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Soundcraft console deployed for Arctic Monkeys world tour

US rental company Firehouse Productions has supplied a Soundcraft Vi6 console for monitor mixing on Arctic Monkeys current world tour, writes Paul Watson.

Sheffield-based indie rock band, Arctic Monkeys, are using a Soundcraft Vi6 digital audio console on their current world tour, which will see the band take to stages in Australia, the USA, South America, Canada and Europe in the coming months. Tim Fraleigh, audio technician at New York-based rental company, Firehouse Productions, claims that the [Soundcraft] Vi6 is the best console for the job given its ease of operation and intuitive user interface. “It’s an incredibly easy desk to work with; it’s simple, and the touchscreens make the adjustment of settings a straightforward process,” he insists. “Soundcraft has always been reliable, and knowing the type of response that the board will give is important, plus it’s incredibly user-friendly. With the confidence we have in Harman and Soundcraft, I knew it would do the job and everyone would be satisfied.” Monitor engineer, Will Doyle, uses the desk to run stereo in-ear monitoring, wedges and side fills, and says that although he’s been using a digital desk for some time now, the Vi6 still feels like an analogue console. “It’s very easy to see at a glance exactly what all the channels on each layer are doing; with the touchscreen, everything is at your fingertips,” Doyle reveals. “The Vi6 is great for multi-tasking as well; with the fast assign function it means you can always have the most important mix or mixes on the encoders. This makes it easier to work with faders and still be able to react quickly to any onstage requests. “Having the multiple touchscreens means that I can work on different channels at the same time. It may not sound like a big deal, but it makes everything convenient and quick.” According to Doyle, the console’s user layers are very flexible and simple to set up. Although he admits working monitors for a four-piece rock band means he doesn’t have to stretch the capabilities of the desk too far, he believes that incorporating VCAs into his user layer has been particularly beneficial. “As well as being able to hide away all the extraneous channels, I only have to use one fader to turn up the drums,” he explains. “The great thing is that there’s a set of discrete VCAs for every output, so if you happened to be mixing a more complicated band, you could use up to 16 VCAs to control each mix instead of having to jump between layers to get to all 96 channels – more time looking at the stage instead of your desk. I mostly use them for keeping the balance between the vocals and their reverbs the same.” 

Other artists to take to the road with a Vi series consoles recently include Don Airey and The Feeling.