When Soundcraft introduced their new GB4 mixing console just 12 months ago they could little have imagined what the next year would have in store for the desk — or its bigger brother, the GB8 — in the international marketplace.
Its impact has been profound. Soundcraft distributors throughout the world report that both desks are proving not only sufficiently robust and feature-packed to function in the mid-level touring environment, but versatile enough to be specified in music bars, churches, art centres — and a raft of applications where small combos are to be mixed.
One long-term Soundcraft user over in Ireland is Redhouse’s Vinnie Higgins. A confirmed fan of Soundcraft sound and build quality, he has taken delivery of a 24-channel GB4, while over in Kilkenny Ray Brophy has added the same to his sound rig and engineer/producer Paul Gurney has installed a 16-input desk in his Longford sound studios.
On the other side of the world, Jeff Shoesmith at Jands in Australia reports that the GB4 is finding its home in a number of different locations. Via dealers Park Pianos of Perth, 32- and16-channel GB4s have been specified for local churches (and a 32-channel GB8 to Goldfields Art Centre) while AAA have sold a 24-channel GB4 to Rosie O’Grady’s Irish pub. Meanwhile, Pro Co Stage Sound of Whyalla, South Australia have specified and installed a 24-channel GB4 in the local Middleback Theatre — a performing arts venue.
Thailand is another territory reporting exceptional sales. Soundcraft distributors, Mahajak, report that a 24-channel GB4 has gone into Driftt Pub in Bangkok, a similarly-configured desk has been sold to Ban Line Mai Restaurant in Phuket while 32-channel GB8’s have been supplied to RAO Entertainment for a Bangkok pub and Chowvarit System — a corporate rental customer. Meanwhile, well-known Bangkok rental company, Ten Years After, have added a 48-channel GB8 to their touring inventory.
In Calgary, Canada, experienced contractors Allstar Show Industries have been responsible for sales of GB4’s and GB8’s into tour sound companies, as well as equipping a live music venue in Calgary and the campus bar at SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology Student Association) with a 32-channel GB4. Elsewhere, Soundart of Winnipeg and Al’s Audio have put GB4’s into rental production companies, the latter also supplying 32-channel GB8’s to a studio and church in the city of Medicine Hat, Alberta. Finally, Parkland Audio have sold a 32-channel GB4 into the AV/Corporate market.
Back in Europe, Spanish distributors, Earpro SA, have supplied the Gomez & Barazal Prosoda orchestra of Ourense with two GB8’s and a GB4, a GB4 to Josmarux (a rental company based in Cangas de Morrazo), the Gran Arabial Hotel in Granada, the Sonomusic Theatre in Manacor and Virtual Hotel theatre in Mallorca, where they have also supplied a GB8. A further GB8 has gone into the Mucho Teatro concert hall in Cadiz.
In Austria, Kain Audio-Technick have recorded an immense number of sales, beginning with five GB4’s to corporate rental company Wiener Eventtechnik.
The versatile mixing desk has also proven popular among instalaltion contractors, the Wiener Stadthalle and Big Screen (in Linz) both having purchased house systems. Other recent GB4 rental customers include Showtime of Vienna, PAN-Sound and LTV (both based in Salzburg), and Hollabrunn-based Musikparadies, while stepping up to the GB8 are Vienna-based Audiorama, the companies Droneberger and Höllerer (both from Klagenfurt) and VTG of Salzburg.
Finally, in Iceland ID Electronic reports healthy GB4 trade (recording a high profile sale to the Hotel Nortica in Reykjavic).
The new desks carry the high quality hallmark with which Soundcraft is synonymous — including the special Graham Blyth-designed GB30 mic preamps and EQ, designed for the company’s 30th anniversary.
First, Soundcraft focused heavily on durability; the mechanical construction ensures reliability under strenuous conditions, with all input modules constructed with individual vertically mounted pcb’s, fitted to the steel chassis front panel with individually-nutted potentiometers.
But equally they gave high premium to the aesthetic — deliberately mirroring the stylish looks of the MH4, MH3 and LX7ii consoles to retain a strong family feel.