As Deep Purple continue their tour through Germany and France, their long-serving FOH engineer Gert Sanner has taken the opportunity to transfer his show mix from his trusty Soundcraft Vi6 digital console to the smaller footprint of the new Vi1.
An early adopter of the Vi6 (since when he has regularly provided technical support to sales and rental company, SSE Group), Sanner was keen to move his show files to the Vi1 and prove the process in a real-world environment.
“The purpose was to create show files that would work on any Vi console,” he stated, with the end goal of purchasing a Vi1 for the band. Fortunately, the show transfer has proved 100% successful.
The features that originally persuaded Sanner to adopt this route were not only the Vi1's compact footprint but the analogue inputs on the rear of the console. “This feature is great for the festival shows we do all over the world. It gives me the chance to use either the optical multis or analogue inputs from the house multis — providing the flexibility for all situations we would run into.”
Size became an important consideration for more reasons than one. “As a five-piece rock band Deep Purple only uses 26 inputs (and four effects) so the Vi1 has ample capacity. For us it is also important that the desk [which measures just 394mm x 1034mm x 711mm] fits on an aircraft, and that I can take it as excess baggage.”
Having now completed his rigorous trials, the FOH engineer declares that he has been able to tick every box. “It was important to be sure that the Vi1 would work on the road and to discover whether there were any compatibility issues or areas for improvement. I did this by demoing it to people with an interest — and I'm pleased to report that everything worked 100%.
“We are now waiting for Soundcraft's new [compact] stagebox — which will enable digital tie-line usage — along with some digital I/O cards and I will be ready to move onto the Vi1 in the New Year. Sonically it is just the same as the Vi6.”
Although his discovery of the Vi1 won't mean that the sound man is about to turn his back on the Vi6, he remains unequivocal about its diminutive offspring. “This is a real Vi — in fact it contains a few features that I almost prefer to those on the bigger desks…and it fits on a plane! The encoder layout is great and for the monitor guys the encoder row can have multiple jobs at once.
“It sounds great and weighs nothing — and will definitely close a gap in the market. I can'twait to stick it on the plane to Mexico!”
Photo Caption: Gert Sanner sticks to his guns with a Soundcraft Vi1 (left) and Vi6 (right).
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