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Feeling confident touring Soundcraft’s Vi1 console

UK pop band, The Feeling, have completed a year's worth of tour dates up and down the country with Soundcraft’s Vi1 console in tow, writes Paul Watson.

Chart-topping UK pop act, The Feeling, have completed a year’s worth of predominantly club dates and boutique festivals, allowing their sound engineers to put the Soundcraft Vi1 digital desk through its paces. “The Vi1 has worked really well for us on this tour,” says the band’s drummer, Paul Stewart. “Its compact footprint has been ideal for the smaller format shows; and it has plenty of the features of the [Soundcraft] Vi6, which we’ve used for a few years now. As a band, we were always against digital desks, until we were introduced to the Soundcraft range. Now they’re the only desks we’ll use.” The band have been playing through existing house systems, and while venues such as the O2 Academies and Nottingham Rock City have been pre-fitted with the Soundcraft Vi6 or Vi4 FOH desk, the production crew has carried its own monitor and backline setup. Monitor engineer, Andy Greenwood, says the Vi1 is the best console he’s ever used on monitors, and is a big fan of its user interface. “Principally there is the general layout, with its large touch-screen, minimal clutter and colour coding system which makes it very easy to see where you are and at a glance access EQ’s, dynamics and sends for multiple channels; this is very handy for a monitor desk,” he explains. “Another useful feature is the ability to quickly set up user-defined pages for inputs and outputs thus enabling the simplification of stage patching and allowing the grouping of items that are used the most; this reduces the need to constantly switch between layers on the desk.” Tour manager and FOH engineer, Jon Sword, said the goal for the tour was “fast setup and ease of installation for the stripped-down shows, without having to disrupt existing house setups.” “Having not been on a Vi6 for a while, I was able to write new show files,” said Sword. “I have different styles of shows and have created different files to suit the type of event; it sounds brilliant because The Feeling sound has changed, with more emphasis now on hard disk tracks.” Sword has also used the console while working with Kele Okereke from Bloc Party and singer-songwriter Sophie Ellis-Bextor.