Scotch College invests in DiGiCo
AUSTRALIA: Melbourne-based Scotch College has recently invested in a DiGiCo SD9 console for its US$26 performing arts building: the James Forbes Academy. The multi-purpose venue boasts a full featured, 400+ capacity music auditorium designed by Arup Acoustics known as the Ian Roach Hall, a complete 400+ capacity drama space named the Geoffrey McComas Theatre, numerous rehearsal and classrooms, in addition to a completely sound proofed room for band practice sessions.
Glenn Bardwell, head of sound for the school, approached Soundcorp with a means to upgrading the collage’s existing audio consoles. ‘I assessed a lot of consoles in the market,’ he began. ‘They all seemed to be very specific to a particular application and none were as logical or flexible as the DiGiCo SD9. Sonic quality was also a big factor and the DiGiCo won there too. We could have gone for two or three smaller consoles but instead we opted for the SD9 which negated the need for anything else.’
Explaining further key reasons for the purchase, he continued: ‘The SD9 has such a small footprint. We don't lose any seats in either room now when the console is setup in the middle of the room for front of house. There are no more sight line issues either, it's just great.’
Mr Bardwell also admitted that the school has ‘loads of really high quality outboard effects gear in our inventory but we don't need them anymore. Working with students, amateur and semi-professional actors also means that their microphone technique is generally pretty poor, but having compression for every channel has made my job so much easier.’
Speaking about the hall’s rack-mounted DiGiCo D-Rack console, Mr Barnwell continued: ‘We run everything off the stage directly into it. We had Cat-5e already run so we were able to use the existing cabling which was just brilliant. I can't wait to get a second rack so that we can move it around the stage and patch microphones into it directly to suit the event we're working on.’
Mr Bardwell stated that he often does not have time to run sound checks, and was particularly complimentary with regards to the console’s session settings to help with this issue.
‘The old boys of the college will put on semi-professional theatre productions like Les Miserables or Cats, and I have to set up the audio for the whole production,’ he explained. ‘We used to do it with several analogue desks linked together and a lot of paperwork – not anymore. I got a quick run down from the guys at Soundcorp on how to use the console and I was ready to go even without the manual. I keep finding new things I can do with it and it keeps impressing me,’ he enthused.
‘It's great, I believe in buying the best around – especially for our school,’ he concluded. ‘When you assess the cost of the console, the racks, cabling, processing and effects, the DiGiCo is real value for money.’ The manufacturer’s Australian distributor Group Technologies supplied the DiGiCo equipment.