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Versatile Thames Valley venue upgrades with Yamaha

David Davies 4 October 2011
Versatile Thames Valley venue upgrades with Yamaha

A recent update to the audio system at The Hexagon, Reading, involved the installation of a Yamaha M7CL-48ES digital console and a trio of SB168-ES stage boxes.

This combination is said to deliver the necessary flexibility and ease of configuration for a venue that hosts a wide variety of performance types – from stand-up comedy sets to spectacular musicals. The new equipment was specified by Surrey-based HD Pro Audio, who were approached by The Hexagon’s operator, Reading Arts & Venues, when the venue’s 16-year-old analogue console started to become unreliable.

Among other benefits, the Yamaha system is said to assist with The Hexagon’s movable stage, which is lowered on screw jacks for load-in/out. This facility is also used for comedy performances, where sets can be minimal. The stage is lowered, a smaller one is built further back, and more seats can be added to the stalls.

Tim Liddle, chief electrician at Reading Arts & Venues, explained: “When we have shows like that, we need to put more speakers in, and a lot of the settings have to be changed for the flown speaker clusters and front-fills. The Yamaha system allows us to make these changes instantly, which also saves a lot of time.”

Liddle – who is familiar with a host of Yamaha systems – added that the technical team was “really happy” with the new investment. “The small footprint gives us more room at the mix position, it sounds a lot better than our previous desk, and I really like the Sends On Faders feature,” he said. “It’s very intuitive – you can access things without losing your main control surface, working offline saves a lot of time and there’s no more re-patching and resetting after the gig. You just press a button and it’s there.”

Image Credit: Sam Frost

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