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Sussex Regional Theatre Upgrades To DiGiCo with Autograph

Idyllically located in 38 acres of woodland yet close to the town centre of Crawley in Sussex, The Hawth Theatre celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2018 and is a regular host of both successful West End productions and world-famous companies and orchestras. The venue includes two indoor performance spaces and one outdoor - the 855-capacity main auditorium and the 146-seat Studio, plus an amphitheatre performance area in the woodland at the rear of the theatre, often used during the summer months.

The theatre recently sought the assistance of Autograph Sales & Installations when it was time to upgrade their main house console. After some consultation, Autograph’s Peppe Mallozzi recommended a Dante-equipped DiGiCo SD12, supplied with two D2 racks (one each for stage left and right) including an Aviom card for easy integration of their existing IEM systems.

Ben Losh, Technical and Maintenance Manager at the Hawth, recalls, ‘Our old console was giving up the ghost - its operating system was not very user friendly and relied upon users having had previous experience with it. Its audio quality was also a concern and we were aware of DiGiCo’s great reputation for sound quality. We also saw a lot of DiGiCo desks coming through the theatre on various touring productions.’

‘Originally we had an SD9 on demo and we were also interested in the T software but once Bob and I saw the SD12 then I knew that it was what we needed. To have a desk that is accessible for both advanced and not so advanced users is essential for us given our varied output at the Hawth. Personally (as someone who grew up with analogue desks) it also seemed very straightforward and recognisable almost immediately.’

The Hawth’s resident Sound Technician Bob Willis concludes, ‘I have to say the improvement in sound we are getting is quite incredible, there’s clarity in the system now that was never there before and already I’ve had multiple good comments from companies and even cameramen about the quality.’

‘For me, coming from musical theatre world, DiGiCo was the obvious choice. Nothing beats their snapshot and automation system and I personally find SD consoles to be the best sounding and easiest and quickest to use. Plus the support from Peppe and DiGiCo tech support is top notch!’

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