Oct 05, 2006

Touring & Corporate


--Leading New Zealand sound rental company College Hill Productions has snapped up its first Soundcraft Vi6™ digital audio console. Concluding his three-year search for the right digital console format, Chris Tate at College Hill considers the Soundcraft Vi6 to be "light years ahead of its competitors at this level in the market".

Based in Auckland, NZ, College Hill has enjoyed a steep trajectory of success since it was founded by Chris Tate in 1996. With a strong presence on the national and international touring scene, working recently with The Rolling Stones and Cher, College Hill also provides high-end systems for corporate events and theatre productions, as well as working with radio and TV broadcasters in NZ.

One of his country's most respected sound engineers, Chris Tate has been evaluating digital consoles for several years, with no single product satisfying all his requirements. "Then we got wind of the Soundcraft Vi6, and the concept for its user interface. That coupled with the knowledge that the technology has already proven itself in Studer's Vista Series consoles left us with only one more thing to check…..and I have to say, it is one of the nicest sounding consoles I’ve ever heard. So when it finally arrived in NZ, we snapped up the first one."

According to Soundcraft's NZ distributor Jands, College Hill has a bit of a reputation as an 'early adopter', championing new technologies before they start being routinely specified by the touring industry. Says Chris Tate, "we came to the conclusion that the Vi6 can't fail to take on its place in the market as soon as people start playing with it. It's just such a good interface, light years better than other Digital desks, and it sounds better as well! Finally, here's a live console that doesn't require a keyboard or mouse, or an instruction manual for that matter, to do the simplest thing. Patching, labeling, mixing, automation, all in front of you and easy to see the status of EVERYTHING. The more I think about it, choosing this console was a no-brainer."

Being the first onto the NZ rental market with the Soundcraft Vi6 is seen by College Hill Productions as a bonus. "It gives us a chance to really put it through its paces before the onslaught of regular use from touring engineers," continues Chris, who gave the console its first major work-out at the Trusts Stadium in Waitakere, on the giant Cirque Rocks event, featuring the world’s best Cirque acts, X-Games athletes and dancers.

"The reaction from our market has been extremely positive so far," says Chris. "The radio and TV guys are delighted to see the Soundcraft Vi6's MADI interface which integrates perfectly with their normal equipment infrastructure, and even the lighting guys are jealously commenting on how the Vi6 looks better than their consoles!"

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