New House of Blues Boston Has Plenty To Be Happy About With New Soundcraft Vi6™ Consoles
--A pair of 64-Input Soundcraft Vi6 digital live mixing consoles for FOH and monitor mixing offer digital signal path advantages with an intuitive analog-style user interface.
Boston, one of America’s greatest music cities, got a new music venue earlier this year that lives up to the expectations created by bands like the J. Geils Band, The Cars, Aerosmith, Till Tuesday and of course, Boston. Live Nation’s new House of Blues club was christened with a performance by the J. Geils Band, and 2,400 people got to hear the classic rockers with the kind of clarity and power only dreamt of decades ago, thanks to the Soundcraft Vi6™ digital mixing consoles, two of which are installed there to handle front-of-house and monitor mixing duties. The Vi6 is Soundcraft’s first large-format digital live desk and is the flagship of the widely heralded Vi Series of digital consoles from Soundcraft. Furthermore, the Soundcraft Vi6 consoles are part of a technologically advanced and sonically stunning PA system that uses components from Harman’s JBL, Crown and dbx brands to create a perfectly scaled sound system that fulfills the House of Blues’ longstanding commitment to great sound for great music. The sound system for the House of Blues Boston, as with all club systems in the Live Nation chain, was designed and installed by Sound Image of Escondido, California.
Sited in the shadow of the famous Fenway Park, on Lansdowne Street, the club’s floor is wide and the stage is high, offering much-improved sightlines. A second level is ringed by colorful folk art and several bars; there is also a seated balcony area on the third floor, but even standing room areas on the sides offer great views. And, as the Boston Globe reported (Feb. 20, 2009), “Most importantly, no matter where you were in the club, the sound was clear and clean.” Credit the Soundcraft Vi6 digital live mixing consoles for much of that. Both consoles are configured identically, with 64 inputs and a total of 32 output busses available for use as masters, groups, auxes or matrices. Operational features of the Soundcraft Vi6 include the highly acclaimed Vistonics™ II touch-screen user interface and Soundcraft FaderGlow™ fader function display. Rich Davis, Audio Engineer with Sound Image and who is supervising the sound systems installations for the Live Nation Fillmore and House of Blues venues, describes it as, “A wonderful-sounding console with a highly intuitive user interface. It’s still a rather new console, so not a lot of live sound engineers may have had experience with it yet. But every engineer who has visited the House of Blues Boston has figured it out almost immediately. It’s a digital console that’s laid out like an analog console, so it offers the best of both worlds.”
House of Blues Boston’s PA system fills the house with incredible sound using 10 JBL VerTec® VT4888DP powered three-way mid-size line array enclosures and three JBL ASB6128 dual 18-inch subs per side powered by Crown IT4000 power amps, and four JBL VRX932LAP powered side fill speakers. The stage monitor system employs 12 JBL SRX712M 12-inch stage monitors and four JBL VRX915M 15-inch stage monitors. The system is controlled via a dbx Drive Rack 4800 processor. All of the PA components are networked via Harman HiQnet™ System Architect™, an industry-acclaimed protocol that enables seamless integration and communication between Harman system components. “This was a complex system to design and install,” says Davis, noting that the consoles also interfaces with the club’s distributed audio system, which includes over 60 JBL Control Series wall- and surface-mounted installed audio system speakers and powered by Crown CTs Series amplifiers. “By being able to network all of the systems together with HiQnet, we’re able to send any music source anywhere in the venue. It’s a great way to experience music, because the quality of the sound is remarkably consistent everywhere in the venue.”
The House of Blues Boston is operated by Live Nation, the largest producer of live concerts in the world, annually producing more than 22,000 concerts for 1,600 artists in 33 countries. The company sells more than 50 million concert tickets a year.
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