Sound technician Terry Aalders
Canada - Calgary's Epcor Centre is one of the most vibrant centres of the arts in western Canada, annually attracting over 600,000 people to around 960 events. This year the venue has invested in no less than six DiGiCo mixing consoles, the direct result of the positive experience with a single example installed in 2012.

Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts (then known as the Calgary Centre for Performing Arts) was officially opened in 1985 by Dr Martha Cohen, Sandra LeBlanc and Vera Swanson, three women who were instrumental in establishing and raising funds for the facility. It is housed within two historic buildings - the Burns Building, constructed in 1917, and the 1931-built Calgary Public Building.

Covering six floors and over 400,000ft2 (nearly 37,200m2), it is one of the three largest performing arts centres in Canada and features seven performance spaces, five of which now feature DiGiCo mixing consoles, all supplied by DiGiCo's Canadian distributor, Gerr Audio.

Home to the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and featuring one of Canada's largest pipe organs, the Carthy Organ, the 1800-seat Jack Singer Concert Hall is the centre's largest and most prestigious venue. A DiGiCo SD5 with full Waves SoundGrid Pro package is installed at the Front of House mix position, with an SD10 at monitors and an SD8/24 in an isolated booth. Two SD-Racks and a SD-Nano Rack provide a total of 104 inputs and 88 outputs.

The 850-seat Max Bell Theatre is a proscenium-style venue and features a DiGiCo SD7T with full theatre package, set up to move between the FoH position and an isolated booth. Two SD-Racks and an SD-MiniRack provide a total of 144 inputs and 112 outputs.

The intimate, 450-seat Martha Cohen Theatre features tiered seating, which forms a three-quarter circle around the performing area, eliminating separation between the audience and performers. Here a DiGiCo SD9T with full theatre package and two D-Racks are installed, while the 185-seat Engineered Air Theatre features an SD11i console and one D-Rack.

A further DiGiCo SD11i is employed as a utility console, for example for performances in the Jack Singer Concert Hall lobby and as an easily portable monitor console. A DiGiCo Little Red Box and DiGiGrid MGB allow digital splitting of the two SD11i S, and 64 channels of multi track recording and virtual sound check capability in the concert hall, respectively.

"We installed the first DiGiCo products - the SD8/24 and one of the SD-Racks in the Jack Singer Concert Hall - in 2012. Their proven performance led us to invest much more in DiGiCo this year," says Jack Jamieson, head sound technician for Jack Singer Concert Hall.

"What really impressed us was the audio quality, especially running the consoles at 96KHz with the SD-Racks. The ability to share i/o racks digitally with multiple consoles was another major plus point, allowing the interoperability of multiple console designs within one system. The improved channel count and extra features available on the SD11i were a major selling point for us, as it makes it an extremely powerful console in a very small foot print."

(Jim Evans)

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