"We were originally looking for an analogue console," explained Sound Engineer Geoff Minto, "but we needed 32 channels and it was obvious that space was going to be an issue. When we looked at the digital options, the 324 Live immediately appealed to us because it didn't 'feel' as digital as the other digital consoles."
Since the venue handles a wide range of productions frommusicals to conventional drama, the automation capabilities of a digital desk have proven to be the ideal choice.
"We can be set up for a particular play one night," explains Minto, "then have another show to run for a couple of days before returning to the original production in three nights' time, and we know we can go right back to where we were. It makes life so much easier."
In addition to the flexibility between shows, the 324 Live has also made it possible to pay attention to every minute detail.
"We're starting to use more and more snapshots now, with the average play using between 50 and 100 cues. The great thing with this console is that all those tiny, fiddly little changes that the operator is usually too busy to do can now be handled by the automation - it benefits the shows so much. The snapshot system also means that creating complex sequences of sound FX routing to our FX speakers is now an absolute doddle."
The flexibility of the console has even streamlined the rehearsal process. "During rehearsal, directors often want to jump around from song to song. This used to be very hard for us, but now it's just a case of recalling the appropriate cue."