Aug 22, 2007

Touring & Corporate

Soundcraft Vi6™ Scores With Groove Armada And Hard Fi

--Harman Pro UK, British distributors for the Harman Group of pro audio, live sound and installation audio manufacturing companies, have recently supplied a Soundcraft Vi6 digital mixing console to the live sound production team responsible for the Groove Armada and Hard Fi tours.

Alex Keyser, Production Manager for both acts, jumped at the chance of being able to get the new Soundcraft digital mixing console on board. “I’d heard about this new desk, which was supposed to have broken the digital mould; we were interested to see what all the fuss was about. Live desks have to be user-friendly, whether digital or analogue, so we were really keen to put it through its paces,” he explains.

Sam Parker, FOH engineer with Groove Armada for 8 years, and Hard Fi for 2, says: “It’s so intuitive to use. We have relatively few gigs under our belts with this desk, and I found my way around it within a very short time.”

“The layout makes it feel like an analogue desk, which is great,” continues Parker, having cut his teeth on an analogue desk. “Then of course you get all the benefits of a digital console, too.”

The Soundcraft Vi6™ Digital Live Console features a unique integration of Vistonics™ II technology, a derivation of the Vistonics™ user interface developed with sister console company, Studer. It uses touch-screen colour-coded TFT monitors with rotary controls and switches built in and around the glass, enabling direct access to all functions at all times and providing maximum information and visibility.

“Assigning controls to functions can be a nightmare on some digital desks, but Soundcraft have really thought about the soft-patching on the Vi6,” Parker confirms.

“Plenty of desks have basic processing on them nowadays, but having quality Lexicon processing built into the Vi6 makes a world of difference,” he continues.

Each signal path offers high- and low-pass filters, a powerful, four-band parametric EQ section, compressor, limiter, gate, de-esser, pan and more, making it a really flexible console to use. “You can tell a lot of time went into designing the preamps for example — they are really transparent,” says Parker.

“We hadn’t used the Vi6 before, and needed to get some settings saved for Hard Fi’s Glastonbury show,” Keyser explains. “Handling all of the monitoring and FOH settings manually is difficult, so the digital route definitely suits our setup. The Vi6 went down a storm with our FOH and monitors engineers.”

Keyser and Parker used the Soundcraft Vi6 with several Groove Armada gigs earlier this year and again on tour with Hard Fi, whilst Groove Armada worked on their latest album, Sound Boy Rock, released on 5th April this year.

“We are very happy with the Vi6 sound,” concludes Keyser. “We look forward to using it again for future shows with both acts.”

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