M-5000 helps the theater’s technical crew accommodate the unique audio and stage
requirements for a number of complicated plays and musicals on the space’s busy itinerary
Los Angeles, CA — The Tucker Theatre at Middle Tennessee State University’s Boutwell Dramatic Arts Building is the home of major music, dance, theatrical, and television productions, along with performances in intimate settings and a wide variety of award ceremonies, films, pageants, recitals, product launches, receptions, and meetings for the 20,000+-student campus in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Recently the facility upgraded its AV infrastructure, including a brand new Roland M-5000 OHRCA Live Mixing Console as the system’s centerpiece.
Production Manager Justin Durham and Production Coordinator Andy Berg have put the M-5000 to good use on a variety of events so far, riding an easy transition from the Roland M-400 48-channel Live Mixing Console that had been at the theater’s FOH position for the last several years. Other Roland infrastructure remained in place – including five M-48 Live Personal Mixers and three S-1608 Digital Snake Stage Units.
“It wasn’t that the M-400 wasn’t serving our needs anymore – that wasn’t the problem,” stated Durham. “We saw the M-5000 was coming out [in 2015] and we agreed, okay, now we’re seeing some functionality that we would really enjoy having. And there were little things that we didn’t know that we didn’t even know we needed. For instance, being able to change the name on the fader, change the color, and all these different user-programmable things – these features make workflow a breeze.”
Berg has found the M-5000 to be exceedingly useful: “We need different controls at our fingertips all the time, so that’s where the M-5000’s user-assignable section makes a lot of sense. You can see it right in front of you and it always stays there. And then the assignable faders, as well as the knobs and buttons, are really handy. The workflow is intuitive yet customizable. It’s a dream.”
Durham notes that the theater’s busy schedule, with a variety of different types of events, requires flexibility at FOH, and the M-5000 has made this type of event much easier: “In plays especially, there are unique stage directions. If I want a phone to ring on stage left, as an example, it takes a whole channel to make that happen. When you do a play and you’ve got five or six of those, suddenly the ins and outs on your console are used up [on a traditional console]. The M-5000 gives us the ability to have all those ins and outs, with all the peripherals like a computer and a CD player and all that kind of extra stuff that you just need in general, all at your fingertips with no hassle.”
Berg agrees: “When you run a show that has multiple ‘zones’ on the stage, and you need sound effects to come from certain sides, it gets into heavy patching cues. The M-5000 gives us the speed and specificity that we need. We’ve even expanded into 5.1 surround sound with the M-5000. On a recent production, we had multiple sound effects coming from stage left, stage right, in fact, all over the theater – like rain effects that came from the back and the front, backstage, etc., so we just made this whole entire world within the theater instead of just your normal LCR or stereo speaker array at the front of the stage. The M-5000 made this production easy and really enhanced the experience for the performers and gave the audience an immersive experience.”
For more information, please visit http://proav.roland.com/OHRCA/.
Photo caption: Pictured L-R: Andy Berg and Justin Durham, pictured with the Roland M-5000. OHRCA Live Mixing Console at the Tucker Theatre at Middle Tennessee State University’s Boutwell Dramatic Arts Building.