Saskatoon's TCU Place

Saskatoon's TCU Place

As TCU Place Arts & Convention Centre’s Technical Services Manager, Devin Ferguson has overseen all the technical aspects and infrastructure for the convention and theatre sides of the facility since 2019. In doing so, ensuring TCU Place’s production team has the equipment they need to meet the facility’s evolving needs is critical and was a significant factor behind the recent purchase of two DiGiCo Quantum Series consoles, a Q338, and a Q225.So, too, were DiGiCo’s rider-friendliness, GerrAudio’s ability to deliver the Quantum consoles, and willingness to provide dedicated and ongoing support for the venue and the console's end-users.Ferguson hadn't worked with GerrAudio before starting at TCU Place. "But the venue has had a relationship with Gerr for 20 years,” he says. “So, I was lucky to inherit that. Gerr's always been there in lockstep with TCU – getting parts, troubleshooting, looking for new tech, making sure we’re well looked after. So, dealing with them for the DiGiCo purchase was fantastic.”While TCU Place has relied heavily on GerrAudio distributed products over time - including two Meyer Sound Melodie Powered Line Array PAs, a Meyer UPJ down-fire rig, and Clear-Com intercom technology, this marks the venue’s first foray into the DiGiCo ecosystem.Located in Saskatoon’s downtown core, TCU Place is a highly versatile facility. Between its 104,000 square feet of configurable convention space and its 2,074-capacity soft-seater, the Sid Buckwold Theatre (home to the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra), TCU hosts everything from local events such as weddings, dance recitals, and graduation ceremonies to touring artists, musicals, and guest speakers. Although Ferguson had considered DiGiCo for an early upgrade on the convention side, it wasn’t until 2023 he decided to pull the trigger. “Part of the reason we went with DiGiCo on this was the conversations I had with GerrAudio’s Western Canadian rep., Shawn Hines. We know a lot about the equipment, but there’s some knowledge you only get when you’re dealing with it daily, so having access to Shawn to talk through our plans and future growth was a big selling point.”

DiGiCo’s support for legacy products and the similarity of workflow across their various product lines also played a part in the choice – for the needs of TCU’s house crew and incoming engineers. "Seeing so many tours coming in with DiGiCo SD9s and SD10s, we’re thinking we’ll get many quality years out of the Quantum consoles," he says, adding that although the consoles will live primarily in the theatre, they could easily be deployed in the convention space when necessary.While every brand has its strengths, the depth of functionality provided by the Quantum platform and the comprehensive, ongoing support offered by GerrAudio, tipped the scales in DiGiCo’s favour.“What I love about Gerr are the back-and-forth conversations about what you’re looking for in a product and aligning those needs," says TCU audio tech Nicholas Hayes. “But also their follow-up, asking what workflows or other things you found work for you. Sometimes, as an end-user, you find another approach to something, and Gerr has always been very receptive to that and fantastic at passing that (knowledge) along.”

As for the long-term utilization of the Q338 and Q225, Ferguson says: “We’re still considering that. Both can be used easily for FOH or monitors, but because the Q338 is heavier, it will likely be for monitors. We’ve only got a few shows under our belt with the consoles, but the Nodal Mixing seems like a great feature for monitors. Our monitor techs can be picky, which is great because it means that artists are happy, and tools like Nodal Mixing and Spice Rack make our technicians' jobs easier, making the artist, the client, and everybody else happy.”“The first night out with the Q225 and 32-bit I/O SD-Rack, I had a lineup of people complimenting me on the FOH mix," Hayes puts in. "And the same thing happened with the Q338 and the 32-bit I/O SD-Rack. The 32-bit I/O is an absolute game changer in quality. Having that kind of resolution and dynamics in the desk makes for a pleasurable mixing experience that’s not fatiguing to the ear for me or the audience.”

“The ability to create different textures in the desk is a powerful tool,” Hayes continues. ‘You have all the best of the SD foundation coupled with the Mustard and Spice Racks – fantastic tools to have in one’s hands. Nodal Processing is something I've always wished for as a monitor engineer over the years. Being able to take a great mix and then customize it further for someone’s specific needs the way Nodal Processing does is a game changer. I'm also a fan of being able to run a Dante card for networked I/O in the building. Another feature that caught my eye is DiGiCo’s Milan card option for (use) down the road to interface with PA systems, etc. There are lots of options with the desk and a bright future ahead.

”That’s key, particularly in the Sid Buckwold Theatre, a venue that's well known for its class-leading acoustics, large stage, and the flexibility and inviting atmosphere it offers for events of all descriptions. Extending the theatre's capabilities with DiGiCo's Quantum platform consoles will only enhance the venue’s appeal as a regular stop for Canadian and international touring artists and shows and its reputation as a vital space for the creative community locally, provincially, and beyond.“We’re happy and excited to have the Quantum consoles here and looking forward to many years of quality use, Ferguson concludes. “And, if there ever is a problem, we’ve got Gerr behind us to help us out with whatever we need. If we call GerrAudio, they’ll get back to us within the day. They’re very responsive to us and get us sorted as fast as humanly possible.”

About Gerraudio:

GerrAudio Distribution has serviced the Canadian professional audio & communications market for over forty years. The company represents top-tier equipment manufacturers based out of the UK, Europe and the USA, and provides first-class sales support and service across Canada. GerrAudio's head office is located in Brockville, Ontario - between Toronto and Montreal, with satellite offices in Western Canada and Quebec. 

Gerraudio website: