The live audio system serving more than 30,000 in attendance at this year’s 98th annual Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island was headed up for the first time by a CADAC CDC eight-32 digital production console.
The event’s regular sound production company and front of house engineer since 2005—Audio Production Services (Amawalk, NY) and Mark Fiore—took their first “test flight’” with the CDC eight-32. “The CADAC was available from the company’s new U.S. division and I couldn’t resist trying it out instead of my regular choice of console,” explains Fiore.
Providing even sound coverage across an area bounded by tall apartment buildings on either side has seen systems engineer Bryan McPartlan of Audio Production Services evolve a very particular sound design, comprised of RCF TTL31A arrays with dB Technologies DVA-T12 and DVA-T4 boxes— two on the left building, three on the right, for the widest coverage area, and a delay tower.
“The house right side is where we have the most area to cover, so we have three arrays—in fill, out fill and wide,” continues Fiore, “And then we set a delay stack on the other side of the street.” The front of house position is high above the crowd on a hydraulic rise, and show playback is cued off of two laptops running Qlab.
“This year the usual considerable challenges of the show were compounded by an overnight thunderstorm and a mid-show downpour, as the edge of a hurricane passed through,” notes Fiore. “Powering up on the day of the show was somewhat stressful as some things had been exposed to the overnight rain, and I had to do some swift reprogramming on the desk.
“But with the large dual touch screens, two people were able to work simultaneously and accomplish that very quickly. Then at one point during the thunderstorm we lost the circuit that was powering the stage rack but the audio came back online flawlessly as soon as power was restored.
“I found the user interface to be very intuitive and easy to work with,” he adds. “I like the way you can scroll left and right through the layers. It also has a very rich sound—very much like the classic J-Type—and there was a noticeable difference between this year’s sound quality and years past.”
After the contest Fiore took the CDC eight-32 console to another of his regular gigs the following night, mixing Far Away Places, which stars two-time Grammy and Tony Award winner Patti LuPone, at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts.
“It’s a concert performance with Patti and a five-piece band. I’ve done this show on every type of console I can think of, but the CADAC is easily the most intuitive,” Fiore says. “Patching the inputs and outputs is a breeze; it made Patti’s concert very quick to set up, and sound check was pretty smooth. Being able to ‘swipe left and right’ through the layers made operating the console during the show fast and easy. Its rich sound really complimented Patti’s show. It was the kind of performance where its class really shone through.”