Nov 19, 2007

Touring & Corporate

Lance Reynolds Has Soundcraft Vi6™ Smokin' On Ash Tour

--Back to their original line-up as a trio, Ash have been touring their latest Twilight of the Innocents album in the UK and Europe, with Adlib Audio providing the production and sound engineer Lance Reynolds delivering the house mix on the Soundcraft Vi6 digital platform

Reynolds, who has been piloting the band’s house mix for the past four years, was delighted to find a Vi6 already in both the FOH and monitor positions when the band started their UK leg proper with a four-night stint at KOKO in London, as the experienced sound engineer had already worked with the desk in his native Chicago — at Randy Flaws’ Windy City Sound and Lighting.

“Randy got hold of the first couple of Vi6’s for touring use in the States around a year ago, and when I’m back home I do work for that company. So I had the opportunity to get a feel for the Vi6 before the FX cards came along. I got the multitrack out, which I used as my source and the sound compared favourably with any other digital source I had heard.”

Navigating his way around the console couldn’t have been easier. “The main thing for me, having always mixed on an analogue desk, was that I don’t have to keep flipping around on the desk to find things; I can look at my channels together — it’s all just there, right in front of me.”

And thus he was relieved to already have this knowledge under his belt when he wound up at the famous Camden Town venue. “KOKO was actually the first shows I had done with the Vi6 — and I was not the least bit unhappy with it.

“In fact the Vi6 is now on my rider as one of my preferred desks — it’s the only digital one I would consider.”

Lance adds that the convenience of the Vi6 was a big factor in choosing it for this tour. Although not turning his back on analogue (he runs 2-inch analogue tape in his Chicago studio) he says the weight factor of being able to take a control surface which allows him use of all the inboard processing (without a separate FX rack) “is a huge plus point.” Additionally, for the three-band tour (Ash plus two supports), choosing the Vi6 meant that each FOH engineer could mix his band using the entire desk, with unique effects and EQ settings. "And that's nice for everyone."

He continues, “The desk is laid out really well and not at all hard to adapt to. I can make decisions really fast on the Vi6 — and it sounds better than any of the other digital desks I have used.”

Lance Reynolds has been making good use of the snapshot and show saving functions of the Vi6. “Since it was a three-band tour, each band had a snapshot, all saved under a show file. It’s very easy — and really, that's the best feature of digital, in my opinion.

“I started with the snapshot that I had saved from KOKO, made a few small changes, such as changing my tap delay from Aux 3 to Aux 1, to utilize a new software feature that allowed the tap function to appear on one of the six user definable buttons.

“We configured the outputs for our touring system, and off we went. It was great — the gates, comps, EQ’s, the channel labels, the effects were all ready to go. The first soundcheck was a piece of cake and I was most of the way there at the start.”

The snapshot recall is particularly useful in a festival and support situations, he says, when sound checks are not possible.

Finally, the sound engineer notes that with other digital desks he has detected signs of latency. “With some I can hear the processing delays — that slight bit of latency which does my head in when, for example, a drum is being hit; but I have not noticed this at all from my mix position with the Vi6.”

And so Soundcraft have much to be grateful for Windy City Sound and Lighting’s early adoption of the Vi6. And as for Lance Reynolds, he says “Randy Flaws has nothing but praise for this desk.”

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