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New Avid install as VENUE goes ‘from strength to strength’

"Since its introduction five years ago, VENUE has been going from strength to strength in touring, and we're seeing this popularity translate into strong demand for permanent installations," Avid's David Gibbons tells PSN-e.

A VENUE live sound system supports a variety of live performances at the newly-opened Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix, Arizona, reports David Davies. MIM is billed as the first museum of its kind to collect, preserve and protect musical instruments from every country in the world and share them with the public.

With many instruments exceeding 50 years of age, the collection comprises more than 10,000 indigenous and popular instruments representing every country in the world. Objects range from the heirlooms of royal courts to handcrafted pieces passed down through successive generations of a ‘humble’ family.

Versatility, flexibility and a small footprint were among the key requirements for the live sound console in MIM’s 299-seat theatre, prompting the selection of a VENUE Mix Rack HD 64 Bundle by project integrator Sound Image. Combining a VENUE Mix Rack System with an upgraded Pro Tools |HD 3 Accel system for live sound mixing, Virtual Soundcheck and multitrack recording, the system provides MIM with considerable DSP power as well as two professional plug-in bundles. A C|24 control surface completes the set-up.

Ryan Baumann, sales engineer at Sound Image, commented: “The reliability, sound quality, and intuitive layout of the VENUE system makes it my ‘go to’ console, and it was the natural fit for us when we were evaluating live sound systems for the MIM Music Theater. From a musical perspective, the MIM Music Theater will support two to three performances a week, which can include everything from a taiko drum band to a single musician on the stage with a sitar. Given the variety and volume of performers coming through the space on a monthly basis, VENUE will help keep things running smoothly by providing MIM engineers with fantastic snapshot recall capability, allowing them to pull up settings quickly and conduct rapid soundchecks.”

Among many other applications, the MIM Music Theatre will use the Pro Tools|HD system with 32 additional channels of recording capability to capture performances for the museum’s archive. Sixteen channels of Grace Design mic pres and separate converters enable engineers to record a variety of artists and instruments at 192kHz. For video, the team added an Avid SYNC HD interface to the system, which provides SMPTE time code to sync Pro Tools sessions with the MIM’s HD digital video recorders.

Reflecting on the overall performance of the VENUE system in the UK market, David Gibbons, g-m, Live Systems at Avid, tells PSN-e: “Since its introduction five years ago, VENUE has been going from strength to strength in touring, and we’re seeing this popularity translate into strong demand for permanent installations. During the first half of 2010, we’ve seen a significant uptick in sales to a variety of these applications such as the MIM in Arizona, the Paradiso in Amsterdam, the Troubadour in LA, the American Airlines Center in Dallas, and many others internationally. Considering their flexibility, sound quality and easy learning-curve, VENUE consoles are a natural choice for clubs, theatres, arenas and houses of worship.”