SFX Goes Down Under:
The Arts Centre in Melbourne Austrailia
No doubt about it. America is mad for Australia. From the
thrilling exploits of The Crocodile Hunter to the background
story of the East Australian Current (EAC) in Finding Nemo,
not to mention those puzzling vegemite sandwiches,
Australia's cultural influence has started to rub off on the
US and has perpetuated the insatiable fascination with this
So it makes perfect sense that Stage
Research and SFX
would bring their unique sound solutions to the land
down under. Recently, SFX
found its way into The Arts Centre in Melbourne.
From their website, The Arts Centre is described as
"the flagship of the performing arts in Victoria, and the
focal point of Melbourne's cultural precinct." The Arts
Centre is owned by the people of Victoria, and in
association with some of Australia's top performing arts
companies, offers a unique diversity of arts and
entertainment choices all year round."
SFX via the Layla Echo external sound module is
interfaced with the o2R-96 Yamaha console via light pipe.
Arts Centre Sound engineer, Jason Davidson, at the console
preparing cues on SFX for the Production of Sapphire
Playhouse by the Melbourne Theatre Company
production manager for The Arts Centre, Darren
describes his how using SFX
has changed the way the Centre designs sound.
"Prior to SFX, The Arts centre
sound department was using 2 x mini disc players and a
24-channel audio mixing console. After about 3 years the
arts centre cost of maintaining our mini disc players over
our venues become very costly an average of $3K per year."
According to Golding, most of that money was used to
keep lasers and spindle motors in running order. The Centre
needed to find an alternative for playing sound cues in
Enter Stage Research's SFX. SFX's simple
interface and easy installation made it a perfect match for The
Arts Centre sonic challenges. SFX solved
Golding's problem quickly, instantly giving the stage managers
more freedom and flexibility during the many productions.
"Analog equipment can be difficult to maintain
correct volume levels of sound cues and fade-outs etc. This puts
extra duties on Stage Management personnel. The Sound department
at the Arts Centre needed to invest equipment that allowed
simple operation of sound cues and also maintained sound cue
levels set by the director during rehearsal periods."
"SFX and the Yamaha o2R96 have achieved the
results we needed. The stage manager can simply push of the
space bar and SFX does the rest.
has been rock solid since it installation in the
Playhouse Theatre over 12 months ago.." Golding remarked.
That was all it took to convince The Arts Centre on
SFX. Since first using SFX, the
Centre has purchased another SFX
system for their Studio. This SFX
system will be used for the first time this month.
Yet another example of SFX making
inroads, up, down, over and around the globe.
SFX can be inserted over 40 amplifier channel across
approximately 70 speakers mounted through the
playhouse theatre auditorium
It's All About The Equipment, Baby.
It's always an adventure to see how other
theatre sounddesigns are set-up. And the Arts Centre in
Melbourne is no exception. Darren Golding gives us a
quick insight into how the Arts Centre is hooked up
Playhouse Sound Equipment
Auditorium Speaker Coverage
A left, centre, right proscenium speaker system
comprising 4 x Meyer Sound UPA-1As, with two JBL System
8 sub-bass speakers supplementing the system.
Approximately seventy Altec dual-concentric 12" speakers
are mounted into the walls and ceiling to provide a
surround sound option. This system can be run off 40
channels off QSC power amps. Stage monitoring is
provided with 4 x EVS100 Foldback/Fx speakers on two
sends. Amplifiers are Yamaha PC2002s.
The control position for the system can be in
one of three positions:
Prompt Corner Preferred position for Stage
Manager control of system.
Bio-Box Position for sound operator on a basic
Rear of stalls : Position for sound operator on
Standard Equipment included with the venue is:
1 x Yamaha 02R96 Digital mixing console.
SFX Hard disc based sequencing and playback
software and Wavelab 4.0 running on Carillon
audio PC withWindows
XP operating system and Layla Echo external
Surround sound consists of approximately 70
Altec 12" speakers (able to be patched
40 channels of QSC power amplifiers for the
surround sound system
2 x Tascam CD160 CD Players
5 x Yamaha 1027 GEQ
2 x Yamaha D1030 processors for sub crossovers
2 x Meyer bi-amp racks (2 x Yamaha PC2002 and 1
x Meyer M1 processor)
1 x Yamaha PC2002 sub amp
3 x Yamaha PC2002 for sub and foldback