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Custom Snake for Live Entertainment

Jul 26, 2012 9:36 AM

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From its first use as a dance hall on New Year’s in 1948 to a fully modern performance facility reopening this year on New Year’s, the Golden Civic Centre is Golden B.C.’s great success.

“They opened it for a dance with 400 people without any heat or plumbing back then,” says Bill Usher, executive director, Kicking Horse Culture. “They brought in wood stoves and vented through the windows. They must have had outhouses too…hardy pioneer stock!”

Local company Siega Productions took part in the process of re-envisioning the old building from day one in 2006 when the community of 7,000 made the restoration and renovation of their cultural center their number one priority. Having supplied live sound and technical services to Kicking Horse Culture and the town of Golden for eight years, Siega Productions was one of the first companies brought in to consult. At 63 years old, the building was worn, tired, full of asbestos, was not wheelchair accessible, or technically equipped to host any performance to a high standard.

“We were there from the very beginning to ensure all the good work being done to bring the building up to code structurally and other cosmetic work would work with what we needed to do to fit the building with audio/visual equipment,” says John Siega.

Now a state-of-the-art performance venue, marrying the traditional charm and character of the original building with new technologies was Siega’s challenge. Kicking Horse Culture intends to invite CBC (Canadian public broadcaster) to simulcast and record future shows at the Golden Civic Centre. Siega chose to work with Radial Engineering’s custom shop to design and build a 32-channel main audio snake/split snake.

“The snake was custom made for this job and is perfect,” Siega says. “At this time the snakes make up all the audio supplied for the job as no PA system was installed, but [that] will be revisited in the future.” The snake systems also include several sub snakes, a back-line sub snake, and a front-line sub snake.

“The main snake panel is wall mounted at the stage manager’s position and serves as a termination point for the FOH DMX and VGA runs as well as all the audio.” Siega continues. “The split snake design was done to allow for traditional monitor mix feeds as well as recording truck feeds due to the fact the building is set up with a mobile recording truck conduit feed. I chose Radial for this job because their gear is top of the line.”

The pride of accomplishment is evident from everyone connected to this great community achievement. “Now we'll have a place that artists will love to perform in and audiences will just to love to come to,” Usher says. “It's warm, cozy, and not one bad seat in the house. Plus, you're sitting in a place that has so many memories stored away in the walls.”

Product at work:

Radial Custom Shop

Radial’s Custom Shop has produced snakes and panels for hundreds of clients, including the Grand Ole Opry, CBS, Cirque du Soleil, Sony, and several houses of worship. This project included a custom 24x8 XLR wall panel with a built-in 24x8 XLR split on the panel itself; the back of the panel was hardwired to 100ft. of cable that lead to a 24x8 XLR fanout at FOH. For direct patching to the wall-panel split-input panel, the stage was outfitted with a 50ft. Radial 16x4 Roadster SX floor box to XLR fanout as well as a 50ft. Radial 8x4 Stage Flea floor box to XLR fanout. The XLR split portion of the panel can connect to a monitor or recording desk via a custom 25ft. 24x8 XLR fanout-to-fanout snake.

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