For the control room that serves its Grand Théâtre hall, Opéra National de Bordeaux (France) has selected a 24-fader Lawo mc²36 audio mixing console, which was installed in late August 2018. After extensive tests involving consoles from six manufacturers, the mc²36 was selected for its superior sound quality, competitive pricing and a compact footprint that fits snugly in the Grand Théâtre’s control room.
Taking advantage of the mc²36’s RAVENNA capability, the console is connected to a Lawo Compact I/O unit (32 ins/32 outs) on stage, which is chiefly used to connect microphones set up in the orchestra pit. An 8-channel Lawo A__mic 8 is available as “mobile stagebox” to connect microphones, amplifiers or active speakers positioned in other areas. The A__digital 8 serves a similar purpose, accommodating amplifiers, wireless receivers, etc., in the digital domain. Outboard effects processors stationed in the Grand Théâtre’s control room are connected directly to the mc²36’s eight on-board AES inputs/outputs. For additional ad-hoc input and output sources, the console’s 32 local ueinputs/outputs are connected to an analogue wall box.
Proud of its Italian-style build and the acoustics that go with it, the opera house in Bordeaux uses sound reinforcement during classical music and opera performances for monitoring purposes, backstage cueing and sound effects, but also for classical and contemporary ballet performances and events.
The Lawo mc²36 features local inputs and outputs for a broad range of applications, with high-quality microphone preamps. The I/O section is complemented by a DSP micro-core with an internal 512×512 port audio matrix. For maximum reliability, the mc²36 is equipped with redundant power supplies and DSP cards. Support for the Waves SoundGrid with storage of plug-in parameters in snapshot and production data is also part of the basic package.
The mc²36’s MADI tie-line port and three RAVENNA/AES67/ST2110-30/-31 Audio-over-IP ports provide future-proof connectivity for additional I/O devices and networking.
Its 21.5” full-HD touch-screens work hand-in-hand with the touch-sensitive colour-coded rotary encoders. Tasks such as VCA allocation, bus or aux assignments, and mix-minus configurations are performed intuitively via the touchscreen. The console can be readily adapted to users’ requirements by adjusting the channel display. The metering automatically scales to the maximum available space, showing all fader levels permanently on the HD display. From its pro-grade microphone preamps to its DSP processing algorithms, the mc²36 provides a level of sound quality never before achieved in this price segment.
“The mc²36’s sound quality is simply stunning,” says Lionnel Soulard, head of Audio Department of the Opéra National de Bordeaux. “And, although the desk has preserved some of the most cherished elements of the Innovason console we used to use, this is clearly an evolved, state-of-the-art mixer whose impressive potential will become apparent as we become more familiar with it.”