Florida Theater Venues choose DiGiCo Quantum225 as “The Desk That Can Do It All”

One state, two coasts, and a pair of classic performance venues are all united by a single choice: the DiGiCo Quantum225 console.

Flexibility Is Key

Artis—Naples is the premier destination for the visual and performing arts in Southwest Florida. They are, in their own words, “…driven to inspire, educate and entertain by presenting world-class events that enrich the diverse community.” The Kimberly K. Querrey and Louis A. Simpson Cultural Campus in Naples includes two performance halls: the Frances Pew Hayes Hall and the Myra J. Daniels Pavilion, as well as The Baker Museum and the Stabile Education building.

Most recently, the 283-seat Daniels Pavilion, whose diverse range of programs includes music, film, dance, comedy, lectures, and exhibitions featuring internationally acclaimed artists, received an upgrade in the form of a new DiGiCo Quantum225 console, used for both front-of-house and monitor mixing duties, and sourced through Fort Lauderdale-based Carlton Audio Services, Inc.

“The Daniels Pavilion hosts a really wide range of performances, from lectures to chamber music to rock bands, so our console has to be as versatile as the venue,” says Ryan Young, Head Audio Engineer at Artis—Naples for the last three years. He says the addition of the Quantum225 is part of a series of upgrades that will also soon see the venue’s PA system replaced, as well. “The intent was to upgrade and modernize our sound, and we are already very much a DiGiCo campus,” he says, noting the SD12 console installed at the neighboring Frances Pew Hayes Hall and the SD9 that acts as a recording and program playback mixer there. “We also wanted to have more flexible routing, so we could, for instance, run monitors from front of house. With so many different types of music and other performances here, versatility is the key, and the Quantum225 definitely has that.”

Young says that he and his staff, including A2 Taylor Freydberg, have just begun exploring the possibilities of the console’s Mustard and Spice Rack processing. “We immediately found that it sounds great and that it’s extremely user-friendly for venues like ours,” he says. “We’re looking forward to finding out everything that it can do that we never had the capability of before.”

A Theater Goes Rock

On the state’s opposite coast, The Parker, a 1,200-seat venue in Fort Lauderdale and part of that city’s live-performance legacy for nearly 60 years, recently underwent a $30-million renovation. The process was part of an even larger rebranding and repositioning of the venerable venue: for much of its existence it had been the Parker Playhouse, a theatrical venue, and an affiliated venue of The Broward Center for the Performing Arts. Now, The Parker has become a main stop for top touring music artists and shows, with a new d&b audiotechnik sound system and a very versatile DiGiCo Quantum225 console also supplied by Carlton Audio.

“Over the last several years we’ve transitioned to becoming a roadhouse venue, and one that at 1,200 seats sits perfectly in this market,” says Anton Foresta, Director of Production – Affiliated Venues at The Parker. “We really became the perfect rock and roll venue. Still a venue for community and educational programming but with a focus on live concerts at night, and for that, we wanted a rock and roll sound system and a rock and roll console.”

Foresta has been a fan of DiGiCo desks for years, as front-of-house engineer for Arrival from Sweden, The Music of Abba (for which he used a Quantum338), and in his role at The Parker, where he says the vast majority of the touring riders crossing his desk are for DiGiCo consoles. “Our job is to fill that rider and give them what their first choices are, and nine times out of ten, the first choice on that rider is DiGiCo. So rather than renting a DiGiCo, we decided to buy one.”

Originally a fan of the SD12-96, Foresta was attracted to the Quantum’s slate of features, including the Mustard and Spice Rack processing. “We had thought maybe we should get an SD12 because of its 96 inputs, but I knew that the Quantum225 would eventually get the update to go up to 96 channels, and a few weeks ago they released the update. So I was right!”

He adds that another selling point was the 32-bit processing for the console’s SD-Rack. “That was a game-changer,” he says. “We really liked the preamps on that. They’re super clean and extremely fast. The other stuff that we really love about the Quantum225 is having the Mustard processing and the Spice Rack right on the console. It’s reliable, trustworthy, and sounds fantastic.”

Small Size, Big Benefits

Both Quantum225 consoles were recommended and sold through Carlton Audio Services, in Fort Lauderdale. Owner Chris Carlton, who also acts as sound designer and front-of-house engineer for Barbra Streisand, calls it “the desk that can do it all.”

“What really sold me on the Quantum225 is how much it offers in such a small footprint, which is perfect for smaller venues like The Parker and Artis—Naples,” he explains. “That, and its sound quality, which is tremendous.” In fact, Carlton is himself a fan and user of DiGiCo desks, relying on a Quantum338 console for his live work with Streisand. “I’m thrilled with what DiGiCo has achieved with the Quantum range,” he says. “I’ve been telling all my clients it’s time to get onboard with it.”

Info: www.digico.biz

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