Neumo’s In Seattle Steps Up With Soundcraft® Si2 Digital Console
Illustrating how its extremely flexible and powerful feature set can help live sound professionals deal with the increasing complexity of live music monitoring, the Soundcraft Si2 compact digital console recently installed in Neumo’s Crystal Ball and Reading Room, one of the Northwest’s leading music venues, has made monitoring manageable for the digital age. The club installed a Soundcraft 48-input Si2 console with 24 monitor sends in December. The console was sold to Neumo’s by K. Berry Associates, a leading Seattle-area sound and lighting systems sales and installation provider, which also provides the club’s other sound and lighting systems. Bay Area-based Plus 4 Marketing sold the Si2 console to K. Berry Associates.
Neumo’s is a complex venue, hosting its restaurant, Pike Street Fish Fry, and the aptly named MOE BAR neighborhood pub, as well as its VIP Room. But the concert hall side of the business is its priority, with advanced lighting production, a state of the art sound system, and a carefully scheduled music calendar that has regularly hosted nationally known artists including The Shins, Vampire Weekend, The Raconteurs, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Feist, Connor Oberst And The Mystic Valley Band, Super Furry Animals, The Avette Brothers and many others.
Kelly Berry, President of K. Berry Associates and designer of the sound system, points out that these and other artists have become heavily reliant on in-ear monitors, and lots of them. “Where before you might have needed a few outputs for stage monitors, today you need as many as a dozen individual monitor mixes for multiple band members, and for as many as three different bands every night,” he explains. “The musicians have come to expect that capability.” The search for a new monitor console took time; it was first decided that only a digital console would fit the bill. “A traditional analog console simply can’t handle that many outputs,” says Berry.
After reviewing the specifications and performance data of several leading digital mixers, the Soundcraft Si2 was pronounced the clear winner. “The recall capability of the Si2 is incredible,” says Kelly. “Soundchecks go quicker and more productively and there’s no resetting the board between acts – they just hit the recall button and the monitors are ready to go.”
Berry says that the console’s other features were huge selling points, including 24 group/aux busses available at all times, eight matrix busses and a full compliment of monitor talkback and main bus outputs, as well as the fact that every input and output on the Si2 has its own dedicated input socket on the back of the console. The Si2 also uses a combination of rotary encoders and OLED screens on every channel so the engineer mixes at the source, without having to refer to a central screen. Four assignable on-board Lexicon® effect engines supplement 4 stereo inputs to provide a really powerful mix package. “The installation was a breeze -- the Si2 fits in the same footprint as a typical analog console – it doesn’t need a stand-alone computer, and the learning curve was not steep at all – the club’s mixers were up and running on it within a half-hour of seeing it for the first time. We know it’s already made a huge difference in how well the monitoring performs at Neumo’s because the bands tell us so, and they’re the ones you have to please.”
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