The ISO acquired the desk in June of 2000 just prior to the first concert of its 30-date outdoor summer series, ‘Symphony on a Prairie’. Performed at an amphitheater at Conner Prairie, a 210-acre open-air living history museum located in nearby Fishers, the Series FIVE provides the house mix for the 87-member Orchestra, which is heard by up to 10,000 patrons each evening.
With the summer season now long over, the Series FIVE has been transported to the Orchestra’s 1,800-seat home in the heart of Indianapolis, the Hilbert Circle Theater. Here, the desk will provide mixing for a great number of classical performances, as well as for the four-week ‘Yuletide Celebration’ hosted by Sandi Patty and various pops concerts, which have featured guest artists like Kathy Mattea, Al Jarreau and George Benson in the past. The Series FIVE was also recently used in late-November to mix Garrison Keillor’s ‘A Prairie Home Companion’, which came to the Hilbert Circle for a program taping.
Jim Deckard, house engineer for the ISO, chose the Series FIVE based on a recommendation from Stage Tech’s John Reed. “When I came to the Orchestra 11 years ago, we had a much smaller mixer, about 16 mics and a few ‘Y’ cables,” recalls Deckard. “With the addition of the Series FIVE, which is now completely filled up, we have truly come a long way since then. Even going from our most recent console, a Soundcraft Venue, to this has been quite a step. The EQ section on the FIVE is phenomenal; having a high and low pass filter on every channel, compared to just a switch, is quite a delight. The layout on Soundcraft’s boards is always very user-friendly, too. Previously owning a Venue made the transition really easy, which was good because we didn’t have a rehearsal for our outdoor shows. All in all, the FIVE is a pretty remarkable console.”
The Series FIVE came as part of an almost complete system upgrade for the amphitheater at Conner Prairie. Other key pieces of newly-added gear included an EAW KF750 rig and subwoofer cabinets, 22 Crown MA-2400 amplifiers, BSS FCS-926 Varicurve EQs with an FPC-900 remote controller, and a variety of microphones from AKG, Neumann, Schoeps and Shure. Deckard adds, “I particularly enjoy using our new AKG 414s with the Series FIVE; the combination sounds stunning.”
Founded in 1930, the ISO is currently led by its fifth director, Raymond Leppard, who has been with the Orchestra since 1987.
Soundcraft, a leading British manufacturer of high-end mixing consoles serving live, broadcast, theatre and recording markets, is distributed in the US by Harman Pro North America, a subsidiary of Harman International.