Fred Vogler (seated) and Kevin Wapner at Walt Disney Concert Hall’s new DiGiCo SD5 house desk
Los Angeles, CA (March 12, 2015)—As part of the 50th anniversary of The Music Center, the 2,252-seat Walt Disney Concert Hall—which opened in 2003—recently upgraded its audio systems—a process that included a move to a fiber-networked DiGiCo digital audio system.
ATK AudioTek of Valencia, CA supplied and installed an SD5 at FOH, SD10 at the monitor position, and shared SD Rack at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, one of four venues that comprise The Music Center campus. The upgrade was influenced by the purchase of a pair of DiGiCo SD7 desks for the Hollywood Bowl in 2014. Every year the LA Phil performs a 15-week series of summer concerts at the Bowl, returning to Walt Disney Concert Hall for the remainder of the calendar.
“With our success at the Hollywood Bowl using DiGiCo, we considered the consoles pretty seriously when it was time to look at what we could do for the Concert Hall,” explains Fred Vogler, principal sound designer and mixer for LA Phil. “We wanted a desk that was easy to use, had good input/output flexibility, and provided future expandability. It also made sense for us to have the same type of consoles at the summer home of the LA Phil when we’re at the Concert Hall during the winter season.”
Kevin Wapner, the Concert Hall’s head of audio/video, and assistant audio/video and monitor mixer at the Bowl, noted, “The year before we made this latest purchase decision, we converted all our paths at the Concert Hall to 96k capability via Rocknet in preparation for moving in this direction,” he reports. “The transition was really smooth, going from the previous consoles to the DiGiCos and using the fiber loop between them. AudioTek’s integration and their knowledge got us up and going—it was seamless.”
During LA Phil performances, which make full use of the hall’s natural acoustics, the SD5 is moved on its custom stand, built in-house, to a booth behind the mix position for use as a recording console. “Archival recording is by and large a stereo mix onto a flash drive,” reports Wapner. “It’s usually five mics across the front—left, right, and the tree—and the audience mics.” For broadcast recordings, a Merging Technologies Pyramix system tracks every microphone via Horus converters.
The Music Center