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Historic Pasadena Playhouse Moves Up to Yamaha

Hollywood Sound Systems (Burbank, CA) recently upgraded the theater’s audio console to a Yamaha CL5 Digital Audio Console along with two Rio3224-D and a Rio1608-D input/output boxes.

BUENA PARK, Calif. (February 22, 2018)—The Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, California is a place where people have gathered for 100 years to experience bold and important theater performances. One of the most prolific theaters in American history, and named as the state theater of California, the non-profit playhouse’s mission is to enrich people’s lives through theater, community programs, and learning.

Hollywood Sound Systems (Burbank, CA) recently upgraded the theater’s audio console to a Yamaha CL5 Digital Audio Console along with two Rio3224-D and a Rio1608-D input/output boxes. “We upgraded our console to keep up with current technology and improve the overall audio quality for our patrons,” states Christopher Cook, production manager. “Our previous console was not only showing signs of age, but because it was an analog board, it was not capable of meeting the requirements of a modern theater production. We upgraded to a CL5 for its input count and console hardware interface that is better suited for handling theater productions. The Rio3224-D boxes enable us to saturate our channel count, and the supplementary Rio1608 aids in providing audio into hard to reach places.”

Cook said that making the transition from their previous console to the Yamaha CL5 was very simple. They previously installed a CAT6 network since the only infrastructure the house had was a 56-channel input snake to front of house and a 32-channel output snake to the amp room. “After our network install, setting up the CL5 was a plug-and-play operation. Now, we can move our Rio boxes and CL5 anywhere we have one of our closed circuit network ports, a feature we are taking advantage of in our current production of, Pirates of Penzance.

Coming from an analog console, Cook said some of the basic features one might take for granted in a digital console have become big advantages. “Dynamics processing on every channel, Scene recalls, the ability to backup a show on a USB and work on a show file off-site instead of manually recording levels and taking pictures of the console. Also, the ability to patch the console with the push of a button instead of opening up the sound booth to gain access to the rear of the console or running backstage to gain access to the input snake, the ability to use the Dante Virtual Soundcard for a large number of QLab outputs instead of restricting sound designers to 10 analog outputs, and to remote into the console with an iPad and listen to the audio mic from various locations around the house.”

The Yamaha CL5 is now the primary console for the theater’s main stage which seats 640, approximately 400 in the orchestra section and 240 in the mezzanine. “Almost all of the performances are mixed by our lead audio engineer, Christian Lee,” says Cook. “We do a variety of different shows, from one-man performances to large ensemble pieces, and even musicals. The CL5 is a perfect fit; we couldn’t be more pleased.”

This project was funded by grants from the Pasadena Community Foundation and the California Cultural and Historical Endowment.

For more information on The Pasadena Playhouse, visit

For more information on Hollywood Sound, visit

For more information on the Yamaha CL5 Digital Audio Console, visit


PHOTO ID: Allison Smart mixing Pirates of Penzance on the Yamaha CL5