Sep 23, 2003



--Next year celebrating its 100th anniversary as home to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Hall, located on Chicago's ritzy Michigan Avenue, recently became the recipient of two new Soundcraft consoles. The desks - a 32-channel K3 Theatre for front-of-house and 40-channel/20-bus SM20 for monitors - were provided by db Sound as part of a full audio system retrofit for the prestigious 2,500-seat performance hall. Housed in road cases and used to reinforce the many pops and jazz shows that pepper the venue's concert schedule, including Joan Baez, Ray Charles, Béla Fleck, Spike Lee and Kurt Elling, the K3 typically resides in Orchestra Hall's diminutive house mix position up in one of the lower seating boxes at the rear of the room while the SM20 gets set up, as needed, on stage.

"The K3 has a marvelous footprint," says Norm Krueger, db Sound's account executive responsible for the specification. "In fact, it was the only acceptable desk with 32 inputs that could even fit in that space. The company I was at previously owned four K3s and they were such workhorses; we had them for probably four years and never had any issues with them. The K3's matrix makes it really versatile for everything from theatre to music to industrial shows, and Orchestra Hall is very happy with it.

"As for the SM20, its generous capacity for in-ears and high quality of sound has made it very popular among pops performers visiting the venue."

Aside from the two desks, db Sound's new audio system for Orchestra Hall is primarily comprised of BSS Audio compression, Lexicon processing, Crown amplification and McPherson Monolith loudspeakers.

During the summer, the same K3 and SM20 were also employed on the Symphony's off dates at the Martin Theatre in nearby Highland Park. Used for Ravinia Festival's 'Martinis at the Martin' concert series, the desks provided the house and monitor mixes for artists like Bobby Short, Ramsey Lewis, Sarah Ramirez, Lainie Kazan, Barbara Cook and others throughout the season.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Soundcraft is a leading British manufacturer of high-end mixing consoles serving live, broadcast, theatre and recording markets. The company's products are distributed in the US by Harman Pro North America (HPNA), which also distributes products for AMEK, BSS Audio and Studer. HPNA is a subsidiary of Harman International

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