"With the Vi6," says Ian Grove from Southampton-based company RPA Sound, "Soundcraft has jumped a step ahead." RPA is one of many rental companies reported as having placed orders for Soundcraft Vi products alongside the likes of ETASound, SSE Audio Group and Adlib Audio.
Ian Grove recently placed his first order for a Vi6 with Soundcraft's UK distributor, Sound Technology, having been impressed by the desk since his first encounter with it at an Austrian show in 2007. Introduced to various features of the desk by Sound Technology project team member Sam Brandon, Grove has already sent the Vi6 out on tour with The Proclaimers and deployed it for festival duties at Larmer Tree near Salisbury.
Highlighting the fact that there is "nothing difficult to work out" with the Vi6, Grove went on to praise the desk's sound quality: "The Studer preamps are amazing, the Vistonics II interface is very obvious, and the FaderGlow alerts you to what's going on and is especially good for the User Defined fader page."
Meanwhile, ETASound and SSE Audio Group are among the rental companies to have purchased units of the Vi1 - the latest (and smallest) addition to the Vi series. ETA has bought two systems, complete with optical fibre MADI cards allowing expansion of the channel count from 32 to 64, with the company's Eddie Thomas describing the console as "a small format desk with big format functionality. [...] For us it will be equally at home on bigger acts as with smaller club shows, so it gives us more flexibility. Aside from the price, for the immediate functionality it ticks all the boxes - and since it's in the same format as the other Vi series desks anyone can walk onto it."
SSE Audio Group's John Penn highlighted the desks "sound quality, data compatibility with the Vi6" and user-friendly interface, and the company is supporting its purchase with a series of training days at its West Midlands facilities.
Elsewhere, Adlib Audio has placed an initial order for two VI1s - with a loaned Vi1 having already seen action at Glastonbury - and is to host a training/demo day shortly (more details via the company's website, sixth link below). AC Entertainment Technologies has become one of a limited number of UK resellers of the Vi1 and held a training event last week.
Invited to offer a progress report on the Vi Series, Soundcraft Studer's director of marketing communications, Dave Neal, told PSN-e: "We are absolutely delighted with the acceptance of the Soundcraft Vi Series on the tour circuit today, with over 1000 consoles sold to date worldwide. This shows just how people have adopted the Vi's outstanding sound quality, Vistonics II user interface and the integration with Lexicon effects and BSS EQs. We always knew the Vistonics II interface would be popular, and are pleased that this success is very much what we expected from the desk."