SINGAPORE: Having upgraded the PA system in the Theatre recently, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay in Singapore has also installed two new digital consoles for the Control Rooms in both the Theatre and Concert Hall.
‘We need to look five years ahead when looking at equipment and so we had to carefully consider all the digital options,’ explained technical manager (sound), Robin Shuttleworth. ‘We’re less of a production house than a receiving house. We need to supply equipment based on our technical riders.’
When selecting his front of house and monitor mixing consoles, Mr Shuttleworth took off on one of his self termed ‘crazy around the world in 10 days trips’. Ultimately he opted for DiGiCo SD7 consoles in the Theatre, Concert Hall, and Outdoor Theatre together with Soundcraft Vi6 consoles in the Concourse, Recital Studio and Theatre Studio where technical and size constraints existed.
‘It was an easy decision in the end as all the big tours were using DiGiCo SD7s. It’s a great sounding board, but the underlying factor is the technical rider.’
By adopting this type of evaluation, the Esplanade’s technical manager of sound then had to make an evaluation for both control rooms by assessing all the available options on the market. ‘I was looking at broadcast quality desks that were top of the range. Other factors such as low latency were also considered.’
Having opted for a Nexus Star router as the main audio transport system throughout the centre in 2008, the choice was somewhat simplified. ‘I wasn’t happy with the copper infrastructure in Esplanade and a fibre solution was sought. I’d known Salzbrenner StageTec in Kuala Lumpur for a number of years and it turned out to be a great decision. I like the Aurus console, but it wasn’t suitable for the technical riders. We were looking for a console that could be used for recording orchestral concerts and the Crescendo was a good fit for our needs as it is a small format footprint. It has 16 input channels for large orchestras and gives us a lot more to play with. With Crescendo, you’re allowed to do what you want on it. We already had the Nexus in here as the back bone, so this really made it a simple fit for us. Now that E&E is the distributor for StageTec, we know that we have good support.