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The reviews are in, and the Austin American-Statesman’s Michael Barnes writes, it was the “best-ever Texas Medal of Arts Gala.” StageTech is proud to have provided the audio support for the Texas Cultural Trust biennial event.

Bill Mester was contacted by long time associate Rod Caspers, Director for the event. Rod knew that Bill and the StageTech team, possessing strong backgrounds in theatre and music, were capable of designing and implementing an audio package for this type of precision, fast-paced, high-profile event.

Concessions were made but design, function, and budget all came together. The Long Center main sound system was used and StageTech provided the Allen&Heath d-Live S7000/DM64 plus DX32 digital mixing system with nearly all 96 inputs used for front-of-house.

“The D-Live performed with ease and sonic clarity,” says Bill. “I needed to explore more deeply into control parameters than most applications require. Other than the satisfying sound and mixing experience, my knowledge of scenes and safes has vastly expanded, without any painful learning curves or embarrassing mistakes. I am always amazed when I use this console and guest engineers always find it an intuitive system.”

Backstage is where the real work takes place! Charles Mester at monitors and Mike Pignataro as wireless tech were supported by Long Center audio staff and hands. We had a plan and it worked. Troubleshooting was minimal. Rehearsals moved quickly which facilitated our limited schedule.

Charles used our tried and true Allen&Heath i-Live system with a 64-channel split with FOH. Alcons Audio VR8 speakers were used for low-profile, high-impact stage monitors. StageTech used our new Shure PSM900 IEM system and KV2 Audio EX-12P for band monitors. The 18” powered drum monitor was too big for the rolling drum riser, so we used a ground stacked configuration of Alcons Audio LR7B/LR7 line array components as drum monitors. This was a fine example of StageTech’s creative problem solving with much appreciated results (the drummer was blown away by how good it sounded).

Mike used a combination of StageTech Shure ULXD wireless microphones and LCPA Shure Axient wireless. He used the Shure Wireless Workbench computer program to coordinate all the frequencies. One notable moment came when pianist Kenny Broberg, silver medal winner of the 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, played the glorious wireless grand piano with the sound enhanced by DPA4099P microphones.

The festive evening hosted by Lauren Anderson and Ray Benson moved right along to the main musical performances by Jennifer Holiday and later Boz Scaggs performing “Lowdown” and “Lido Shuffle.” Ray Benson and Jimmie Vaughan joined Boz and band on-stage for the finale. Another highlight of the evening was the Broadway-style performances by The Long Center’s Greater Austin High School Musical Theatre Awards Select Ensemble. Also outperforming themselves was the pit orchestra lead by Adam Roberts.

In the three short weeks of production preparation prior to the show, there was much communication among production staff and artist management. I must give a special thanks to David Nordyke and Royce Gipson at ATX Backline who did an outstanding job accommodating all the additions and changes to the backline requests. Everything was in place when the artist’s crew arrived; the band had nothing to complain about, not even the M&Ms!

Thank you to everyone who worked to make this event a success in so many ways. No one could have done it alone. It takes a team.

Let StageTech, Inc. be a part of your “Best-Ever” event team.

Mester opera

StageTech founder Bill Mester recently celebrated his 20th season as Audio Designer for Austin Opera. His latest design was for the critically acclaimed performance of Silent Night, an opera inspired by historical events in 1914 when soldiers on both sides of World War I put down their arms to celebrate Christmas Eve.

Among Bill’s many productions, Silent Night stood out for its requirements for sound effects, surround sound, and live performance mix. The stage was dominated by a three-story set that represented the trenches of Scottish, French, and German soldiers. For the opening battle scene, sounds of bombs and rifle shots created the tension of life and death struggles on the front lines.

“This production was both challenging and rewarding,” says Bill.

He effectively supplemented The Long Center’s house systems with StageTech professional audio rental inventory. A variety of Alcons Audio products were deployed, including the LR7 Pro-Ribbon micro-line array for orchestra fold back monitors to principle singers on stage. Alcons VR8 Pro-Ribbon full-range speakers were stealthily rigged within the three-story set for the chorus nestled in the trenches. Alcons Sentinel amps/DSP were also used. Electro-Voice ETX-18P powered subwoofers were used to enhance the low end and EVU-2082 as rear surround sound speakers.


As reviewed in The Austin Chronicle by Trey Gutierrez:

Somewhere in the distance, a bomb’s sudden boom is met by a hellish chorus of rifle shots. In the blink of an eye, it seems, war has broken out on stage.”


Bill uses his vast experience with theatrical productions to help StageTech clients achieve dramatic effects for their events. Consult Bill for your audio-visual needs.

 

We’ve been excited about the dLive S7000 since we added it to our inventory in 2018. This is Allen & Heath’s most advanced digital console and our clients have been impressed with its look and performance. The console has recently been out at events such as the Austin Symphony POPS series, the Electric Lady Bird streaming show at the Austin Central Public Library and many touring shows at University of Texas McCullough Theatre. It was also used this year at Texas Future Farmers of America convention and The Greater Austin High School Musical Theatre Awards.

The dLive is equally capable of handling corporate needs from simple panel discussion or boardroom tasks to a full scale live product unveil or company celebration.

Firmly established at the leading edge of the new wave of digital consoles, dLive has rapidly earned its reputation for superior audio quality, next generation workflows, stunning FX and faithful processing emulations.

dLive is a distributed, integrated, scalable and accessible audio mixing solution, designed to meet the complex needs of today’s multi-purpose venues. From education facilities and houses of worship to conference centres and visitor attractions, dLive provides the tools to manage every aspect of the audio life of these venues, becoming part of the fabric of the building.

With a thriving ecosystem of apps, software, remote controllers and more, dLive is fully equipped to become the centerpiece of your next show or project. Call us today for a demonstration.