As Vienna’s Rabenhof Theatre prepares to reopen its doors, audiences will soon be enjoying an audio upgrade, including a new 64 channel Allen & Heath Avantis mixer.
Built as a workers’ assembly hall in the 1920s, the Rabenhof was converted into a theatre in 1990 and underwent a complete refurbishment in 2008, during which much of its art-deco character was restored. The theatre has earned a reputation for serving up an eclectic mix of experiences, ranging from contemporary theatre and musicals to puppetry and baroque opera. Almost every day brings another new performance to the Rabenhof Theatre, so head of sound, Josch Russo is accustomed to working with tight setup times and a high throughput of guest engineers. When the venue decided it was time to retire its aging digital mixer, speed and ease of use were high on the wishlist.
Following demos and consultation with Allen & Heath’s Austrian distributor, ATEC, Josch took delivery of the latest Avantis console this summer. “Avantis is the perfect fit for our theatre in terms of size and channels,” Josch comments. “It is easy to use and self-explanatory.” The Avantis has the full dPack upgrade, including Dyn8 dynamic EQs and Allen & Heath’s DEEP processing emulations. ATEC Pro’s managing director, Manfred Prochazka adds, “Avantis’ scene management tools give the Rabenhof Theatre team the flexibility they need and the twin touchscreens and slick UI make it an enjoyable console to work with. The sound quality is amazing, and it offers so many possibilities for medium-sized venues in terms of routing and show control.”
Reflecting the theatre’s dynamic approach to staging, a GX4816 remote expander provides I/O on the main stage, with a pair of portable DX168 stageboxes enabling Josch to easily place additional sockets wherever they’re needed. Another addition to accommodate the needs of such a busy venue is an 8-fader IP8 remote controller, which provides simple control in scenarios where non-technical users need to use the system, such as when a director needs to manage selected mics and playback during rehearsals. A Dante card is fitted in the Avantis, facilitating both multitrack recording and integration with the other new addition to the theatre’s audio system: a set of Shure Axient wireless mics.