Chromasound supplies DiGiCo’s Quantum 7, SD12 and SD11 consoles to the newest multi-purpose theatre and training centre in Debrecen, Hungary
Hungary’s second-largest city, Debrecen is the regional centre of the Northern Great Plain region and one of the Hungarian people’s most important intellectual and cultural spots. In August this year, the city opened the doors to a brand-new cultural jewel, Csokonai Fórum. Part of the oldest and largest theatre in Debrecen, the Csokonai Theater, Csokonai Fórum is a new multi-functional theatre and training complex, its magnificent halls and cutting-edge audio technology created to meet the needs of modern theatre productions. DiGiCo’s Hungarian distributor, Chromasound, was chosen as the audio supplier for the new venue, supplying a DiGiCo 4REA processor along with a Quantum 7, SD12, and two mobile SD11 consoles, wich are used throughout the multi-purpose facility.
“Building a new theatre from the ground up is the dream of every company, as it offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a new historic landmark,” says Gábor Gallai, project manager at Chromasound. “The experts working on this project wanted to establish a modern theatre complex that also brings the classic vibe of the city’s much-loved Csokonai Theater to its visitors.”
In 2020, after looking for a company capable of implementing the theatre’s plan to ensure the smooth operation of a newly built, contemporary Csokonai Fórum with multiple event rooms and a variety performances, from classical plays with an orchestra to modern pieces and live concerts, Chromasound was chosen as the preferred audio equipment supplier.
“We were absolutely thrilled to be able to support theatre’s team and bring this remarkable project to life,” continues Gábor Gallai. “The brief was short and clear – the audio technology had to be future-oriented so it would last for many years, be both versatile and easy to handle, whilst delivering exceptional sound quality.”
The 9,000m2 facility boasts three spacious multi-purpose auditoriums: the Zoltán Latinovits room that can accommodate up to 350 people; the Árpád Kóti room, built for 150 people; and, finally, the Aszimmetria Restaurant, that is also suitable for theatre productions.
One of the most spectacular areas of the building is the foyer, with its incredibly high ceiling housing thousands of lights that look like the stars in the night sky. The foyer was also the most challenging part of the project for the contractors from an architectural point of view. “That makes the final result all the more rewarding for the theatre team. It’s absolutely stunning!” exclaims Gábor Gallai.
With the Csokonai Theater using DiGiCo’s SD9 for many years, there was no question about which consoles would be installed in the new venue.
“It had to be DiGiCo,” says Daniel Enyedi, audio expert at Chromasound. “Their flexibility, rock-steady reliability and exceptional sound quality, combined with an intuitive workflow, meant there was no other option. Not to mention that such a complex network of consoles, I/O racks and locations could not be handled any other way.”
Following equipment delivery and installation, which took additional time due to pandemic lockdowns, every area of the Csokonai Fórum theatre has now been equipped with DiGiCo’s creative mixing solutions.
“The flagship console of our DiGiCo fleet is the Quantum 7 – the first of its kind in Hungary – which now serves the Zoltán Latinovits hall, the theatre’s largest space,” Daniel Enyedi explains. “An SD12 is used in the slightly smaller studio stage, Árpád Kóti, with both setups using SD-Racks populated with DiGiCo’s exceptional 32-bit cards. The two mobile SD11s offer flexibility and can be used adhoc in any location within the theatre, depending on the production type and the size of the room.”
DiGiCo’s Quantum 7 serves as a centrepiece, offering exceptional processing power, redundancy and ground-breaking new tools that “make even the most difficult ideas possible, giving limitless creative freedom to the team,” adds Daniel Enyedi. “Additionally, the theatre’s diverse programme also required in-ear monitoring, with transparent immersive mixes via a KLANG:fabrik processor.”
Bálint Rédei, head engineer at Chromasound further notes that each device and location is connected via the venue-wide Optocore network running at 96 kHz. “This gives us the stability and speed needed in such a multi-functional facility, and the possibility to expand the system in the future,” he says.
With the daily operation requiring maximum flexibility, a Dante network is also being used to connect other devices, such as A168D and A164D IO expanders, microphone receivers and the in-ear system.
Sitting at the heart of the system is the 4REA4 processor, linking both networks and carrying out tasks such as connecting to the background music and intercom systems, or taking over duties on piano rehearsals, director’s mic service, etc. “Basically, it takes care of all operations where no sound technician is needed, with the processor fulfilling an important 24/7 job reliably and in the background,” Bálint Rédei says.
András Endi, Live Sound Engineer at Csokonai Színház [the holding company for Csokonai Theatre and Csokonai Fórum] expressed his view on why they wanted from DiGiCo from the very beginning.
“From the outset, we wanted to have a DiGiCo solution implemented throughout the Csokonai Fórum because we knew it was the best brand for theatre productions. Following the installation, our opinion of the brand and the system have remained unchanged; DiGiCo is ‘the’ brand for theatres.
“We love DiGiCo consoles, they offer us the most beautiful sound and exceptional flexibility. All the functions are readily available and can be reached easily with just the press of a button. We are also in awe of DiGiCo consoles’ versatility – whether it’s a live music show, a musical or an opera, they deliver an equally great performance.”
With the theatre audio crew already familiar with the SD-Range, giving an overview of the complete system was easy and straightforward for Chromasound. “Even though the team was well versed on the consoles’ features and interface, they were and are still amazed by how much DiGiCo consoles let them be part of the creative process,” says Daniel Enyedi. “This also gives inspiration to the other departments within the theatre.”
Following the official opening of the Fórum in August this year, the company has begun a major renovation project on Debrecen’s oldest and largest theatre, Csokonai Theatre.
“Now that the Csokonai Fórum is fully open and running a diverse theatre programme, we are working very closely with the Csokonai Színház theatre group to bring DiGiCo’s sound signature to the historic Csokonai Theatre, a project we hope will also be completed with flying colours very soon,” concludes Gábor Gallai. “DiGiCo has been invaluable during the entire process, from the first sketches of planning to the official opening in August, they have always offered us great support and were able to deliver the consoles in a timely manner. We look forward to continuing working with DiGiCo on the Csokonai Theatre project and many more in the future!”
Maria Fiorellino at DiGiCo
Tel: +44 1372 845600
Sarah James at Gasoline Media
Tel: +44 1483 223333
It had to be DiGiCo
Before downloading this file please read and consent to the EULA.DOWNLOAD