Located approximately halfway between Nashville and Knoxville on Interstate 40, Cookeville, TN has quietly become a thriving micropolitan area known for its strong economy and many artistic and cultural opportunities. At the heart of the city’s cultural community is the Cookeville Drama Center, which is now home to a new Soundcraft MH2 console.
Owned by the City of Cookeville and operated by the Department of Leisure Services, this intimate 458-seat theatre is frequently packed for its award-winning Drama Center Backstage series, Cookeville Children’s Theatre productions, and a variety of other special performances and events. Most recently, the center hosted a production of the Tony Award-winning play Foxfire and a concert by International Bluegrass Association award winners Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver.
In December of 2006, the Center replaced its old FOH board with a 48-channel Soundcraft MH2 console. Brandon Walls, the Center’s cultural arts technician, explains why the MH2 was their choice: “In addition to some great word-of-mouth and many recommendations, I have to say that versatility is one of the main reasons that we went with the MH2. We have a wide variety of events at our center, from intimate plays to dance performances and the occasional concert. In a theater of our size we don’t want to have to do a lot of rewiring and re-patching for the different shows.”
Saying that the MH2 replaced an old sound board may be an understatement, considering that the previous desk was installed in 1982, only three years after the facility first opened its doors. According to Walls, “Although it was a fairly heavy-duty board, it had no features. Production trucks that would come in would need audio feeds and we weren’t able to give them that. So this new board is quite a step up for us.”
The MH2 has been used heavily since its installation and received glowing comments from the staff. “The board has a great layout and was easy for our operators to step up to without much of a learning curve,” notes Walls. “For our productions we use a couple of CD players and a MiniDisc and everything is run from our board. We are very happy with it so far, especially the sound quality.”
When asked about his favorite features, Walls replies, “I’m having a great time with the VCAs, and, although I haven’t had a chance to use them yet, I really like the idea of the mute groups and look forward to working with them.”