Jul 03, 2007

Music Venues

Tivoli De Helling Installs A Brace Of MH Series Desks

--Tivoli de Helling — one of two Tivoli nightclub venues in the Dutch city of Utrecht — has upgraded its sound control with the purchase of two Soundcraft analogue desks from local distributors, Audio XL nv.

The 400-capacity rock venue has followed up the purchase of a 40-channel MH2 for monitors with a similarly-configured MH3 at FOH — after the existing house desk failed.

Jeroen van Keeken, Audio XL’s live sound manager, was already in contact with the four-year-old venue’s sound engineer, Allert Aalders. “They couldn’t afford a digital mixer, and so we spoke about the various analogue options,” he said. “We did a demo, and they liked the versatility of the MH2 for monitors, after which it was an easy step to replace their FOH desk with an MH3.”

Allert responded, “The decision to go with Soundcraft MH series within the budget we were looking at was a ‘no brainer’.” He continued, “There is no other desk on the market that offers the same price/performance ratio as the MH series.

“The overall desk quality and spec of the MH series are perfect for the small- to medium sized shows we handle here — and when I travel to festivals and clubs across Europe and North and South America I am always happy to work with the MH series, particularly the MH3.”

The sound engineer knew that desk versatility was essential, and noted that ergonomically, the provision of four stereo channels in the centre was spot on. “It means you don't have to dedicate a VCA to any FX anymore — but in any case they are right at the end of your fingertips.

“In fact, the easy set-up and layout of the mute groups and VCA's (allowing the sound engineer to be able to work fast in a festival setting), is better than anything I have seen, and the quality of EQ and pre-amps are excellent for a console in this price bracket.”

Other features of the MH Series highlighted by Allert include the logical layout of matrix routing; Insert send and returns on separate jacks, and the excellent sound quality.

Allert Aalders can chart his experiences on Soundcraft boards over a long period. “I can still remember laying my hands on the beautiful Soundcraft 400B for the first time, although I was very young at the time. And with the MH Series the company is right back in that league.”

Jeroen van Keeken confirms that the MH consoles are beginning to enjoy high visibility in Holland. “There are now a lot of these desks in the market — at venues like Het Paard in the Hague and de Perron 55 in Venlo. The MH series is really starting to get accepted,” he said, “and that provides venues like Tivoli de Helling, and the bands playing there, with further confidence.”

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