After over two years of Covid-induced restrictions, live events and shows are back in a big way. In fact, “big” describes the nature of many of the events, too, with festivals, major tours and concerts, sports events, and other large-scale affairs especially making a comeback in the last year.
That’s part of the driving force behind the new $130 million Gateway Studios & Production Services (GSPS) facility, a massive 330,000-square-foot production and rehearsal complex sprawling across a 35-acre campus in the St. Louis metro suburb of Chesterfield, Missouri. Its largest venue of five available spaces, Studio 80, is specifically designed to accommodate stadium tours, with dimensions specifically built for an NFL football field and a grid height of 80 feet. With its official grand opening planned for Q1 of 2024, GSPS will offer tour rehearsals, conferences, and other large-scale events in the studio space for clients that need to stretch out and unfurl.
Led by a quartet of industry veterans, GSPS was established in early 2021, at which point it began amassing a large and comprehensive rental inventory of top-flight technology platforms that are on every contract rider imaginable. And when it comes to mixing audio for these events, four new DiGiCo Quantum-range consoles are now at the top of their gear list: two Quantum338 desks and a pair of Quantum5 consoles.
“We have a lot of choices but we chose the DiGiCo Quantum consoles as our upper-end flagship desks,” says GSPS Director of Audio Chris Clark, who came on in June 2021 to help develop the company’s audio division. “We were already very well established on the video production and lighting sides of the industry”—GSPS provided lighting systems for Aerosmith’s road show, as well as PA for New Order and Pet Shop Boys’ combined Unity tour—“and we wanted to start audio last summer with the best systems on the market. That definitely includes DiGiCo, and this was a great opportunity to move into the Quantum line. They are the most robust, flexible, and scalable work surfaces on the market.”
In addition to the four consoles, GSPS also acquired four DiGiCo SD-Racks and an SD-MiNi Rack, all fitted with 32-bit “Ultimate Stadius” microphone pre-amps, as well as a DiGiGrid MGB recording interface and four Waves SoundGrid Compact Extreme Server-C units with Waves Axis One 1 computers optimized to run Waves audio applications.
“The DiGiGrid MGB interface is a seamless and reliable way to connect peripherals to the consoles, such as MADI to Ethernet for Pro Tools to record performances,” Clark explains. “And the Waves SoundGrid servers’ integration is phenomenal. With the Axis 1 System, it’s a complete turnkey system.”
The Quantum consoles have already been earning their keep, with deployments ranging from multiple stages at the Governors Ball Music Festival held at Randall’s Island in New York City, to several Professional Bull Riders events, as well as numerous large-scale events and shows.. Clark says that many engineers using them have praised the Spice Rack and Mustard Processing capabilities. “They add a whole new level of depth to what the consoles can do,” he says.
David Haskell, GSPS President of Business Development, says the quality of the DiGiCo consoles is very important, but so is the equipment’s reputation in the touring and production industry, which is what will attract clients and bolster ROI. “As Chris will tell you, the DiGiCo consoles are the best available, but it’s the technical and sales support they provide that also makes them valuable to us,” he explains. “That combination of technical excellence and superb corporate support is critical to helping an undertaking of this scale succeed.”
Gateway Studios, LLC, is a privately funded production services and rehearsal facility based in Chesterfield, Missouri. For more information, visit www.GSPS.com.