Soundcraft Vi6™ Makes Breathtaking Sound At the 2009 BrittFest
--FOH mixer Chris Franz of Star Pro Audio was up and running on the Vi6 in five minutes flat, ready to mix a show that was a high point of the Northwest’s premier outdoor summer music festival.
“Breathtaking” is how Chris Franz, Owner of Star Pro Audio in Nashville and FOH mixer for Flamenco guitar great and 2001 Juno Award-winning instrumentalist Jesse Cook, described his first encounter with the Soundcraft Vi6™ Digital Live Sound Console. That epiphany took place last June at BrittFest, the Northwest’s premier outdoor summer music festival, in Jackson, Oregon.
This is BrittFest’s 47th season of concerts under the stars, this year featuring artists including Wilco, Trace Adkins, Emmylou Harris, Natalie Cole, Elvis Costello, Los Lonely Boys and The Moody Blues, who will play during 37 performances from June 12 through September 12. It’s a genre-bending line-up that requires the kind of flexibility and power that the Soundcraft Vi6 provides. The 64-input (expandable up to 96) Vi6, supplied by Eugene-Oregon-based George Relles Sound, was waiting for Franz when he arrived that day to mix Cook’s band, after an overnight flight from the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area where he had played drums with rock/country/pop legend Brenda Lee at the Wisconsin State Fair. “I had never mixed on a Soundcraft digital console before,” Franz recalls, as he faced what might have been a tense situation on an unfamiliar console at a high-profile venue. But working with Relles, Franz says he was at ease with the Vi6’s operation within the first five minutes. Once he got down to mixing Cook’s show live, he realized that the Vi6 is an exceptional piece of engineering innovation, most notably the Vistonics™ II a user interface that allows the FOH engineer to operate the desk very intuitively.
“User-friendly and phenomenal-sounding is how I would characterize the Vi6,” says Franz. “It was a dream to work on, and the board mix that I made of Jesse’s band at that show was literally the best board mix I have ever heard. From the converters to the mic pre’s, the sound of the Vi6 is amazing. And the ease of operation of the work surface really lets you concentrate on the mix and the music rather than on running the board – every control and parameter was where I needed it to be. I think anyone who mixes on it would become a fan of it. I know I did that day.”
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