The Wombats Tour With Soundcraft Vi6
After a tireless summer touring the biggest European festivals as well as an extensive run of headline shows, those cheeky Liverpool-based indie rockers The Wombats have just completed a successful tour of Australia that included several sold-out shows. Since the band's formation, The Wombats have developed a unique style and built a strong fan base in Australia.
JPJ Audio provided the audio set up for the tour including the Soundcraft Vi6 console specified by the band's sound engineer Dave Samwell.
"When I started my career as a sound engineer I used Soundcraft products all the time and so I really feel at home with them," remarked Dave. "My first impression of the Vi6 was that it was the first digital console that laid out everything you need right in front of you. You didn't need to look around pages or anything as the whole mix was in front of you. But most importantly, I thought it was the best sounding digital console on the market without spending insane amounts of money. Compared to any other console in its price bracket, it is hands-down the best sounding console as well as being dead-easy to use."
Dave explains that the Soundcraft Vi6 is ideal for the level of touring that The Wombats do as it is a decent size, not too heavy and you don't need heaps of racks to go with it thus saving on truck size!
On the Australian tour Dave did not have a system technician to 'babysit' him and so he had to ensure that the engineers for the two support bands became familiar with the Vi6.
"Both of the engineers had no or very little experience of the Vi6 before the tour but it only took me one day to show them how to use it and they were completely at ease with it by the end of that day," he said. "I set them both up user layers with their bands on them and they were away and flying with no problems. I didn't have to babysit them at all and I don't know of any other digital console where you'd be able to do that so quickly. It's just a walk up and mix straight away console."
The aforementioned user layer on the Vi6 is one of Dave's favourite features and he always has it at his fingertips.
"I have a lot of stereo input channels so I have one side of my stereo channels on the user layer so I've just got one fader for the two, and I have all of my effects on the right so I have my entire mix on one page," explained Dave. "During the show I don't have to change pages or go through layers as my whole mix is in front of me. I can concentrate on mixing the band instead of clicking through menus and various screens like you have to do with competitor's consoles.'
Dave is also a big fan of the talkback features and function offered by the Vi6 as he programmed much of the keyboard sounds and backing tracks for The Wombats and sometimes a stage technician may have a query for him.
"All of our techs onstage have switch mics and they all get sub-mixed by our monitor engineer who sends them to me through one channel," commented Dave. "I also have a switch mic so I can talk to anyone onstage during the show and I can hear what they are saying all the time. I don't have to have big, cumbersome comm systems – it's just there all the time."
Photo: Ray Kilpatrick
For more information on the Soundcraft Vi6 visit www.jands.com.au or contact:
Jands Pty Ltd
Tel: +61 2 9582 0909
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