May 17, 2006

Houses of Worship



Soundcraft mixing consoles have recently come up trumps across a range of applications for customers of Jands Electronics New Zealand (the Soundcraft distributors).

In the past few months Soundcraft desks have found their way into houses of worship, concert touring, broadcast — and a prestigious opera house.

In the sound reinforcement sector, the contemporary City Impact Church in Auckland is now using a Soundcraft MH2 for its services, while PA Sound, a rental company which specialises in large church events, has added a GB8 to its inventory.

Meanwhile, another Auckland-based company, College Hill Productions, recently used a 32-channel GB8 on the Dave Dobbyn You Got Heart tour, in conjunction with their new JBL VRX line array speaker system. Chris Tate, sound engineer and director of College Hill Productions, toured with the desk and gave it the thumbs-up.

Tate used a number of features on the console and the direct outs provided a record feed for every show.

“The phase reverse on each channel of the GB8 is not something available on other consoles at this level, and as for the Mic Pre’s, they sound great,” he remarked, at the same time acknowledging the real-estate benefits of having such a compact console.

Over in the broadcast sector, The Radio Network, which owns a total of 116 radio stations, recently purchased assorted 8-, 12- and 20-channel RM100 consoles for use in remote locations.

But Jands Electronics New Zealand report that one of the most significant recent installs has been the suite of desks, supplied as part of an integrated Harman Professional package, to the Hawke's Bay Opera House in Hastings. This was designed as a joint venture by Rob Birch and Paul Edlin of Jands Elecronics New Zealand, and Daniel Nel from the Hawke’s Bay Opera House. All equipment was supplied by Jands Electronics New Zealand as part of a $9 million redevelopment.

When the redevelopment works are completed, the Opera House and Precinct will provide state-of-the-art facilities for the conference and incentive markets, as well as a venue for local and touring theatrical productions.

The equipment has been designed to be used as one complete system in the Opera House, or may be separated into three portable systems for events around the complex.

A Soundcraft GB8 32-channel mixing console has been specified for use in the theatre and larger conferences, with a Soundcraft LX7ii 16-channel and a Soundcraft E12 for the portable systems.

These consoles have been supplied as part of a versatile package that includes JBL SRX and Eon loudspeakers, with the main system processing handled by the Crown amplifiers’ onboard DSP, with a dbx DriveRack 260 handling extra equalisation and distribution requirements in the theatre.

BSS FCS966 graphic equalisers provide room tuning EQ for the portable systems, and effects consist of dbx 166XL compressors and Lexicon MX200 reverbs.

The entire system was commissioned by Jands Technical Resource Group.

“Using the system is an absolute delight,” says Daniel Nel. “During the opening weekend I could bring the system to its full potential, and received nothing but good comments from the audience, future customers and some imported technicians who used it over the course of the weekend.

“One of the highlights was mixing Ben Throp and the Cellar Door Band. The sound quality was clear and tight, with just enough kick at the bottom end. The theatre is a very good example of the early 1900’s multipurpose three-tier venues designed by Henry Eli White; thus you do not need to amplify it to the hilt, but simply reinforce it.”

The 987-seater Hawke’s Bay Opera House is one of three venues in the Complex. Also within the building is The Assembly Hall, which has the largest ballroom and dance floor in the Hawke’s Bay. This multi-purpose venue is suitable for conferences, weddings and the sprung floor also makes an excellent warm-up exercise area for visiting ballet and dance performers. The Shakespeare Room is a smaller but equally delightful area for up-market functions. Formerly the old Municipal Chambers, this comfortably holds 100 people and is also fully licensed. Other gallery and studio spaces will be available once the redevelopment is completed.

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