Supplied by Showcom Audio Ltd to Event Technical Support Ltd, the desk forms part of a rental package to Roll To Record.
The 48 + 4 frame, fitted with eight stereo channels, will go into Elstree Studios and remain there for three months, during which time it will be used by a number of sound engineers under the direction of Oliver France.
Co-owned by Malcolm Whittall and John Hooker, Event Technical Support had been seeking a multi-function, highly-specified console, and the arrival of the MH4 meant that they could meet the performance criteria - inside their budget.
Already Soundcraft owners, Event Technical Support previously supplied PA equipment for live audience broadcast to the Three Mills Island 'house', before Big Brother relocated to Elstree. However, this is the first year they have supplied the broadcast desks - which in the past have been sourced direct by Roll To Record.
Malcolm Whittall takes up the story. "Roll To Record approached me to see whether I had any suitable equipment I could hire them. At the time I was expanding my event support business and looking for broadcast equipment for large derig sets and flyaways.
"I became aware of the multi-function capabilities of the MH4, which is suitable for event production.
Roll To record evaluated the desk and commented on the compact nature, high specification, operational flexibility and general all round functionality of the MH4.
Other facilities that won the MH4 high praise included its matrixing capability and the VCA operation, the improved mic level, HF and LF EQ and the fact that it's in a highly-manageable format - some 95 kilos lighter than its nearest competitor.
"In this instance Big Brother were looking at a large number of channels and large aux routing capacity," explains Whittall. "So we have provided a 52-channel console, which is 48-frame and four stereos, optioned for another eight stereo inputs." The MH4 will largely be fed from VT and different sound sources.
Malcolm Whittall appraises, "This is a unique desk - it offers a lot of functionality at a very affordable price, and although true broadcast desks may require a lot more features the MH4 is ideal for productions that need to conform to budget restrictions." He added, "Showcom's service has been exemplary and they will be my preferred supplier in future."
Summarised Richard Willis, "The MH4 shows how much work Soundcraft have put into the frame structure. The cost-effective pricing will allow them to enter the small-to-medium rental touring marketplace - where a £50,000 desk may not be required - or in applications such as theatre tours which are weight prohibitive."