Aug 01, 2000


Soundcraft Series FIVE Fires Up Burning Hills Amphitheater

--Located at the gateway of the Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park, the $4 million Burning Hills Amphitheater is home to the popular ‘Medora Musical’, a Broadway-style song and dance show honoring the legacy of Roosevelt and North Dakota’s Western heritage. Now celebrating its 35th anniversary, the ever-evolving musical this year benefits from a new 48-mono/4-stereo-channel Soundcraft Series FIVE handling the venue’s front-of-house duties.

Installation of the Series FIVE was spearheaded by Wayne Mastel, engineer and partner at Audio Systems Company in Bismarck, ND, who has also served as Burning Hills’ primary engineering consultant for the past 28 years. He comments on the new desk: “I looked at a number of other large-format consoles on the market, but none of them possessed the output capability of the Series FIVE right out of the box. This particular production requires quite an extensive number of outputs for the house PA, main stage monitors, backstage monitors, submix monitors for all five of the band members, recording feeds and wireless hearing assist feeds. There was simply no way that we could accommodate our current output configuration with anything other than the Soundcraft.

“The Series FIVE feels like it was tailor-made for this application. It’s so easy to use and incredibly flexible. I should also add that our new Series FIVE replaces our former Soundcraft - an old Venue board - so I have to admit to being a bit biased towards using Soundcraft desks".

All 48 mono and four stereo inputs on the Series FIVE are being utilized on the latest production of the Medora Musical, which is ranked as one of North Dakota’s most popular attractions. Running nightly from June 2 through September 3, the two-hour show has been enjoyed by nearly two million people over its three-and-a-half-decade run, and has been listed as one of the American Bus Association’s top 100 attractions for the past ten consecutive years.

With the Badlands as its spectacular backdrop, the Burning Hills Amphitheater comfortably seats 2,800 in a natural bowl configuration that is carved into a canyon at the edge of Medora. Aside from the musical, the amphitheater also hosts a summer concert series, which this year features the likes of Chris LeDoux, Ian Tyson and The Wilkinsons. For more info, visit Burning Hills online at

Burning Hills’ Series FIVE is used to control a full complement of Community loudspeakers and EV subwoofers, all driven by a combination of QSC and AB Professional amplifiers.

The Series FIVE front-of-house console is fast becoming the industry-standard on touring circuits and installations the world over. The desk is available in a range of sizes from 24 to 56 mono input channels with each size including an additional four mic/line stereo inputs, so the 56-channel frame offers a total of 64 mic/line inputs. With eight groups, twelve Aux busses, sweepable high and low-pass filters, true LCR panning, 256 MIDI snapshot memory, ten matrix outputs and ten VCA groups, the desk offers more features in a smaller size than any other comparable console. The Series FIVE also boasts a new power supply with a three-year warranty featuring a built-in redundancy link, industry-standard linear circuit design and plenty of headroom.

Soundcraft, a leading British manufacturer of high-end mixing consoles serving live, broadcast, theatre and recording markets, is distributed in the US by Harman Pro North America, a subsidiary of Harman International.

(Photos © Wayne J. Mastel 2000. Used by permission)

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