Searching for Pearls of Sound
Rehearsals have recently been taking place using the new system — so far without any problems. “I particularly like the clear routing displays on the mc²66. Both on-screen and from the orange buttons we can immediately see what is routed” explains Christian Venghaus, Tonmeister and head of the Zurich Opera House sound department. “The number of possibilities available in the deeper layers of the console is also quite remarkable: for example, it is no problem to program fader starts, or similar functions. Nevertheless, on the control surface, operation is simple at all times,” Venghaus continues.
The Lawo equipment had to prove its full flexibility right from the start. On the first day of rehearsals, the balance between the different speaker groups was adjusted using an iPad, followed by a more precise set-up by the guest sound engineer from the ballet company, who used a laptop and a controller running the Mackie HUI Protocol. All three devices were connected to the mc²66 in the control room via a WLAN. With the rotary controls pre-programmed for EQ frequency, the controller functioned as a MIDI remote for the large console. Venghaus explains: “With a laptop, the setup is good to go and ready to start work on in only ten minutes. Remote control via the iPad and the Mackie HUI-ready controller was set up by Lawo employees especially to accommodate our requirements.”
The one-hour break between the two rehearsals was more than time enough to move the Lawo console’s 16-fader extender to the side of the stage, to act as a front of house console; after a short time, audio was available from here. This quick setup was partially made possible by close integration with the Yamaha DME64 installation that is used for front of house monitoring. “My goal has always been to bring the audio workstation to where it is needed, whether that’s in the first row next to the conductor, in the tenth row with the director, or in the control room, when it comes to handling complex tasks,” explains Venghaus.
Reconfiguring the console back to its original setup for the evening rehearsal did not present any difficulties; the 40-fader (16+6+16 extender) mc²66 was reinstated in the control room within ten minutes. Following these successful test runs, Venghaus pointed out the advantages of Lawo’s solution: “Lawo offers an extremely high degree of networking and flexibility even in conditions where the highest quality of audio, safe operation, and reproducibility are absolutely necessary — a requirement that will remain essential for audio systems of the future.”