As a non-profit organization with a mission to foster musical success around Berkeley, California, Freight and Salvage Coffee House has hosted a wide range of musical performances for more than 40 years. When it moved to a new facility at the beginning of the year, it needed a state-of-the-art audio system that had the flexibility to handle anything from rock and roll to soft acoustical shows, which is why the venue opted for the Soundcraft Vi4 digital console.
Located in the heart of Berkeley since 1968, Freight and Salvage had been in the same building since opening its doors. When the decision to move was made at the beginning of the year, it needed to find a building that could provide a large auditorium for concerts, but also contain smaller rooms for its expanding educational program. Freight and Salvage relocated to an old building that was renovated to look like new; it now features a 440-person auditorium and six classrooms for practicing and teaching performers. The installation was completed by Pro Media / UltraSound, with Shalleck Collaborative contributing to the design work.
“When we were looking for a mixing console, we were really looking for something with a huge amount of flexibility, something that could handle a range of different types of music,” says Steve May, Technical Director at Freight and Salvage. “We also needed something that was easy to use, because we have a staff of 12 using the console on any given night. With the Soundcraft Vi4 digital mixing console, we were able to get the flexibility that we needed, with tremendous power and clarity and also with the ease of use that we needed.”
Another reason that May selected the Vi4 was the digital console's ability to save digital presets, giving the crew the power to have specific settings for specific shows. With the Vi4, each member of May's staff can have their own settings saved and ready to go at the touch of a button, and each show can be specially designed weeks before and saved to the console.
“A couple of the other competitors' consoles seemed easy to figure out, but we just had to push so many buttons to find anything,” May continues. “The Vi4 had everything accessible right there, with each setting easily visible above each input strip. It just gave us incredible amounts of control.”
With such an array of different instruments at any given time, control is exactly what Freight and Salvage needed. For example, at the opening show, local singer/songwriter Barbara Hippy was playing with her band that included a piano, a saxophone, a base guitar, drums, percussion, acoustic guitar, and a ukulele, all in different combinations.
“At Hippy's show, the Vi4 really proved to everyone that it was the best selection,” May says. “On that show and ever since, we couldn't be happier with the consoles ability to handle even the most complex settings with ease.
For more information on Pro Media/ UltraSound, please visit http://www.promediaultrasound.com/