DiGiCo helps transform Midtown Ventura venue
Tuesday, 4 October 2022
venturaNathan Kipp (left) and production manager Courtney Panton at the venue’s new DiGiCo SD12 mixing console at FOH
USA - What used to be Discovery, a party-themed space in Midtown Ventura, the heart of that coastal suburb north of Los Angeles, tried to be all things to all customers, offering distractions like bowling, foosball, and shuffleboard, as popular for kids’ parties as any of the music events it also hosted. But Covid and other circumstances made that scattershot strategy much less tenable, and the venue closed up in 2020 after seven years.
In its place, Ineffable Music Group, an Oakland-based “independent coalition of artists, managers, and promoters” that organises music festivals focused on “smaller, secondary markets” re-opened the space as Ventura Music Hall this past March as part of its mission to bring first-class concerts to those markets. “Our focus is music,” Thomas Cussins, co-founder and president of Ineffable Music Group, said. “We’re not party people - we book bands.”
Underscoring that intent, Ineffable Music chose a pair of DiGiCo SD-Range consoles as the flagship audio technology for the renovated 635-capacity venue: an SD12 at front of house, mixing the room’s d&b V-Series loudspeaker system, and an SD9 console, used for monitor mixing on d&b M4 wedges, each paired with a D2-Rack. The two consoles are linked to the PA system via MADI: the SD12 on coax cable and the SD9 over Cat-5 cabling.
The choice of the DiGiCo consoles, which were sold through and installed by Schubert Systems Group, was an easy one, says Courtney Panton, Ventura Music Hall’s production manager. “DiGiCo is what almost every touring artist coming here already uses,” says Panton, who previously worked at the original Brooklyn Bowl location in New York City, also a DiGiCo SD12 house. “It’s simply the premier board for music. We have bands that have their own, and are happy they don’t have to unload and set up their console when they’re here, and young bands that we’re introducing to DiGiCo for the first time.”
Dirk Schubert, senior partner at Schubert Systems Group, lives in nearby Ojai, making his connection to this venue and project personal. “Ventura Music Hall is in my backyard, so I wanted it to be the best-equipped venue in Ventura County and the number-one choice for artists playing the area,” he says. “SSG predominantly caters to touring artists and large events in general, so our original spec for the venue was somewhat ‘tour-centric.’
“Thankfully, Courtney has had a lot of experience working for top-shelf club venues and suggested some changes to the mic complement, cabling and splitter that were really smart choices. So we were happy to accommodate him to help fulfill our goal of making the venue the best it could be.”
Since it reopened, Ventura Music Hall has already hosted a variety of major touring artists, including Thievery Corporation, Flogging Molly, Switchfoot, Trevor Hall, Mike Campbell, SOJA, The Garden, Hot Chip, Citizen Cope, Weyes Blood, and many others. Plus, Allen Stone, Mat Kearney and Hermanos Gutierrez, Bad Suns, and Atmosphere will all be performing there soon.

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