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Author Topic: Live Theatre Consoles  (Read 396 times)

Jeff Thomson

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Live Theatre Consoles
« on: June 12, 2018, 05:09:30 am »

Hi all,

I work for a theatre rental company in South Africa, and we are looking at upgrading our flagship console. Currently it is the Midas Pro 9 (we have the full Midas Pro range) and we were naturally going to upgrade to the Pro X, until we discovered a few other options that have slowed the process.

Currently, the Digico SD7 is still one of the most spec'd consoles on theatre riders, and we naturally want to invest in something that will be used and in demand for the next 10 years or so.
There is also something to be said about being the only provider of a console in the country, and currently that role has already been filled for the SD7.

Word is that the SD7(T) may be on it's way out, so we want to see what is on the riders out there and try decide which direction to go. Other options are currently Avid S6L and SSL Live500Plus.

Anyone have any experience/thoughts on the matter?

Thanks!
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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: Live Theatre Consoles
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2018, 02:38:17 pm »

When you say "theatre rental company", what level of production are you talking about? Are you renting to small community or school theatre groups? Are you renting to large professional theatre groups? Something in between?

I saw Rhys reply to your question on the theatre sound list and I think all of his suggestions are valid. It kind of depends on what your production needs are; i.e. how many inputs and outputs do you need to be able to provide for, what level of experience are the operators, what kind of manufacturer or third party support can you get in South Africa for a given brand of console, and how familiar are the operators in your area with that console?

I don't see the SD7 going anywhere anytime soon. It's still going to be on riders for many years after it goes out of production, just as the PM1D and PM5D were. 

But the PM7/10 are both worthy contenders I think and can do a lot that the CL line can't, besides just inputs and outputs. I don't know that the Avid S6L has really worked it's way onto many theatre shows yet, or if it will. Touring theatre here in the U.S. seems to be about 75% Digico SD7/SD10 with the remainder split between Yamaha CL5, Avid Profile, and even the odd PM5D and a few analog Cadac J-types still running around out there. Here in the U.S. we never see Midas consoles on touring theatre shows.
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Justice C. Bigler
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Jeff Thomson

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Re: Live Theatre Consoles
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2018, 07:01:43 am »

Hi Justice, thanks for the response.

Noted.
We focus primarily on large-scale theatrical shows (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, The Sound of Music, Chicago, Singing in the Rain, Annie, etc...) but also do smaller school productions and minor shows on the side.
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