Launched at the NAB exhibition in Las Vegas in April, the mc_56 follows the earlier mc_66 and mc_90 desks, and is said to offer "full mc_ performance in a reduced surface with compact dimensions".
Designed by British architectural firm Grimshaw, EMPAC incorporates a 1,200-seat concert hall, a 400-seat theatre, two black-box studios, four artist-in-residence studios, a cafe and a lobby area.
After an extensive search, EMPAC director Johannes Goebel and his associates opted to construct EMPAC's AV infrastructure around a Lawo Nova 73HD router, two Lawo mc_56 digital production consoles, and a VSM (Virtual Studio Manager) management system.
In addition to being the first installation of Lawo's new mc_56 console in the US, the project also represents the country's first complete VSM implementation covering both video and audio.
The system's I/O architecture revolves around the Nova 73HD route, equipped with 12 DALLIS frames for I/O and tied to a series of moveable stage boxes located throughout the facility. The two mc_56 consoles - each with its own Lawo plug-in server for DSP - are networked with the router and can share the various inputs and outputs. Both consoles can be moved throughout the complex as required.
Meanwhile, EMPAC's VSM system comprises 14 virtual displays and will ultimately encompass all audio routing, both mc_56 consoles, and the interface for the facility's HD video production equipment.
"[Lawo] has been extremely supportive and even loaned us two mc_66 consoles while our mc_56 desks [were] being assembled and configured," said Goebel. "It's hard to imagine having a better partner."