Anyone Digital??


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Considering the everexpanding nature of our industry, I was wondering how many of you have adopted new technologies such as digital consoles or processors, how many actually use VCAs, etc.
Basically I'm trying to get ideas rolling that may help people who aren't seeing this as viable to see other ways to use it. And to have people who diss it to express why.
Use digital processors and effects processors, but other than that I wish I was using a VCA console. That is probably the biggest thing I'd liek to get a VCA console. But they're so expensive, you can only afford them with a the smaller configurations. Digital Consoles are very nice, I've messed around the PM1D, PM5D, and OV1.
I'm sooo waiting to get my hands on a PM5..I got a Digico D5 over here in FS and a Yamaha DM2000
Did you say digico D5, I've been dying to get my hands on one of those babies. It seems like it'd be a little weird to work with them, I'm used to seeing a full channel strip. Thats one thing that kinda fuses me with digital consoles is you don't have analog style where you can just react to the knob/fader. But these digital consoles are definitely the way to go with theater, have you ever seen the lion king. The cues in that show would be impossible to do by hand.
Yeah, thats the cool thing about doing lighting as well, you get used to the touchscreens and the different formats of consoles.
I remember that Seussical The Musical had a digital board that was actually just a control surface for Aphex preamps backstage. The saved tons of seatng by using that format. Albeit, the damn thing looked like an old Frankenstein movie, poor operator had stuff towering all over the place. :twisted:
I use Ashlea Protea's for my monitor rig, and some digital effects processors for front of house, but beyond that I don't like the digital world for live sound. We rented a Soundcraft MH4 for one of the stages we're doing this weekend, it has VCA's and such but is still analog (it's pretty!).
what is cool for theatre is a software program called
Q Manager, (

Allows you to set up your cues, with all the appropriate samples, and just sit there and hit go, (even a lighting op could work it...)

and the full version allows midi triggering, etc.

very neat
Hey don't start with the lighting ops man!!! I do both lighting, sound and am a DJ..3 things that constaltly fight with each other!!!
I have seen tons of those kind of software and tested a buch. Some are really cool, and will allow u to trigger from all kind of sources, even relays to trigger CD players. Some suck...big time.
As for VCAs, coolest thing I've used are CADAC consoles which have a small display on top of every VCA master so you can write the name of whichever character is using the mic or what the group has, and it will change as u change the cues...really awesome stuff.
At my school we have a digital offboard processor/drive-rack unit in addition to our digital reverb and delay units. The only digital console I've touched was a PM-1D that I helped to move on my internship. I saw it being used and it was very cool. I'd like to get to use a digital or a VCA console and hopefully in time it'll happen.
Well, I'm noticing drive rack units have become the norm even at school theatres. Makes sense as most of them are great and not that expensive. We manage a theatre back in Argentina and we had a DR260 as a norm in mono, and we just added one to get stereo. There's also a Protea to manage delayed speakers. 5 rack units and more stuff you could fit into a whole drive rack!!
To answer the Thread topic, i operate an Innovason Compact Live Sy40. A question that i had is what is the difference between a drive rack and a media matrix? We had a drive rack at my HS and here at WSU, we have a media matrix, they seem similar.
A dbx Driverack handles EQ, Compression, X-Over, Limiting, etc. All the thing needed to run amps and speaker systems, but that is as far as it'll go.
A Media Matrix is programmable to basically do anything you want. They are incredibly nifty devices, you can use them as mixers, EQ, compression, Driveracks, delays. It doesn't only replicate the old drive racks at FOH, but basically an entire signal chain or component in the signal chain.
Our sound guys use a lot of driverack dsp. The main FOH guy uses a computer program to adjust the sound but I'm not sure exactly what it is.

With lighting, I have been using a pc based controller since about 1997.

I am in the process of setting up a system for a retail store. It will have 4 Mac 250+ with all custom gobos. Control is LightJockey, and I will be using the Manager software to trigger different lights to start up at different times of day, run through their programs, etc. I am also installing 2 dmx controlled cd players to trigger announcements and to play music to go along with the announcements. Last year we just had some lighting in the store on a more random sequence, and people stood around outside to watch. It got so bad they had to get a permit for outdoor dining so we could block off part of the sidewalk for a viewing area. Don't ask me how a jeweler got a permit for outdoor dining. Guess it pays to have a friend in the mayor's office. But I digress.

And BTW, can we stop with all the sound vs. lighting vs. performer crap. It's just stupid.
DMX CD players? I would love to see that, got any brand/model number?
In a lot of the cases the PC you are seeing to "adjust the sound" can be the GUI for the driverack unit. It could also be something like the Media Matrix or one of the many programmable DSPs around that perform various things. Some of these units are really really good at what they do, and they cost a fortune, but you have from the normal functions such as a parametric EQ to weird things such as freqency selective compressing, and I've seen some weird processors invented in those things.
I have used the dbx Driverack series a lot, and I love them, now I get to play with big toys like KT speaker processors, and those ROCK!!! Still, they cost almost double than the Driverack series.
The noise boyz hate the lampies, wich hate the videots, which hate the pyromaniacs. But its all cool, we are all united to hate the performers!!!

JK, it just makes it fun man, you'll learn that this is the only way to maintain sanity sometimes! It's all in good spirit.

dmx controlled stuff, from cd players, to screen roll ups. Be prepared for a lot of headaches with customs, currency conversion, and stuff like that as this company is in Denmark.

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