft MH4 mixing consoles at the helm.
One of the desks is being employed to mix front-of-house sound for the 500-seat Earl Turner Theatre. The multipurpose design of the MH4 allows the other to serve as a dedicated monitor console residing at stage-left for Turner and his live ensemble.
FOH engineer Fred Martinez (left) with monitor engineer Mel Bridges
“Earl puts on a very high-energy show five nights a week and really gets his audiences involved,” says Jim Boa, who has served as the entertainment technical manager for Harrah’s New Orleans since the casino opened in October 1999. “It’s because of that interaction that we required a sound system that would allow the audience to very clearly hear everything that Earl says, especially when the band is playing at full-tilt. Between the talented abilities of our engineers and our new equipment, including the Soundcrafts, we’re able to accomplish that. It’s a great-sounding show, and the audiences are always really happy.”
When Turner’s show is not performing, Harrah’s keeps the 2,200-square-foot stage busy with other musical acts, comedians and theatrical productions. As the two new MH4s are solely dedicated for Turner’s show, Boa and his crew bring in Harrah’s smaller 32-channel Soundcraft Series TWO to run the house and monitor sound when these less technically demanding productions occupy the room.
For more information on the boards, please go to www.soundcraft.com. For more information on Earl Turner Theatre, visit www.harrahs.com/our_casinos/nor/entertainment/entertainment_detail_00.html.