Company’s dynamic media presentations are broadcast to 15 countries and include a range of A/V content. “System T has really taken me into what feels like the next century of digital consoles.”

Verona, Wisconsin — Leading medical software supplier Epic has upgraded the audio mixing console in the multi-purpose audio facility on its campus in Wisconsin’s rolling farm country to a Solid State Logic System T platform. The new system, comprising an S500 large-format modular mixing console and dual redundant TE2 Tempest Engines plus various Net I/O interfaces, including MADI Bridge units, that handles a variety of broadcast, music production and multi-media post production projects at the studio.

Audio-visual media team leader Paul Micksch, an audio engineer, composer and producer who has been with the company since 2006, explains, “This space is used as the broadcast facility for the meetings that take place in the auditorium. I record and broadcast to 15 countries. In addition to that, I run the media team here and do a lot of production and post production for our video media, including making music beds, and for any of the other audio and video media that we use.”

A growing campus with complex A/V requirements

Founded in 1979, Epic’s ever-growing campus is home to more than two dozen office and service buildings, a 65-room training center, a 5,800-seat auditorium and the 11,400-capacity Deep Space auditorium, next to which is the audio studio. The Deep Space auditorium was built in 2013, at which time Epic installed an SSL C100 HD digital audio console, principally to broadcast software introductions and other events from the new venue. The studio, which has an attached live room, is also used to produce and post-produce media for those events and for Epic’s various products and platforms.

“We try and offer information in an entertaining way, so we demonstrate software scenarios on stage and have a skit as part of our keynote executive address,” Micksch elaborates. “Our CEO will talk to gathered attendees and we put on a demonstration of various aspects of our software theatrically. That can have all sorts of sound effects and music cues.”

In his position at Epic Micksch must truly be a jack of all trades, handling anything from audio capture through post production to broadcast mixing, plus location sound, sound design and recording, as well as composing and playing anything from pop to orchestral music. Previously, he would produce music at his home studio, but with the construction of the new auditorium and studio 10 years ago, he says, “We decided to make it a recording facility as well.”

System T: The next century of digital consoles

Micksch was so satisfied with the performance of Epic’s previous Solid State Logic console and with the company’s technical support, which continued long after the console was no longer manufactured, he says, that he jumped at the chance to install a System T when it came time to upgrade. He couldn’t be happier with the performance of SSL’s latest generation broadcast and music production platform, he says: “System T has really taken me into what feels like the next century of digital consoles.”

He elaborates, “The I/O count is great; I’ve got 192 channels that I can route, and I can set the console up in an extremely configurable way for how I mix the show. I can take individual channel counts from the unique presentations that we have in the main room, and I have a multiviewer television on which I can monitor various feeds both from the presentation and from the cameras in the room. Then I can configure the System T however I need to for whatever the show might be and put things where I need to put them. And the touchscreen surface is just so flexible.”

Audio networking was still in an early stage of adoption when the auditorium and studio were built a decade ago, Micksch says, so the infrastructure was based on MADI. With the installation of the new System T, he says, “I’ve gone Dante native, but we haven’t updated the front-of-house console, so I’m still receiving MADI over multi-mode fiber and I have SSL MADI Bridges in the system here to convert to Dante.”

Meeting next generation challenges

While it would have been possible to mix for broadcast from the venue using a live sound console, he says, the new studio space was built to meet the challenges of generating a sufficiently high-quality production from a large auditorium filled with thousands of people. “We decided that the mix for our recordings and to international folks should be produced in a different way. Broadcast sound is very different from live sound, and I don’t have the same battles in the studio, acoustically and environmentally,” he says.

Summing up the past 10 years, he says, “I’ve gotten really used to the SSL ecosystem and I love the sound that I get here. They are an extremely responsive company. I even have some good friends there now. Being a customer of SSL has been a joy.”

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