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Chichester Festival Theatre Goes QUANTUM With Autograph

Chichester Festival Theatre has recently become one of the first regional theatres in the UK to fit the very latest Quantum Engine to its DiGiCo SD7-T.

Opened in 1962, the Festival Theatre was the brainchild of former city mayor Leslie Evershed-Martin, inspired by the Stratford Festival Theatre in Ontario which featured a revolutionary thrust design. The new theatre subsequently became the first such design in Britain for over 450 years. The Theatre’s first artistic director was Laurence Olivier, who between 1962 and 1965 established a company of actors and other theatre practitioners at Chichester who subsequently provided the nucleus of his National Theatre Company.

Already equipped with DiGiCo’s flagship SD7-T via Autograph Sales & Installations, the Theatre pre-ordered the Quantum Engine from them soon after they saw a preview of its remarkable capabilities. Quantum is actually a brand new digital audio mixing system for a fraction of the price of a new console - the only things that are retained are the control surface hardware, the console chassis and the power supplies.

The new dual redundant engines feature three FPGA processors rather than the previous one and the vast increase in processing power translates to a huge list of extended features, connectivity, i/o count and operator functionality. As a few examples of its potential, the system can now handle up to 2,000 channels across 688 processing paths at 96kH: 128 fully assignable busses can be mono/stereo groups or auxiliaries, there is a new 48×48 output matrix, dual solo busses with True Solo, and an LR/LCR/5.1 Master Buss, in addition to an amazingly comprehensive range of channel processing.

Quantum also features the remarkable patented new Nodal Processing feature, which allows processing to be applied to any node on the auxiliary section of the console so that unique processing can be applied to each send from single or multiple channels. Quantum processing expands the capabilities of the SD7 far beyond any contemporary system and does so whilst retaining the same familiar and intuitive user interface.

Mike Keniger, Head of Sound at Chichester Festival Theatre, adds, ‘Quantum was on the horizon at the time we acquired our SD7-T and making the commitment to invest in the new engines was an easy decision. Theatre is known for demanding a lot from audio systems in terms of raw channel count, flexibility, speed of programming and of course sound quality and it was obvious that the additional power being introduced with Quantum would be beneficial for future productions. The ‘little extras’ that come with the new engines – DMI slots and UB-MADI interfaces on-board – are a welcome bonus, too.’

Quantum was installed in time for Chichester Festival Theatre’s latest musical production, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s iconic Oklahoma! Chichester is particularly renowned for its summer musicals, many of which transfer to London’s West End or tour nationally and internationally.

Visit the theatre's website HERE

Photo credits: Phillip Vile

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