The John F. Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts has recently upgraded its already superior audio system with the installation of Soundcraft and Studer digital mixing consoles into nine of its performance spaces. Equipping one of the worlds most prestigious and respected performing arts centers with new technologies is not an easy task, especially when considering the legacy system was of the highest standards, but three Soundcraft Vi6,â„¢ one Soundcraft Vi4â„¢ and a StuderÂ® Vista 5 are up to the challenge.
The Opera House holds nearly 2,300 guests and is recognized as the official home to the Washington National Opera and the annual Kennedy Center Honors. Also, the establishment conducts ballets, operas and a variety of Broadway road shows. The Terrace Theater, a much smaller venue containing 513 seats, is used for performances of chamber music, jazz and childrenâ€™s productions. The Kennedy Centerâ€™s Production Operations Department selected three Soundcraft Vi6â€™s along with a Vi4 and a Studer Vista 5 to provide audio support to each of the respective halls in the Kennedy Center.
â€œThe boards sound outstanding and the user interface is great,â€? commented John Burke, The Kennedy Centerâ€™s Production Operations Department AV System Designer. â€œThe audio capabilities at the Kennedy Center have improved remarkably and one thing that I have noticed is that people want the shows archived and the Vi6 allows engineers to record everything in HD. It gives the engineers the ability to take the MADI data streams and put it right into a multi-track recorder without worrying about splitters and it makes recording shows much easier.â€?
Along with the Opera House and Terrace Theater, the Soundcraft Vi6 was also integrated into the Concert Hall, a space capable of holding over 2,400 visitors and home to the National Symphony Orchestra. Providing sound reinforcement for the smaller venues, such as the Eisenhower Theater, which hosts a wide range of smaller-scale operas, plays, musicals, and ballets is the Studer Vista 5.
â€œThe renovation to the Kennedy Center is very extensive and requires a lot of versatility on the part of the Soundcraft and Studer consoles. In the Eisenhower Theater for example, the Vista 5 is utilized to its full potential, as the entire system is CobraNetâ„¢. The success weâ€™ve had in the Eisenhower Theater has led to the expansion into the Concert Hall as well,â€? said Burke. â€œThese Vi series products and the Vista 5 have been really great in stability and havenâ€™t caused any problems. The much smaller footprint has been a tremendous benefit and the Vistonics are incredible as well.â€?
Burke concludes, â€œThe opportunities are endless with the Soundcraft and Studer consoles. As an example, in the Concert Hall, we are able to remotely control the racks from all positions and easily ship the signals, which has been an incredible step into the future. The transformation into digital with the Vi4, Vi6 and Vista 5 has increased our production, performance and accessibility.â€?
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