UTAH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRATES ADDITION OF SOUNDCRAFT MH4
The Utah Symphony, an indispensable presence on the American classical music scene since 1940, acquired a 40-channel Soundcraft MH4 dual-mode mixing console this summer from local pro audio dealer Performance Audio.
Aside from being utilized to mix pops concerts and other events at Salt Lake City’s majestic Abravanel Hall, the new console was purchased for frequent use at the orchestra’s two high-profile summer homes, Sundance and Deer Valley.
According to Dave MacPherson, who is now starting his fourth season as mixing engineer for the Utah Symphony, the MH4’s relatively light weight was one of the primary reasons he selected it. “I’ve always been partial to Soundcraft’s Series FIVE,” he says, “but Abravanel Hall has continental seating and the ideal mix position is nowhere near the aisles. Consequently, the sheer weight of most good consoles makes load-in and set-up rather cumbersome. Then along came the MH4 with a very similar feature set to the Series FIVE, but considerably less weight, so it became very attractive to us. This was important for our outdoor performances, too. We play a lot of natural amphitheaters that are built on ski hills and lugging a heavy desk up a slope can be nearly impossible, so the MH4’s lightweight design was really a key consideration there as well.”
MacPherson is quick to point out, however, that the reduced weight of the MH4 in no way comes at a sacrifice to its amenities. “The desk has some nice features,” he says. “I particularly like the segmented meters on the fader strips; they’re absolutely fantastic. The light that shows phantom power when it’s being phantomed from the monitor desk is also a nice touch. And, of course, the MH4 sounds perfectly fine. It’s not a step down from the Series FIVE sonically as far as I’m concerned. It’s truly high-fidelity.
“One other thing: the input modules are not as long as on some other desks and a ‘vertically challenged’ engineer like me can actually see the top of the strips. Short guys will know what I mean. I truly enjoy this console and would recommend it to anybody.”
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