California’s McCallum Theatre installs Soundcraft Vi6 console

The Palm Desert-based McCallum Theatre has recently updated its audio system with the addition of a Soundcraft Vi6 digital mixing console at front-of-house.

The McCallum Theatre, which was opened in 1988, provides a variety of events throughout the year. This includes entertainment and education activities which produces a variety of performing arts events which reflect the diversity of people, interests, and tastes of the Coachella Valley in California.

In order to keep the high level of audio quality at the venue the team at McCallum’s decided to replace their ageing Soundcraft Series 5 console with the Vi6.

The Audio Director at the Theatre, James D. Anderson, immediately had the Vi6 in mind when the prospect of replacing the Series 5 came to a head.

“I had done my research and knew I wanted the Vi6,” explained Anderson. “I had never used a digital board before, but the ease of use and operation with Soundcraft’s Vistonics™ II was so good that I jumped right into it. I knew that my guest engineers would be satisfied.”

Anderson thus consulted with the Principal of the California-based company IPR Services, Bob Patrick, on the possibility of having it installed and integrated into the current set up. The system—which is composed entirely of HARMAN gear—includes JBL VERTEC VT4888 midsize line arrays and Crown I-Tech amplifiers.

As part of the upgrade BSS’s Soundweb London signal processing was also included. The Chief Technical Officer at IPR, Dennis M. Kornegay, developed the London programming and user interface software.

Patrick had originally installed the system and was thus the most obvious choice to undertake the upgrade.

As Anderson explained: “He was the logical choice to go to, both for purchasing and integrating the console.”

“It was a seamless transition going from the old analog wiring to the new digital system,” continued Anderson who chose the 96-input option of the console. “I am still learning the aspects of digital mixing, but the board is everything I imagined and more.”

In order to help Anderson learn the new board he attended Soundcraft’s “Mixing with Professional” sessions which was conducted by Gert Sanner in Northridge, California.

“It was perfect,” added Anderson. “The class was four hours long and I came away with information that made everything easier. My favorite feature on the console is the Vistonics, which allows me to see all channel settings at the same time. I also like the GPIO (General Purpose Input/Output) for starting playback devices with the function keys or from a cue. The GPIO contacts appear on my patch bay, along with user interface connections to all playback devices, for easy configuration.”

Overall, the experience Anderson had with HARMAN in regards to the McCallum Theatre project was everything he had hoped it would be.

“I am extremely happy with the console and the support I’ve received from HARMAN and Soundcraft,” he concluded. “It is perfect for what we need and I am excited to keep learning more ways to use the board and discovering more functions and effects.”