The Opera House holds nearly 2,300 guests and is recognized as the official home to the Washington National Opera and the annual Kennedy Center Honors. Also, the establishment conducts ballets, operas and a variety of Broadway road shows. The Terrace Theater, a much smaller venue containing 513 seats, is used for performances of chamber music, jazz and children’s productions.
The Kennedy Center’s Production Operations Department selected three Soundcraft Vi6 along with a Vi4 and a Studer Vista 5 to provide audio support to each of the respective halls in the Kennedy Center.
“The boards sound outstanding and the user interface is great,” commented John Burke, The Kennedy Center’s Production Operations Department AV System Designer. “The audio capabilities at the Kennedy Center have improved remarkably and one thing that I have noticed is that people want the shows archived and the Vi6 allows engineers to record everything in HD. It gives the engineers the ability to take the MADI data streams and put it right into a multi-track recorder without worrying about splitters and it makes recording shows much easier.”
Along with the Opera House and Terrace Theater, the Soundcraft Vi6 was also integrated into the Concert Hall, a space capable of holding over 2,400 visitors and home to the National Symphony Orchestra. Providing sound reinforcement for the smaller venues, such as the Eisenhower Theater, which hosts a wide range of smaller-scale operas, plays, musicals, and ballets is the Studer Vista 5.
“The renovation to the Kennedy Center is very extensive and requires a lot of versatility on the part of the Soundcraft and Studer consoles. In the Eisenhower Theater for example, the Vista 5 is utilized to its full potential, as the entire system is CobraNet. The success we’ve had in the Eisenhower Theater has led to the expansion into the Concert Hall as well,” said Burke. “These Vi series products and the Vista 5 have been really great in stability and haven’t caused any problems. The much smaller footprint has been a tremendous benefit and the Vistonics are incredible as well.”
Burke concludes, “The opportunities are endless with the Soundcraft and Studer consoles. As an example, in the Concert Hall, we are able to remotely control the racks from all positions and easily ship the signals, which has been an incredible step into the future. The transformation into digital with the Vi4, Vi6 and Vista 5 has increased our production, performance and accessibility.”