May 24, 2007

Music Venues

Knitting Factory Celebrates Banner Year With Soundcraft MH3

--The Knitting Factory in New York City celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, a milestone it's marking with a complete technical overhaul to its main stage sound reinforcement, lighting and video systems. One of the first and most critical upgrades brought a 32-mono-/4-stereo-channel Soundcraft MH3 mixing console to the FOH position. Knitting Factory's head mixer Jason Tubbs chose the console for its feature set and familiar layout, and has been extremely pleased with its performance.

"The MH3 is a really great sounding console," Tubbs declares. "The definition I'm getting out of this desk is far greater than we've ever had. And the real beauty of it for a venue like ours is that it's straightforward and analog with great sounding preamps, nice responsive EQ, and more aux sends than I'd ever need."

The MH3 fit the bill for The Knitting Factory in more ways than one as the main stage of this multi-level Tribeca music venue hosts diverse lineups nightly and many touring FOH engineers. "I really wanted to keep it simple," says Tubbs of the console selection. "We have at least two or three outside engineers here a week, and that's a number that has actually increased. I wanted a console I knew engineers would be able to simply walk in, sit down and get to work on. I think that's extremely important at the club level. These are the trenches--you're on a tight schedule and you're an hour late for soundcheck and need to load in, set up quick, do your soundcheck and get out of the way for the next band. Things have to happen fast."

As a dual-purpose console, the Soundcraft MH3 has been very capably providing both the FOH and monitor mixes since the desk went in. However, the club has recently carved out some new space just off the stage to accommodate a proper monitor mix position, which will allow the MH3 to serve as a dedicated FOH console. "The MH3 has 12 aux sends, and I've been using seven of them for monitors and effects, but now our monitor mixes will be handled from the stage, which is a big development for us."

Upgrades to the club also include new powered speakers, a monitor console and outboard processing, which further extend mixing capabilities. "All of these upgrades enhance the overall package we're providing here at the Knitting Factory," says Tubbs, "By improving the sound and the lighting, we're increasing the overall utility of the room. We're even adding an HD video system." Raising the club's profile further, XM Satellite Radio recently launched a Live From The Knitting Factory program, airing shows from both the NYC and Los Angeles Knitting Factory locations. "We've worked with Effanel here in New York, and that's gone really well so far," says Tubbs of the XM productions. "They simply bring in an HD rig and set it up backstage, so it goes on completely independently of FOH, but the improved room sound overall is certainly a factor."

For more information on The Knitting Factory, visit

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