Sep 01, 2001


Soundcraft Console Is Centrepiece Of World's Most Valuable Milk Float

--Insured for £200,000, the 1960s milk float is the property of the highly-respected Dukes Theatre in Lancaster. Its unique value is realised during the Theatre's summer season, when the float serves as a mobile front-of-house control room for the open-air productions which take place in Williamson Park.

The Dukes has been staging open-air productions for sixteen years, one of the first British theatre companies to achieve a high standard of work outdoors. Known for its experimentalism and innovation, previous shows have involved multiple stages throughout the Park, requiring the audience to move from one location to another….with the milk float audio control keeping just ahead.

The Dukes milk float has just been re-equipped with a new Soundcraft 324 Live audio mixer. "It's ideal for our open-air productions," says Brent Lees, Technical Director, "where we require different desk set-ups for each scene, at very high speed. The digital desk has the snapshot facility which makes it very simple for us to handle a show which has multiple stages and locations."

This year, the production is "Arabian Nights", which takes place across multiple stages in full interaction with an audience of 500.

The Soundcraft 324 Live was supplied by Lowfold Audio in Lancaster, theatre equipment specialists who work closely with the Dukes. "We're looking forward to taking the desk into the main theatre at the end of the summer," says Lees. "The 324's Recall abilities are critical for the open-air productions, but we'll be depending heavily on the Automation facilities as well, integrating the console with the Cubase system we use for running FX."

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