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Company News: Page (1) of 1 - 11/17/12 Email this story to a friend. email article Print this page (Article printing at page

Milwaukee?s Marcus Center For Performing Arts Undergoes Sonic Renewal With DiGiCo Top-flight cultural and community arts center upgrades to expandable DiGiCo SD8 system with an eye to future expansion into f
DMN Newswire--2012-11-17--Celebrating over 40 years of top-flight cultural and community programming including symphony music and theater productions, the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts is situated in the heart of the downtown Milwaukee theatre district. Uihlein Hall, with a seating capacity of 2,305, is the largest of the Marcus Center theaters, and is home to the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Ballet Company, Florentine Opera Company, the Marcus Center Broadway Series, and the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra. Seating is continental (no center aisle) with three balconies and a side loge. A recent revamp of the audio system, saw the PAC swapping out an aging analog console with a DiGiCo SD8. Professional Audio Designs of Milwaukee were instrumental in the install process.

Through a rigorous two year process to find a suitable console, house sound engineer Tim Kraetsch put a variety of digital consoles through technical paces, investigating each console?s features in a live situation, which enabled him to see how fast he could adapt to each console under the gun and to see what, if any, drawbacks there were. After trying out different manufacturers consoles?including a DiGiCo SD11 at the annual Summerfest music event in Milwaukee as part of the audio production crew for the last two years?he recommended the SD8 to George Batayias, the venue?s technical director. After the sound quality, which Kraetsch says is ?the best of the three major console manufacturers,? he loved the console?s features and ease of use. Additionally, they opted for an SDRack (56 input/8 output) operating at 96kHz, which will allow them to eventually upgrade to fiber optics down the road. He?s also intrigued by the DiGiCo UB MADI interface which allows for recording with a simple selection of a button on the large 15? touch screen and looks forward to using it for archiving shows, for virtual sound checks and also for training of other staff and guest engineers.

?Because this was considered to be a major capital expenditure,? Kraetsch explains, ?money for the console had to be budgeted 5 years out. We knew we wanted to upgrade to a digital console, and because of the timeframe, we also knew we had the luxury to take our time in looking at all the options that were happening within the console sector of the industry. Because of that, we could see the innovation and directions that the consoles were headed to, and make the best choice for our situation.  One of the biggest challenges we faced was how to use the existing infrastructure of the system so that we wouldn't incur any additional expenses in the install. Thanks to the 8 local mic/line outputs on the back of the console, we were able to accomplish that. In fact, we were able to actually physically do the complete install in about an hour! Not bad when you see how powerful this system is.?

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