The new Rosemary and Meredith Willson Theater, a multi-use performance and event space at the renowned Juilliard School located at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, features a DiGiCo D5T digital console that will serve as the central hub of the control room, connecting the theater with the Music Technology Program’s new recording room.
Juilliard Chief Audio Engineer and veteran audio professional Marc Waithe specified a DiGiCo D5T system for the theater. In his 17-year tenure at the school, Waithe designed all of the main performance audio systems, as well as systems for The Museum of Modern Art and The School of American Ballet as a freelance consultant.
Altel Systems, a professional audio and video contractor based in New York State, engineered the electroacoustic systems for the new spaces at Juilliard, and installed all the equipment including the D5T. JaffeHolden Acoustics provided the wiring infrastructure and acoustic design.
“The DiGiCo D5T package is a significant part of the owner-specified equipment that we are installing,” says Altel Project Manager Tom Young, “which also includes a large number of speakers, microphones, processing, portable racks, personal mixing systems, portable cabling and miscellaneous hardware.”
During the planning stages, Waithe and Young had a meeting with Jack Kelly and Zac Jac Duax of Group One [the U.S. DiGiCo distributor]. “They were very instrumental in making sure we had the right board for what we wanted to do,” recalled Waithe. “Zac even helped inventory check the equipment during delivery, and will return once the install is completed in early July to give us two days worth of training. I had also e-mailed [DiGiCo’s] Tim Shaxson. He was very helpful answering my questions about the D5T.”
The wiring infrastructure (audio/intercom/video/Ethernet/fiber, patching systems and technical power) and supplemental production audio/paging and intercom systems, as well as base construction of the space, were completed in February, 2009.
“When Altel Systems became involved in interfacing the DiGiCo D5T system into the completed system of wiring, connection and patch panels in the Willson Theatre,” adds Young, “both Jack and Zac were extremely helpful in providing us with the necessary technical information needed to interface the D5T system with the installed fiber optic system. With Zac’s hands-on help, we set up the entire D5T system at our shop in Brewster NY, including the Aviom cards, and conducted complete testing prior to delivering the console to Juilliard. Jack and the folks at DiGiCo were also wonderful as far as meeting the fairly short lead time that was required in building and delivering the D5T console system.”
Some of the factors that specifically led Waithe to the DiGiCo D5T were its small footprint and large channel count, plus its inherent features and its superb sound quality.
“At the time the D5T was talked about, which was 2006, it was the only digital console offering both a redundant power supply and a redundant engine,” recalled Waithe. “With permanent connections to the Music Tech recording room and a channel count of over 100 inputs with 16 channels of personal monitoring for our concerts, the D5T will fit in nicely. The output matrix capabilities and the Aviom card make the D5T a powerful and sleek mixing platform. The large number of inputs available and the snapshot capabilities will hopefully greatly reduce change-over time between the many concerts and shows scheduled in this new space.
“Also, the D5T is still the only console that offers a fully functioning, standalone remote. Due to space, budget, time and personnel constraints, having a second mixer or moving the main mixer was impossible. This was a vital factor in picking this console. The presence of the D5T on many Broadway shows helped me realize it would be a stable and flexible platform for what we wanted to do.”