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Networking Backbone At Revitalized “Crown Jewel Of Southern Illinois” Relies On Allen & Heath SQ Series

JA Pro Sound implements SQ7 mix surface at FOH at The Grenada Theatre and makes use of SQ’s networking capabilities to place drop locations across the venue for I/O expanders.
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The Allen & Heath SQ-7 at front of house at the newly remodeled Granada Theatre. Photo courtesy of Haizey Photography.

The Grenada Theatre in Mount Vernon, IL, a 1930s era Art Deco picture palace that’s now been converted to a multipurpose events center and cultural hub, has been outfitted with a flexible audio backbone implemented by local production partner JA Pro Sound that utilizes an Allen & Heath SQ7 mix surface at front of house.

The venue, known as the “Crown Jewel of Southern Illinois,” now presents a diverse range of live concerts and event audio playback following a multiyear renovation project that kicked off in 2017 as a new owner took the reins. Starting with the removal of the seats and original stage, construction projects also included new floors, a large stage extension, and an audio infrastructure that makes use of the SQ’s networking capabilities to place drop locations across the venue for I/O expanders.

“We chose our equipment configuration to make hosting a wide variety of events possible,” explains Granada Theatre owner Russell Brown. “The SQ-7 was really at the heart of the decision-making process because of its ease of operation paired with tons of mixing power. I’d never call myself a sound engineer, but as a venue owner I can run sound for small corporate events and hire outside pros to run our live music gigs. This is the ultimate in flexibility that a 350- to 500-seat venue like ours requires. We finished up renovations right in the midst of COVID-19, so our next phase will require this sort of flexibility to generate revenue and best make ends meet.”

The SQ-7 surface is paired up to AR2412 and AR168 AudioRacks over Cat-6 that feed three Powersoft amplifiers driving Tectonic Audio Labs PL10 main loudspeakers and subwoofers. On the lighting side of the system, a wide range of dimmer, LED color mixing and moving light fixtures are controlled by a Chamsys QuickQ 30.

“It’s truly jaw-dropping when the entire system comes together.” Brown adds. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the SQ-7 in particular. The theatre staff is picking it up quickly and they have surpassed my knowledge already. We had a training day with JA Pro Sound and their abilities really took off. I’m really glad we invested in a rock solid sound system and such a user friendly sound board. Here’s to the next 80-plus years of presenting top tier entertainment at the Granada Theatre.”

Allen & Heath
Granada Theatre

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