ADLIB AUDIO CUTS TO THE CHASE: SOUNDCRAFT Vi6 DIGITAL CONSOLE IS “BOARD OF CHOICE” FOR SCISSOR SISTERS TOURS
ADLIB Audio has placed an initial order for two new Soundcraft Vi6 digital audio consoles, after the desk turned in a perfect performance at rehearsal sessions for the Scissor Sisters in London. Dave Kay of ADLIB confirms that the Vi6 is his “board of choice” for their forthcoming US and UK tours.
First blood to ADLIB then, as the sound rental company that gave the Soundcraft Vi6 its first examination in a frontline live environment.
After just one gig at a student venue (engineered by ADLIB’s Richy Nicholson), Dave Kay was confident about putting the new console in front of the Scissor Sisters, as they prepared for their summer festival dates. “It’s a very stable digital platform, delivering fantastic audio quality,” said Kay. “It’s the first digital console I’ve used where the metering and the dynamics behave like an analogue console. The Vi6 uses the same language as an audio engineer, and I feel it’s really smoothing out the transition between analogue and digital.”
As one would expect from an experienced engineer, Kay has mixed on all the digital desks currently on the market. “I’ve always found digital consoles a bit fiddly and a bit slow. It’s like mixing with one hand tied behind your back! My reservation is not the sound of digital desks, it’s the speed of operation. Most consoles are hampered by the interface, which can be too complicated and slow you down to the point where it starts to interfere with the creative process.
“The Vi6 has the excellent Vistonics™ II touch-sensitive interface, which allows you to go directly to where you want to make the change. It’s much quicker. In fact, there are many things that are a lot quicker to do on the Vi6 than on an analogue console, such as ganging. You can link a number of channels together, and, once they're linked, anything you do on one channel affects all of them — you can use this, for example, to set up the whole desk really quickly.
“The ergonomics are excellent, with big buttons that I like. The desk has a standard Soundcraft layout, for example, the solos are at the bottom, and the console is really shallow from front to back so you’re not stretching to find anything. It’s all right in front of you. Very compact. And with 64 channels, that gives us room to grow!” Kay was particularly tickled by the desk’s USB interface, which allowed him to leave rehearsals with his entire Scissor Sisters mix data backed up on his mobile phone (a Nokia N91 with a 4GB hard drive).
The team from ADLIB has been involved with the development cycle of the Vi6 from the start, and Kay is still working with Andy Brown at Soundcraft on features that will enhance the spec. “There is tremendous expansion potential on the Vi6; it's very easy to add new features, and we've found Soundcraft very responsive to any creative input from our side. I think this desk is going to become an industry standard. It’s a fantastic console, the stability and reliability are very impressive and its use is not just limited to front-of-house.”
Those Scissor Sisters rehearsals also saw the first pairing of the Soundcraft Vi6 with the new Pink Pig MADIcorder, which allows recording of 64 channels simultaneously via an optical link.
“For any console, this is an essential tool,” says Kay, “especially for bands wanting to produce live recordings. The band is really excited about having this facility at front-of-house, and, from my point of view, it's another reason to take the leap into the digital world.
“This is the first time we've used the MADIcorder. It took just minutes to get it set up and running, and it's incredibly simple to use. We’ve all taken away recordings of the rehearsals, and, for the Scissor Sisters, it’s the first opportunity they’ve had to hear their own live performance! I’d really like to pair it with the Soundcraft Vi6 when we tour.”
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