Deluxe Audio Rate The Soundcraft Vi6™ Digital Live Console Best On The Market
Melbourne-based Deluxe Audio has a solid reputation within the Australian audio market and they are known for keeping up to date with their hire inventory. Consequently a digital mixing console has been top of their shopping list for the past few months
“Both Michael Shanahan, one of the other directors of Deluxe Audio, and I have spent the last twelve months using different digital consoles in all parts of the world, and at either end of the multi core,” commented Dave Rees. “It’s interesting how your perception changes once you’ve made the decision to purchase a digital console. It certainly makes you look beyond the obvious. After every gig or tour Michael and I would discuss the merits of the console we had been working on.”
After their extensive hands-on research, Dave and Michael decided upon the Soundcraft Vi6™, the first Australian hire-company to do so and they are both extremely confident that the next twelve months will see a dramatic increase in local engineers keen to use the Vi6™.
“In a nutshell – it’s easy to use, handles complex mixes, has a compact size, is reliable, is affordable, and sounds great!” declared Dave. “I think we’ve definitely chosen a winner!”
The Soundcraft Vi6 Digital Live Console features a unique integration of Vistonics™ II technology, a derivation of the Vistonics™ user interface developed with sister console company, Studer. It uses touch-screen colour-coded TFT monitors with rotary controls and switches built in and around the glass, enabling direct access to all functions at all times and providing maximum information and visibility.
Not surprisingly, Dave was particularly impressed by the intuitive operation of the Vistonics II control surface, describing it as compact and very ease to use.
“I found my way around the console in no time at all,” he said. “It really was a short learning curve. The layout is similar to an analogue desk, which of course we’re all used to, with everything right there in front of you. The screen functionality is extremely user-friendly and totally ergonomic.”
Soundcraft's new DSP package provides eight mono or stereo effects units that may be patched to aux bus outputs and then back into a channel input, or inserted into input or output channels. All effects are controlled from the console's intuitive graphical displays for full control integration.
Each of the 64 inputs offers high- and low-pass filters, a powerful, four-band parametric EQ section, compressor, limiter, gate or de-esser, pan and more. Plus, all 35 outputs offer BSS 30-band graphic EQ, making it a really flexible console to use.
“A great deal of the development time was spent waiting for Lexicon to develop a new DSP engine just for the Vi6 and I can assure you it was well worth the wait - the 8 stereo FX are stunning to say the least,” Dave remarked. “Add to that gates, comps and BSS EQ’s and a control surface that is completely logical and you have something that engineers are going to love using. Plenty of consoles have basic processing on them nowadays, but having quality Lexicon processing built into the Vi6™ certainly puts this console one step ahead of the others on the market.”
Features such as the consoles’ ability to save and recall console-wide snapshots of the control settings and routing, the ability to connect auxiliary units and playback devices via AES and MADI digital inputs, and the ease of assigning controls to functions also helped Dave with his decision.
”I also like its’ compact footprint - having 32 inputs on each layer is a huge advantage,” he noted.
Of course the Vi6™ also sounds fabulous with Dave reporting that the feed back he’s had from other engineers and his own perception is all the same – “it gave me space in the mix, a separation I have not had before”.
Dave recently did monitors for the Rogue Traders new album launch at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre using the Vi6™. The entire band was using In Ear Monitors and, according to Dave, they all made positive comments about the open feel of the mix.
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