The Opéra Comique in Paris has taken delivery of an Eclipse digital mixing console from French manufacturer Innovason. Originally established during the reign of Louis XIV and also known as the Salle Favart, the theatre has been rebuilt three times and is now classified as a listed building. In the latest stage of improvements, the venue has migrated from analogue to digital for its console facility.
Limitations in terms of outputs and configuration were the principal spurs to upgrade, with Opéra Comique AV head Sebastien Arribas (pictured) and his team researching a variety of options before deciding upon an Innovason Eclipse console, which was recommended by Radio France.
Whilst the M.A.R.S. 64-track recording system enables the venue to capture shows for archive or broadcast purposes, the console’s flexible configuration enables it to undertake a variety of tasks and send audio to a host of locations.
“For example, for our current production, as well as handling FoH and monitors, we’re also sending the main mix to the dressing rooms, and we’re doing a separate mix for the media which will be used for a spot on the main eight o’clock news,” said Arribas. “We have another separate loop for the subtitle machine for the hard of hearing, and then of course there are the effects returns, talkback and so on. However, each production is different, so it’s important that we can configure the console accordingly. I have used many consoles in my time, but none as flexible and as completely configurable as the Eclipse. It’s great for visiting engineers, as we can set it up exactly as they wish with no difficulty at all. I also like that we can swap modules between the Diocore and the console depending on our I/O requirements.”
EtherSound networking capabilities are another highlighted strength of the Eclipse, which Arribas describes as “an excellent console all-round. It’s full of extremely useful features for us, such as M.A.R.S. and its ES networking capabilities, plus the onboard effects, 96 faders, etc. The preamps are superb, so it’s also an excellent-sounding product – and all of that comes in a package that weighs just 40kg. In a theatre like ours, where the console gets moved around quite a bit, that is a very important factor. All in all, we’re very happy with our choice, and the support we’ve received from Innovason has been exemplary.”
Reflecting on the theatre market in general, Innovason international sales director Marcel Babazadeh says that “the demands of traditional and modern theatres, as well as musicals, [regarding] the audio side are extremely high.” The feature set of the Eclipse – including easy access to 60 channels at once and the integrated M.A.R.S. multitrack recorder – makes it well-suited to such applications: “Easy to integrate in modern audio networks and the greatest level of personalisation on the market today. A real innovative product with a great sound.”