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Don Airey chooses Soundcraft for solo tour

Deep Purple’s keyboardist Don Airey is using a Soundcraft Si Compact console on his current US and European tour dates, writes Paul Watson.

Don Airey’s career in rock music spans more than 25 years, having played on more than 200 albums with artists including Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Jethro Tull, and ELO; and he has been an integral part of Deep Purple for the last decade. Currently on tour in the US and Europe, Airey is armed with a Soundcraft Si Compact 16 digital live sound mixer which is designated to his keyboards, and a Soundcraft Vi6 at FOH position, operated by Deep Purple’s FOH engineer Gert Sanner. “We are in the process of replacing our old mixers because we have two full systems going on tour, and we wanted to have more consistency between the two keyboard rigs,” Sanner explains. “We chose the Si Compact 16 because of the quality of its internal effects, its sound quality, and its ease of use.” Sanner also points out that the console’s MIDI capability is a big plus point, which enables specific keyboard sounds to be linked to individual Scenes on the console. “This means we can store particular EQ settings to particular songs, and make the transition from one keyboard rig to the other much smoother,” says Sanner. “We’re getting great results by working this way; we are busy hopping from continent to continent, so anything that makes the day easier is more than welcome.”