Audio Toys Announces First U.S. Install of Audient Aztec Console

Jun 11, 2003 12:00 PM, Editors

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The first U.S. installation of an Audient Aztec console was in the popular Nightclub 9:30 in Washington, D.C. Head engineer Shawn "Gus" Vitale evaluated numerous FOH consoles for the club's sound system upgrade and found the Audient Aztec to be a perfect match. Vitale owned and operated Gus Sound, his own successful multiunit sound reinforcement company for 18 years, where he worked with popular regional acts like Fugazi, Shudder to Think, Not Even and Bruno Loves Danger.

The original Nightclub 9:30, located in downtown D.C., dates back to the early 1980s; in 1996, the club expanded to a much larger venue in Northwest Washington. The new facility features a large main room and a wrap-around multi-tiered balcony. The performance area is outfitted with movable stage and lighting/speaker truss system to accommodate for show size. Recent performances at the club include Bob Dylan, Vince Gill, The Pretenders, Joe Jackson and Norah Jones.

The upgrade from the club's Crest GTX-40 FOH console has been in the works for some time, said Vitale. "We've been planning this major upgrade for over a year. It was essential that I make the best decision for the club and for the performers. We host multiple-act shows nearly every night of the year with styles ranging from world music to alternative rock to folk to R&B and metal, so I needed to find a top-notch console that was flexible enough to handle just about anything. Who would be using the console was a very important consideration. I wanted to make sure that the board was both comprehensive in its feature set and, at the same time, a comfortable fit for incoming tour engineers."

The Aztec frame can be fitted with 32, 40 or 48 mic/line input channels, and all models include two additional stereo line-level inputs and stereo "ambience" microphone inputs to facilitate in-ear monitor mixing. "The inclusion of stereo aux sends is also very handy for the occasions when the front-of-house engineer wants to retain control of the main performer's in-ear monitors," Vitale said. "Two well-implemented and extremely useful features of the Aztec are the peak-reading, eight-segment input meters on every fader pack, and the fact that Audient included balanced sets of insert inputs and outputs on just about everything: channels, mains, subgroups, auxiliary sends." The console also features 12 auxiliary outputs configured as eight mono and two stereo sends, plus eight subgroup outputs and a 12x8 matrix.

Vitale sends a stereo mix from the Audient console to Klark-Technik DN3600 programmable equalizers and dbx 480/260 Driverack processors before feeding a wall of 18 Crest Audio CA 12 amplifiers (nine amps per side). The club's stereo mains system comprises 12 EAW KF850E fullrange cabinets and eight SB1000Z sub cabinets. Four KF850Es are flown above each side of the stage for general and upper-level fill, with two more KF850Es and four SB1000Z subs stacked on either side of the stage.

For more on the Aztec, visit www.audiotoys.com. Check out the club at www.930.com.






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