The animated heart of University of Sydney’s entertainment arm, Manning Bar hosts a myriad of popular events for the city’s music lovers and students alike. Positioned on-campus, the dynamic public-facing venue is independently owned and run by the University of Sydney Union (USU) and regularly welcomes a slew of local and international acts to perform in its limelight. Teeming with touring bands and their respective sound engineers year-round, the venue recently made the move to a more comprehensive and user-centric mixing workflow with DiGiCo’s Quantum 225.
A staple of Sydney’s live performance landscape since 1974, Manning Bar has been a platform for many up-and-coming artists to showcase their talent and launch successful careers. The venue continues to connect crowds with budding performers through its annual Battle of the Bands competition, while also showcasing well-established acts such as INXS, Tame Impala, Foo Fighters and many more.
A prominent cornerstone of the city’s local music scene, Manning Bar’s success stems from a convergence of high-end production qualities- including a workflow that provides touring engineers with a streamlined experience when mixing in the venue. This sentiment underpinned the decision to replace Manning Bar’s existing console with a more intuitive and rider-friendly system from DiGiCo, as Production Consultant Zac Ruokari reveals:
“The DiGiCo Quantum 225 has been a great choice as our new FOH board. The choice to move to DiGiCo at Manning Bar was, amongst a multitude of other reasons, to assist in aligning with most touring bands’ tech rider requests. As much as the previous console was a very capable system, it tended to scare a good percentage of touring engineers in terms of workflow, patching and setup. The DiGiCo OS and patching, on the other hand, is a more natural fit for the majority of engineers due to its significant worldwide footprint, familiarity and user-focused design.”
Having already been an ardent user of the UK-based brand, Zac’s preexisting experience with DiGiCo’s capabilities and performance helped cement his decision when recommending the Quantum 225. Outlining his history with the technology and his enthusiasm for some of the console’s advanced features, Zac explains:
“I’ve worked on pretty much all the SD Series consoles at different times and venues around Australia – from SD11s through to SD5s. I have always found DiGiCo consoles to be easy to use, fantastic sounding, and have loved having the ability to add a Waves Soundgrid to the setup, and also to record multitrack via MADI so easily. My favorite attribute of the Quantum 225 is the ability to build the console with the amount of aux and matrices you need per show- this is always a huge win. I’m also really loving the new Mustard channel effects features, plus the new touch screen is a massive improvement on the SD model screens, especially in a bright room.”
Garnering considerable attention and praise since settling into its new home, the Quantum 225 has not only impressed Zac but also professionals and patrons alike, as Zac attests:
“I see every FOH engineer’s eyes light up when I mention we now have a DiGiCo at Manning Bar. The fact that the OS will be familiar to anybody who has used an SD Series console means that most touring engineers are already comfortable using the 225 when entering the venue- a massive difference compared to what was in place prior. We had Electric Six and Switchfoot come through recently and they loved it! Everyone has commented on the clarity of the preamps and the cleanliness of the output- even the bar staff can hear the difference. The Quantum 225 is most definitely ticking all the boxes!”