May 30, 2008


Powerhouse Purchases Soundcraft Vi4™ For Palme's Pilot Live Stage

--Based in Sharjah, Mario Mascarenhas’s Powerhouse provides one of the most comprehensive entertainment supply and production services in the UAE.

This was one reason why the company was invited to provide the technical infrastructure for this year’s inaugural live stage at PALME’s Event 360 show in Dubai… as well as the artistes.

The company had initially asked for the opportunity to audition the new Soundcraft Vi4™ digital console, requisitioning a system from local distributors GSL Professional. But instead of borrowing the desk, Powerhouse’s sound engineers liked the Vi4 so much that the company promptly purchased it on the spot, complete with Control Surface, Local Rack and Stagebox — and two 150-metre fibre optic cable drums.

For Powerhouse, it is the latest chapter in a 12-year history of a company that began when event companies were non-existent in Dubai and customers looked to freelancers to meet their entertainment needs. Today Powerhouse provides a gamut of services varying from live entertainment to A/V and multimedia, sound and lighting, staging, rigging and décor.

PALME organisers IIR Exhibitions recognised the value of a ‘one stop shop’ approach. “The idea of this stage was to provide an official area where performers could showcase their talent,” said Mario. “Powerhouse was given the responsibility to produce and run this year’s event — from the spectacular stage design to the wide variety of artistes who performed.”

The Vi4 was sending mixes to the PA, which formed part of a highly-designed stage, integrating plasma screens with Spandex stage drapes. This was backed up by a leisure seating area allowing visitors to relax using bean bags, illuminated cocktail tables and a lounge area for networking.

Although Powerhouse runs a number of mixing consoles in its rental fleet (including Soundcraft), this is the company’s first excursion into the world of digital. They have enjoyed a long relationship with GSL, who have provided all their Harman Pro sound requirements (including dbx drive racks) — as well as lighting.

Powerhouse’s in-house sound engineers principally used the Vi4 during the course of the three-day expo. “The console has everything one could ask for — between the microphone and speaker management system … great sound and an intuitive Vistonics interface,” declares Mario. “Judging from its ease of use and sound quality, we expect it to start appearing on technical riders in the Middle East.”

Part of a larger sound and lighting investment, he says the Vi4 will prove to be a great acquisition. “We expect to be using the Vi4 not only for future concerts, but also major corporate events and conferences.”

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