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QEII Conference Centre Is Transformed By Dan Dugan Automixing

June, 2013

London’s Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre (QEIICC) is one of the UK’s leading corporate venues. Hosting over 400 meetings and events per year, its conference facilities have been significantly enhanced by the installation of a pair of DUGAN-MY16 automixing cards in Yamaha M7CL-48 digital mixing consoles.

Located a short distance from the Houses of Parliament, the Government-owned venue is self-funding - actually returning a dividend to the Exchequer each year. Yamaha already has a significant presence in the area, with high profile installations at nearby Westminster Abbey and Central Halls, and the DUGAN-MY16 is enjoying an equally enthusiastic reception at the QEIICC.

“We used an analogue automixer system on a few events with our older consoles, with varying degrees of success. It was quite fiddly to set up and operate,” says Dan Cecchini, Head of Sound at the QEIICC. “Our production manager, Derek Chalmers, saw the DUGAN-MY16 card in use at InfoComm last year and was so impressed that we bought a pair as soon as he returned.”

Permanently installed in the Yamaha M7CLs, which can be moved throughout the Centre’s facilities, the Dugan cards are primarily used in the two largest conference spaces, the 700-capacity Churchill Auditorium and the Fleming and Whittle Rooms, which can seat up to 1300 delegates. It’s no exaggeration to say that they have transformed the working lives of the Centre’s technical staff.

“The Dugan cards have completely changed the way I mix conferences,” says AV/IT Sales Manager Sarah Page. “I can spend more time listening and tweaking the individual EQs, etc, instead of watching a top table of 15 like a hawk, trying to guess who will speak next.

“Quality audio records are vitally important to the events we host, especially for AGMs, with our recordings quite often sold on or employed by clients in event DVDs, podcasts, webcasts and other uses. The Dugan card has vastly improved the quality of our recordings - there is no more unintelligible panel discussion.”

“We have a large amount of audio content to deal with on some of the higher profile broadcast-type events and the Dugan card gives us the confidence to focus on other aspects of the mix, knowing that the elements the Dugan cards deal with are being looked after safely,” adds Dan. “The ability to split the system in two, effectively having two auto mixers mixing different groups of microphones is amazing. It’s like having another pair of hands and is invaluable on some events.”

“Yamaha’s support has also been fantastic,” says Sarah. “The cards were really easy to install, but we were still given hands-on help with system integration and on-site training. We're hoping to have another training day with Yamaha for some of our freelance operators in the near future. The more skilled operators we have, the better. We are absolutely delighted with the cards - so much so that we are looking to buy at least two more asap.”

“Everyone who uses it says it is a game changer for mixing corporate audio,” says Dan. “There's surely some sort of witchcraft going on inside the cards - I don't know how the algorithms work so well, but they are exceptionally good. Missed cues and late fade-ups are a thing of the past and, especially, no woolly-sounding panel sessions. In terms of quality, the positive change has been dramatic.”


Products M7CL , DUGAN-MY16
Location London, UK

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