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Out With The Old Analog, In With The New Digital

BUENA PARK, Calif. (September 8, 2015)—The Algonquin Theatre in Huntsville, Ontario Canada, officially opened its doors in 2005. Part of the Huntsville Civic Centre, and located in the heart of downtown, the 400+-seat theatre has played host to a wide variety of plays, musical performances, meetings, video and corporate presentations, and school groups. The theatre offers outstanding performances from comedians to orchestras, and elementary school plays to musical artists of international acclaim.

The theatre recently installed a Yamaha CL5 Digital Audio Console at front of house (purchased through Westbury Show Systems Ltd.), moving its Yamaha M748CL to the monitor position. The two consoles are connected to the CL5 head-amps via Dante networking cards and switches, and consists of both primary and secondary networks.“ Chris Boon, Theatre Technical Director, along with Assistant Tech, Tyler Ayles, installed the system.

“The M7CL48 has been a great, solid console for us, states Boon. Over the last few years, as tour sound engineer requirements were changing and with advancing console technologies, I felt it was time to upgrade the mix position at FOH.  I also wanted to update our old analog console located at monitors. So we moved the M7CL to monitors and started researching a console to fit our FOH needs.’

During the time Boon was researching digital consoles, a touring group came into the theatre and travelling with one of the first Yamaha CL5’s to hit the Canadian market.  While it was at the theatre, Boon had the opportunity to test-drive the console. “I found that all functions were well laid out and not cluttered. When you push a button on the screen, it did exactly what you expected it to do (ease of operation is important for a venue that does numerous ‘one off’ shows with touring sound engineers). The room just warmed right up.  There is a definite step up in the sound quality of the head amps.”

“After using and hearing the board, I decided that this was the right console for our venue. It has been a great system for us, including the ability to be able to record 64 tracks.” Something Boon said he noticed when he first saw the CL5 was the quality difference in the faders. “They looked sharp, felt sturdy and move smoothly. Some of the key features I was looking for in a digital console was editable channel names and colors which the CL5 has and very simple to program.  One of my favorite user functions is the Custom Fader Bank selection allowing me to instantly reorder faders (a great function to have when a tour manager arrives after the stage has been set and advises they sent the old input list and stage plot!). The Premium Rack is another of my favorites and also the ability to operate the console remotely via iPad using the Yamaha StageMix App.” 

The Algonquin has been involved with more live recordings. “A nice feature of the CL5 was the included Steinberg Nuendo Live recording software with the Dante Virtual Soundcard software enabling a computer to easily access tracks via Ethernet cable by simply plugging into the network. I liked the fact that I could also plug in a USB stick to the console to instantly handle a 2-track recording, often requested by performers while we are archiving the show.”

The system network was installed as a Star Topology (LAN) to allow the use of redundant primary and secondary lines for each device. Two Cisco SG3000 Gigabit switches were used at FOH along with one Yamaha Ri8-D input box and one Ro8 output box and another two Cisco SG3000s at monitors to connect stage boxes and consoles primary and secondary lines. The M7CL was outfitted with three DANTE MY16-AUD 16X16 cards (48 channels) to allow connection to the network, with one Rio3224-D input/output box and two Ri8-D input boxes. Cisco SG3000 software was used to setup the appropriate internal network switch settings and the Dante Controller to handle channel assigning.

Since installing the CL5, Boon says he has had very positive feedback and interest in the console from touring sound engineers. Comments such as great functionality and sound quality, the Yamaha CL, Boon notes, is a console they would add to their technical riders.

For more information on the Algonquin Theatre, visit

For more information on Yamaha CL Digital Consoles, visit


Photo: Chris Boon, Technical Director, Algonquin Theatre