Stadium Theatre Upgrades To Professional Caliber Sound with a New Mackie Onyx Console

A new sound reinforcement system implemented at the recently renovated Stadium Theatre in downtown Woonsocket, RI is headed by a Mackie Onyx 4880 house-mixing console. Positioned at the house mix position on the main floor, the 48-channel console was selected for a variety of reasons. Topping the list were ease of use and plenty of channels, in addition to meeting a request for a board that delivers professional caliber sonic performance and features without breaking the budget.

The historic theatre, built in 1926 and eventually falling into disrepair, reopened in 2001 as a performing arts center following years of renovation work by the all-volunteer Stadium Theatre Foundation. After its reopening, sound quality within the theatre’s Grand Hall was not up to expectations, leading the foundation to seek a true pro-quality solution.

The shoebox-shaped Grand Hall offers approximately 1,100 seats split between the main floor, balcony, and side boxes. Its ample stage now hosts more than 90 events a year, including concerts, theatrical productions, and lectures. The new system was implemented by ATR/Treehouse of nearby Providence, RI, with input and support from Stadium Theatre tech director Dan Peloquin, as well as Mary Cook, Scott Jordan, and Joe Fustolo of the EAW Application Support Group (ASG).

Given the extreme differences in expertise on the part of its users from night to night, the console also had to be operator friendly while still meeting rider expectations. “In general, this system is very easy to operate,” notes Peloquin, adding, “and the Mackie console is just right, simple yet great sounding.”

The console accommodates productions that wish to utilize their own outboard effects and other processing gear. In addition, the Onyx board’s ample inputs are handy for things like expanding the number of wireless microphone systems, exemplified by a recent production where 10 extra units were rented so that every performer could be outfitted with his/her own system.

The new house system also features left and right main clusters made up of EAW AX396 full-range loudspeakers and AX122 subwoofers providing stereo coverage, with a single AX396 also mounted centrally at the stage proscenium to provide voice/spoken word reinforcement. All loudspeakers in the system are driven by EAW Commercial CAZ Series power amplifiers, with processing supplied by an EAW MX8750 digital signal processor.

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