AV Integrator AudioMaster CZ recently upgraded the audio capabilities at the historic Reduta Theatre in Brno, Czech Republic, implementing a new Soundcraft Vi2000 digital console to complement the venue’s existing Vi3000 desk.
Originally constructed during the Renaissance, the Reduta Theatre is one of the oldest theater buildings in Central Europe and has continuously hosted concerts and productions since 1620. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Béla Bartók and Thomas Adès are just a few names in the rich history of concerts that have been performed in the Reduta Theatre. In addition to dramatic performances and concerts ranging from jazz and classical to modern pop and rock, the Reduta Theatre presently hosts events such as TEDx conferences, Opera Europa conventions and corporate events.
In 2016, the Reduta Theatre found itself in need of a new front-of-house console immediately when the then-current analog mixer caught on fire in the middle of a show. In order to replace it in time for the next performance, Director of Stage Operations Jan Vrbka and the theater’s two audio engineers—Jirka Pochvalovsky and Standa Mitana—tested a Vi3000 against two models from other brands, selecting the Vi3000 for its user-friendly mixing interface and maneuverability.
“The main purpose was to create a good working environment for staff and guest sound engineers working in our building,” explains Vrbka. “On the day that the Vi3000 was installed, our engineer Standa Mitana was able to mix that evening’s performance with no issues, despite having limited experience with digital consoles. It is sometimes said that the Vi is a console for roadies. To me, that means it is easy to learn to work on for sound engineers regardless of their console of choice. This comes in handy when other theater companies are performing at our venue with their own staff.”
When funding made it possible for the to purchase a second digital console, the team elected to expand the Soundcraft Vi ecosystem with a Vi2000 supplied by AudioMaster CZ. It’s utilized in a variety of configurations, including as a backup for the main Vi3000 FOH console, onstage as a monitor console in conjunction with the Vi3000, as a remote workstation closer to the stage during rehearsals, and as a portable console for events outside the building. The staff new console is accompanied by a Vi Stagebox for added flexibility.
“It’s important to select products with high operational stability and good support that allow future expansion of the system,” Vrbka continues. “All components are compatible with each other, which allows for mutual expansion. The Soundcraft Vi2000 is the perfect compromise between size and performance, which makes it an ideal backup to our main Vi3000 console, but also enables us to use it for applications outside the theater that require a mobile console.
In addition to the Soundcraft consoles, Reduta Theatre also utilizes BSS Soundweb London and BLU Link processors to control the house loudspeaker system, including emergency announcements and other general building communications. Onstage, the audio staff uses BSS AR133 direct boxes, along with AKG C451, C414 and C214 microphones joined by JBL EON15 and EON10 powered loudspeakers for stage monitoring.
“The Vi Series consoles are simple and intuitive, allowing engineers to devote more time to the sound quality of the production,” concludes Vrbka. “HARMAN staff has always been great at staying in touch and notifying us of important firmware updates for all equipment. And of course, AudioMaster CZ’s technical support has been excellent as always.”