New York (March 23, 2007)-- Sister Act, The Musical is has been making the rounds across the U.S., and recently the show stopped in The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta for a six-week stint, accompanied by FOH Engineer Pierre Dupree and a Midas XL8 digital mixing desk deployed by Sound Associates, Inc., whose Carl Casella, Wallace Flores and Domonic Sack completed sound design for the show. This marked the first time the desk has been used for a theatrical production.
FOH engineer Pierre Dupree with the Midas XL8 used for Sister Act: The Musical Casella of Sound Associates noted, "Around 175 cues are written into the XL8 for this show, including 28 songs and all the cues for the orchestra. We're running over 80 inputs, including 24 lavalier mics; it's a pretty loud show. At any given moment there aren't any more than two vocal mics, so you're really mixing. As well as the storage, recall and redundancy power XL8 is packing, its design elements allow the hands-on element of mixing, including on the fly fine-tuning, to remain part of the mix process."
FOH engineer Dupree added, "When you're dealing with 20-plus vocal mics, with many different vocal arrangements per song, it's very hard to get a consistent-sounding mix this quickly on other digital boards. XL8 allows me to get what I need exactly when I need it, without the latency or digging through screens you find on other digital boards. The board has all the advantages of massive memory and processing headroom, but still lets me mix like a human being. My house console at the Pasadena Playhouse is a Midas Heritage 2000, which I absolutely love. Being a Midas fan, the XL8 completely blew me away: this is a digital console that feels just as good as my favorite Midas. The weight of the faders is perfect, and I love how easy it is to go between the VCAs and the regular channel faders. It's all so smooth-I feel like I have a tremendous amount of control on the XL8."
Casella recalled, "When we first powered up the system in Pasadena, we actually stopped in our tracks--the phase cohesiveness was breathtaking. We SIM systems for timing, which is critical when you have 18 zones of audio like this, so there's always a lot of digital timing going on and a lot of phase cancellation; we know what a timed system sounds like! With the XL8, when we put in the first CD, it was as if we were listening to a pair of near-field monitors. It was truly astounding. And when we got the live musicians in it was even better. If it sounds good, it is good-I don't need to see meters to know that. Above all else, the XL8 sounds very, very good."
Sister Act: The Musical