Building on its already stellar reputation for world-class, advanced audio designs, Escondido, California-based Sound Image is currently deploying a Soundcraft Vi6 digital console as part of the sound system for Erykah Badu's international 43-night tour. With a lineup of opening acts worthy of the headliner title themselves, the “Out My Mind, Just In Time Tour 2010 AD” required the most reliable audio equipment on the market to ensure fans are completely immersed in “Badu World.”
At the heart of the audio system is the Soundcraft Vi6 console, along with JBL VERTEC® line arrays. After a demonstration more than three years ago, Kenneth H. Williams, Badu's production manager and front of house engineer, knew this tour would be the opportunity to bring the board in. “I was totally impressed with the sound quality and the fact that you had so much versatility with the Vi6 console,” said Williams.
When given the opportunity to help design the tour, Williams called upon Gary Sanguinet, touring manager for Sound Image. “I took the Vi6 right off the shelf and everything sounded amazing almost immediately,” said Sanguinet. “Ken was adamant that the Vi6 be used on this tour as it allows us to properly manage all of Erykah's wide range of instrumentation and vocals. Our â€˜Master Patch Dude,' Fumi Okazaki, couldn't be happier.”
With the deep sounds the band constructs through its variety of instruments, Williams and Sanguinet use a disparity of musical styles to find the subtle impurities that would drive a soundman wild in the middle of a show. For example, the duo uses country music for the majority of its sound checks to get a broad view of the audio spectrum.
“Erykah always says, â€˜stay in the moment,' and we have to be really flexible to convey these moments to her fans,” continued Williams. “For each 2-hour set, my goal is to bring her vision to the audience, immerse them in her vision without pummeling them in sound. Every aspect of the system, from the Vi6 board to the JBL VERTEC line arrays, allows me to do so.”
“Soundcraft is synonymous with crystal-clear, perfect sound,” Williams concluded.