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  1. Example System
  2. A Dreamy Week in the Country


This show inlcuded an on-stage live band, multiple radio microphone systems, pre-recorded click-track and backing music replayed from Protools, and over 200 hundred pre-recorded voice overs.

The system was based around a Digidesign Profile mixing console, some outboard effects units and 2 computers (1 × CSC Show Control, 1 × Protools LE).

The Protools system was linked to the Profile via Firewire, and so the computer system had to be located at FOH. The Musical Director controlling it, however, was located on-stage. There was also a requirement for the MD to jump to any of the backing tracks at any time, and the FOH desk needed to be in the right memory scene to work with the selected track.

The solution was simple, and based around a CSC Show Control system. The system worked as follows:

CSC system solution

CSC sends MIDI data to the Distribution Amplifier/Thru Unit. The MIDI signal could be daisy chained, but this way if one unit fails the others will continue to work. The MIDI is then distributed to the effects units, which respond to program changes and change the effect settings in the middle of the show, and also to the Profile to set the memory state for the current scene. The MIDI data is also sent to the Protools computer.

The clever part of this system is the interaction between Protools and CSC. Whilst the Music Director has free control of the Protools computer (using his "remote extension" system on the end of the KVM link), CSC is also able to directly control the playback of the system by sending MMC commands such as Play, Stop and Locate. CSC is also set to read the timecode back from the Protools machine, and in this way, CSC can detect when Protools has reached the end of a track. A cue is set to trigger at a timecode point matching the end of the track, and an MMC locate is attached to this cue. In this way, although the MD manually starts each "track", CSC will automatically pick up on which track it is, and when it reaches the end, set the Protools timeline to the correct place for the next track. In this way, all the MD has to do is press Start, and not have to worry about cueing his next track.

Additionally, when CSC reads the first part of the timecode for a track, it can tell which track it is, and by attaching a desk change MIDI command to a cue triggered by this timecode value, the desk automatically changes to the correct state irrespective of which track the MD decides to play.

All sound effects and Voice overs in the show were also handled by CSC: the entire show having around 400 cues, all executed by a manual GO button press or by MIDI timecode, night after night.