Originally constructed in 1919 as an elementary school, the Henegar Center for the Arts in Melbourne, Fla., opened in 1993 as a performing arts center with a 493-seat proscenium style theatre designed by Tony Award winning Broadway designer Peter Feller. Equipped with state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, the Henegar Center hosts a wide variety of live performances including plays, musicals and concerts.
To meet the growing challenges of today's technically sophisticated performances, the Henegar Center recently upgraded its audio system with an Allen and Heath GLD Digital Mixing System. "We had an analog mixer with mute groups," said Thom Restivo, sound technician at the Henegar Center, "but we wanted to do scene changes that included all of the settings on the mixer. "And," he continued, "I wanted to store entire scenes but also the individual channel settings so I could bring back the right EQ and level when a specific performer returns in a new production. The GLD does all of that and it's easy to learn and setup."
The Henegar Center purchased the GLD from IM Solutions of Melbourne. IM recommended replacing the existing analog snake with the GLD's built-in dSNAKE. IM's chief engineer Bill Davis says "we knew the Henegar Center had a line noise problem and this analog snake was a major cause. Also, they needed a lot of flexibility to support the various performance venues. So we designed the system with multiple CAT6 cable runs from the mix location to both sides of the stage, the orchestra pit and even to the balcony. The Henegar Center has an AR2412 (24-input Audio Rack) and a pair of AR84s (8-input Audio Rack)," Davis continued. "With all of these CAT6 runs, they can put mic inputs and monitor feeds wherever they need them without worrying about line noise."
The Henegar Center is currently presenting a concert series which includes Keiko Matsui (Oct. 14), The Orlando Jazz Orchestra (Dec. 2) and The California Guitar Trio (Jan. 31). In addition, the Henegar Center will stage the ghost play "Woman in Black" in October and "Scrooge, the Musical!" in December, both of which will require extensive sound effects. Restivo says the GLD's flexibility will be very useful for these different events. He noted that he can even move the GLD-80 Mix Surface to the stage for a monitor-intensive performance.
Restivo uses the GLD's USB port for pre-show music from an MP3 player. He also stores show settings to a library on a USB thumb drive. These can be easily recalled for the same show or recalled and modified for a similar performance. When the GLD was first purchased, Restivo downloaded several audiophile recordings to a thumb drive and played them for the staff and management. "Everybody loved the sound quality," he says. "It's a great mixer!"