Feb 15, 2006

Musicians & Bands


--Sidelines, a popular sports bar and grill in the northwestern Atlanta suburb of Marietta, has now converted its former 350-capacity special events room into a full-on heavy metal concert venue known as The Darkside. The room’s ‘metalmorphosis’ comes as the result of a deal between Sidelines owner Joe Ahn and Infernal Machine singer/guitarist Shain Stewart who books the acts and owns both the Darkside name and sound and lighting gear.

To properly equip the new performance space, Stewart turned to Atlanta’s Guitar Center, which evaluated the venue’s needs and recommended, among other things, a new 40-channel Soundcraft GB8 mixing console. He then brought in Fred Jacobson and Todd Magee of local systems integrator FSJ & Associates ( to make some final equipment specifications and perform the sound reinforcement system installation.

“Having been a long-time Soundcraft fan, I was excited to learn that Shain was having us install a new GB8,” says Magee, who now also serves as The Darkside’s primary house sound engineer on weekends. “I basically grew up mixing on Soundcrafts, so even though we were installing this desk unheard, I knew that it would sound great – and it does. The new mic pres and EQs on the board are absolutely top-notch. There’s lots of headroom and a nice crisp definition on the high end, and yet the GB8 still very much retains that classic British sound.

“As far as features go, man, what a console! The GB8 has individual-channel phantom power, phase reverse, 100Hz low-cut filters, four-band EQs that are incredibly responsive, eight aux sends, four stereo channels, four stereo returns and an 11x4 matrix, which is awesome considering how affordable this console is. There’s no doubt that a lot of thought went into how the GB8 was laid out and what it was equipped with. This is a quality desk.”

For now, Magee is using the console to mix both the house PA system and monitor wedges, which, he notes, has been working out very well. “I’ve already had so many musicians tell me that this is the best club to play in the Atlanta area and that they had the best monitor sound ever on this stage. And, of course, I guess I have to share at least some of that credit with the GB8,” he laughs.

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