“When you want to attract the best crew in a tight labor market, you need to give them the best tools to work with, so they feel good about the quality of show they're delivering,” says Scene Change's Sydney Director Vicken Hekimian. “The quality of the equipment motivates the crew to work harder to make our clients happy, which is really important when you're the underdog.”
As part of this strategy, Scene Change takes a democratic approach to major capital expenditure. All members of the senior crew are given a chance to test drive prospective new purchases. The search for new mixers was a long one. Many digital desks were judged to be not flexible enough to handle the last-minute nature of large corporate events. The Soundcraft Si1 emerged the victor.
The key selling point was the quality of the onboard control gear. External effects racks take up time and space that is often not available for tight-turnaround corporate shows, so a digital desk was the logical choice.
“There's no questioning the quality of the onboard gear on the Si1,” says Hekimian. “BSS processing, dbx equalisation, and Lexicon effects are all proven products that we know and trust. It passed all the tests we could throw at it.”
Apart from removing the need for the external rack, the Si1's compact footprint also helps in the corporate environment, as control areas are continually squeezed as clients and venues put more tables and guests in the room.
The Si1's programmability has proved useful for touring shows too, with the ability to work on a setup externally on a laptop, then upload it to the desk via USB.
“Unlike some of the other desks we looked at, the Si1 integrates really well with the analog world,” Hekimian adds. “The whole input and output structure is really well thought out. It also looks really cool. The look and feel of your equipment is really important when you work with event producers who know their stuff. They're sitting right next to the desk for the whole show, so you need gear that reassures them they're working with professionals.”
HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 20 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 12,000 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $3.8 billion for the twelve months ending June 30, 2011.