ATI PII Plays Biloxi

Jun 23, 2003 12:00 PM, Editors

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The Biloxi Grand Casino on Mississippi's Gulf Coast has upgraded its multifunction showroom with the addition of a 48-input ATI Paragon II Monitor console from Audio Toys (www.audiotoys.com). The Biloxi Grand Theater is an 1,800-capacity room that hosts Broadway and Las Vegas-style productions, musical entertainment and corporate events. The ATI Paragon II was installed in mid-March to complement the existing FOH system and an extensive Clair Brothers monitor speaker system.

"The monitor rig is supplemental for guys not carrying their own stuff," explained Earl Driggers, a New Orleans native and the theater's audio engineer. "The Paragon matched what we were able to do with the Clair rig that we purchased, in terms of outputs. We've got 24 Clair 12AMs on 16 dedicated stage mixes, with two ML18s for drum subs."

Originally planning to buy a competing product, he noted, "We found that, for the same price range, we could get the Paragon. The Paragon is unparalleled in the industry for features, with a gate and compressor on each input. Plus, being able to do 32 outputs or 16 stereo mixes, there's no comparison. That's quite a nice feature to have.

"Invariably," he continued, "I wind up mixing monitors for a lot of acts that come through with [in-] ears, so one feature that I really like is the two cue buses. Having the separate wedge and ear bus, where you don't have to listen to the ears on the wedge or vice versa, is really nice. The cueing system is phenomenal, as far as versatility and what you can cue and where you can cue it. It's wonderfully laid out."

Driggers, whose first show on the newly installed monitor console was comedian, singer and impersonator Finis Henderson, noted that the Grand Theater offers an eclectic mix of artists and acts. "It runs the gamut of entertainment. We did Starlight Express for the whole month of April, which was followed by a quick turnaround to Willie Nelson. We've also got The Odd Couple, Saturday Night Fever and The Sound of Music coming, plus Sheena Easton, Clay Walker, The Temptations, Phil Vasser, Lee Greenwood, Tim Conway and Don Knotts."

At 250,000 square feet, the Biloxi Grand, which also incorporates the 12-story, 500-room Grand Casino Hotel, is the largest floating casino in the world.

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