Lancaster County, PA (April 22, 2005)–As the nation’s largest Christian theatrical venue, Sight & Sound Theatres stages huge live events, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the country. One of the latest additions to the theatre’s extensive portfolio of professional live sound gear is the Innovason Sy80 digital mixing console.
The InnovaSON Sy80 controls the performances at Sight & Sound Theatres.
Provided by Washington, D.C.-based systems integrator Washington Professional Systems, the console is installed in the massive 2,000-seat Millennium Theatre, the anchor of the Sight & Sound theatre complex that sports three stages and more than 85 loudspeakers. The theatre produces elaborate stage events, which can include live animals, animatronic figures, life-size props and even helicopters that fly in. The sheer number of microphones, combined with the vast number of scenes and settings make extensive use of the mixing and recall capabilities of the Sy80.
Gary Parke, audio operations supervisor at Sight & Sound Theatres, noted, “The primary reason we bought the console was to increase the amount of microphones needed for our expanding shows. With the old console, we were limited to 32 wireless mics. Now, with the Sy80, we were able to bring in an additional 16 that are primarily used in one of our smaller theatres. The Sy80 also allows us to be able to easily handle the mixing requirements for all 48 mics, 32 of which are the Sennheiser 3000 Series wireless.” In addition, the desk simultaneously handles pre-recorded sound effects and music, in conjunction with another console dedicated to surround sound.
While the Sy80 provided the needed platform to expand the microphone count, Parke noted that the venue makes use of the console’s operational features: “Its open architecture makes it very easy on the operator. You have tremendous flexibility in routing mics to certain faders for certain scenes, making it easier to control the many mics needed for that scene. This makes it much more manageable for the operators to handle, versus having to have the mics spread out across a large analog console.”
Ease of programming also was a factor in the theatre finally choosing the Sy80. “Setting up scenes is very easy, and everyone caught on to how to program it very quickly,” Parke said. “There’s not a lot of page-flipping needed with the way the console is setup. It’s laid out very logically and elements for every scene are kept in close proximity. Our shows may have up to 15-plus mics just for dialogue with the bigger choral numbers employing 35 or so live mics. Once the mix is setup, scenes change automatically and productions stay very consistent. Trying to maintain that degree of consistency with multiple operators on a traditional analog console would have been tough.”