New venue in central Florida hosts all-ages art, music, and theatre classes during the day,
then switches gears to become a live performance venue and bar at night
The new Pinka Expressive Arts Space in the northern Orlando suburb of Apopka has something for just about everyone. During the day, the nearly 5,000-square-foot creative space offers art, music, and theatrical instruction for students of all ages, while in the evening, the 183-capacity room transforms itself into an intimate live performance venue with a well-equipped stage and wine/beer selection. To ensure that Pinka would be an attractive draw for local, regional, and even national musicians, Owner Brittany Harvey invested in a professional-grade sound system driven by a new S21 digital mixing desk from DiGiCo.
To assist with the console choice, Harvey turned to Kevin Glendinning, an old friend that heads up artist relations for JH Audio. As the monitor engineer for A-list performers like Lenny Kravitz and Maroon 5, Glendinning has long been a fan of the large-format DiGiCo SD7, so another DiGiCo—albeit a smaller model to appropriately suit the new venue—was his immediate recommendation.
“Pinka is a really cool art and performance space with great aesthetics, and they needed an intuitive and powerful mixer with a compact footprint that could flexibly accommodate a diverse array of acts,” says Glendinning. “Britt has done a great job of hosting everything from jazz quintets and singer-songwriters to karaoke and open-mic nights; there’s a really eclectic vibe happening there and DiGiCo’s S21 perfectly fits the bill. It’s a breeze to use. Anyone who has spent any time whatsoever on a digital surface will fly right through it, in a good way. And like any other DiGiCo, you can completely customize it and make it your own.”
Sergio Leenen of Orlando-based Complete Production Resources (CPR) facilitated the installation and setup of the console, along with a pair of JBL VRX mains and subs, plus three self-powered DAS monitor wedges on stage. “The S21 provides more than enough IEM and wedge mixes for any act coming in,” Glendinning adds. “Also, having everything integrated into a single frame—all of the I/O, PSU, processing, and so on—allows the S21 to deliver a ton of versatility from a small and very budget-friendly package.”
Wendell Rivera Diaz, who serves as Pinka’s resident audio engineer, notes that he, too, appreciates the amenities of the new console. “I’m thankful to be working in such a nice venue like Pinka with the flexibility of the DiGiCo S21,” he says. “I am easily able to accommodate the artists with anything they need, from monitoring options to multitrack recordings that they can leave with, and I’m always happy working with DiGiCo products.”
For those acts that bring in their own engineers, the S21 is also a welcome sight. “The initial reaction from everyone coming in is, ‘OMG, you have a DiGiCo board in this space? How cool?!’” Harvey shares. “Every band and engineer has raved about the equipment that we have, and I totally ‘get it.’ Having been around DiGiCo consoles for many years, I was really excited to open up Pinka with one of their products running our stage from the start. It’s an honor to have an S21 in our space.”
Pinka Expressive Arts Space can be found online at www.pinkaartstudio.com.