The Melbourne Recital Centre (MRC) is truly a world class venue. Taking out the 2009 National Public Building Awards, the MRC is a pantheon for the performing arts. Within the huge centre, Murdoch Elizabeth Hall is the key performing theatre. Arup Acoustics, a global giant in acoustic design, was asked to design the space; and to say the outcome was impressive would be an understatement.
The acoustics of this huge arena are something that’d make most engineers palpitate as the room’s ‘sound’ has been balanced elaborately with different grains of timber and can be adjusted by the manipulation of motorized acoustic panels mounted throughout the hall. This acoustic balancing act allows artists on stage to hear themselves in the same way regardless of whether or not the venue is full, empty or anything in between.
Gideon Cozins, the Production Technician for the MRC originally opted for a Digico D5 (installed by Rutledge Engineering) to run the show inside the centre. The D5’s unprecedented routing flexibility can manage even the most elaborate orchestral configurations and its interface is exceptionally clean. A short 8 months later, the MRC also took on a Digico SD8 from Soundcorp as a second console to suit their smaller events and the similarities in interface and design ensured pain free operation across both consoles.
The recording studio situated inside the MRC touts a Digico DS-00 chosen by engineer Jim Atkins, and managed independently by the ABC. “The ability to re-patch between desks and have FOH, monitoring and recording being controlled concurrently was very convenient” Atkins remarks. Through their custom MADI patching setup, the entire MRC system is designed so that the FOH operations can be handled by either console in the FOH or the studio control room. This allows a great deal of flexibility depending on the requirements of the gig and of course whether or not recording is a primary focus. Jim Atkins also notes “sound operators can move between the Digico consoles with minimal time spent re-training”, which further solidified the choice behind staying with Digico for the ABC’s production system.