Soundcraft Vi6™ digital console
Fifteen years after investing in its first Soundcraft audio mixing console, AXION SONORISATION ÉCLAIRAGE AUDIOVISUEL (AXION SÉA) in Quebec has become the first sound rental company in north America to commit to the company's large-format digital desk, the Soundcraft Vi6.
François Corbin of Axion is convinced that "the Vi6 ushers in a new era", and that its arrival will mean that other developers of digital mixing products are going to have to raise their game. "We have had this console for just a few weeks, and we are ready to purchase a second one right away!"
Shortly after taking delivery, Martin Chouinard, Axion's rental manager, sent the new desk to Le Festival d'été de Québec, a ten-day international outdoor event held in Quebec City. More than a million people come for the festival, and up to 10,000 a night attended the concerts on the Molson Dry Stage where, closely watched by Soundcraft's Simon Roome, François Hallé was mixing on the Vi6.
"Soundcraft has done its homework right," says François Corbin, "the sound is better than any other digital console in this price bracket, and it is so easy to operate, you don't have to read the manual!" Corbin is impressed by the Vi6 package in commercial terms; "matrices, auxes, VCAs, subgroups – everything is there. The stagebox, local rack, it's all included for a really good price.
"At Le Festival d'été, there were artists and engineers from the US, Canada and the UK, everybody wanted to try the Vi6. After the show, the talk was about how good the sound is, and how impressively easy they found the ergonomics. We expect to see it on artists' riders in the very near future."
Before choosing the Vi6, engineers from Axion visited the ProLight+Sound show in Frankfurt. "As a company, we might be a little late arriving in the digital market, but we feel that the Vi6 will help us to win market share because it is so different, and because it will help us distinguish ourself from our competition. It has made the whole experience of going digital very easy for us."
Axion has had a long and successful relationship with Soundcraft Canada, and the festival system reflected this, using a JBL Vertec rig, JBL Array wedges, Soundcraft SM20, Lexicon 960L effects and BSS EQ.
Axion was formed in February 1999, created by the merger of Transi-son and Focus éclairage – Québec, two leading players in the audio rental business in Quebec. The owners shared one objective, to provide the best high-technology services in the province, with the highest level of quality of know-how and equipment.
Today, Axion has more than 35 permanent employees and hire the services of over an hundred different freelancers in a year. The company also offers permanent installation services, a retail outlet and all the production services.
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