Oct 29, 2003



--Flagler Auditorium, a 1,000-seat performing arts venue on the campus of Flagler Palm Coast High School approximately 20 miles north of Daytona Beach, recently installed a new 56-channel Soundcraft MH3 console to run both its house and monitor sound. Purchased from dealer Total Entertainment, the desk went in as part of an upgrade of the venue's entire sound reinforcement system.

Aside from hosting school-related events, the 12-year-old acoustically-tuned venue is recognized as Flagler County's premier performing arts center and brings in everything from nationally touring Broadway productions to chamber music, big bands, family theater, symphonies and celebrity entertainment. With that in mind, the Soundcraft console was selected, in part, for its rider acceptability, as were new BSS Audio processing (Minidrive and EQs), Crown CTs Series amplification and a JBL VerTec line array system.

"Historically, when higher-profile theatre and musical acts have come through, we've had to rent equipment because their riders would often require a certain echelon of products that we didn't have," says Jack Neiberlein, Flagler Auditorium's technical director. "So, when putting together our new system, we made a very conscious effort to choose gear that would bring the acceptability of our house rig up to par, and I know the MH3 has been a critical part of that. Even the simple fact that our house desk bears the Soundcraft name raises the perceived quality of our system. And it's already proven to be a hit with the touring engineers that have now seen or used it."

For Bruce Brady, Flagler Auditorium's sound engineer and assistant tech for the past eight seasons, the British attention to sonic quality was his favorite attribute of the desk. "The MH3's preamps are very clean and the EQ is wonderfully warm and rich," he says. "English boards are renowned for their sound, and this one is certainly no exception. Although our previous mixing console had some nice little features, the sound was rather thin and sterile, so it's such a pleasure to now have that warmth and fullness in our system. We feel very fortunate that we could take the jump up to Soundcraft."

Neiberlein agrees and applies that thankfulness to the entire new audio setup. "This system will take us to a level that I wouldn't even have dreamed about a year ago," he surmises, thinking back to the previous rig. "It's like the difference between a 1974 Pinto and a 2003 Lexus. Both can technically be driven, but one is unquestionably a nicer ride!"

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