Chicago museum installs DiGoCo S21 consoles
Monday, 11 April 2022
digicoSam Clapp, Matthew Test, and Audra Jacot at the new DiGiCo S21 console at front of house
USA - Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) has acquired and installed a pair of DiGiCo S21 audio mixing consoles.
With consulting and purchase provided by Second City Sound & Communications and integrated by SCS’s Gerry Formicola and Brad Galvin working with the MCA production team, the S21s now reside in the museum’s Edlis Neeson Theatre. The desks are each paired with a DMI-Dante card for networking, plus three DiGiCo A168 stage boxes also connected via Dante.
One console now serves as the front-of-house desk for the Neeson Theatre and is further fitted with a DMI-AMM (Automatic Mic Mixing) card. The second console is situated in the theatre’s audio/video control room where it’s used to mix streams of the events and presentations originating in the venue, and can also be called upon for monitor-mixing work when needed.
“The museum has moved to a visitor model with people inside the museum and theatre but much of what takes place here is also available via streaming,” says Matthew Test, the MCA’s audiovisual manager. “Most of the in-person events are simultaneously streamed, and the S21 in the Audio Visual room gives us the flexibility to create a unique mix for the virtual audience in addition to the one from the S21 at front of house.”
In researching the equipment for the theatre’s audio update, Test says the staff was looking for consoles that could be easily networked together and that offered versatility, flexibility, and impactful sound, but that were also small and compact, to minimize seat loss at front of house and be able to be easily moved and reconnected for other missions. The S21 checked all of those boxes, he says.
The MCA production team discovered the S21 as a result of a colleague watching a documentary about the hit musical Hamilton that mentioned the DiGiCo console used for its sound. “That led us down that path, and we learned that the S21 was everything a museum like the MCA needed,” he says. “It was affordable, yet still very powerful and flexible, and had the added advantage of being able to be integrated into the museum’s existing LAN infrastructure.”

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