On a worldwide tour in support of her hit album It's Not Me, It's You, singer/composer Lily Allen has enjoyed great front-of-house sound on four continents, thanks to the Soundcraft Vi6â„¢ large-format digital live sound console. The Vi6, designed using the proven reliability of Studer's Vistaâ„¢ and OnAir 3000â„¢ series of consoles and that utilizes the incredibly intuitive Vistonicsâ„¢ II user interface, lets Allen and her band effortlessly convey the sophisticated lyrics and dynamic music of her powerful songs.
Front-of-house engineer Shan Hira has found the Soundcraft Vi6 to be a comprehensive mixing and processing platform: he's using all onboard effects except for a Manley Voxbox and an XTA â…“-octave graphic EQ on Allen's vocals. “I especially like the onboard effects package,” he says. “Having eight Lexicons to play with is a rare old treat!”
Hira, who has also mixed for the Chemical Brothers and The Streets, has been a fan of the Vi6 for some time. “I had used it before and liked the layout, ease of use, and most importantly the sound of the desk,” he says. The Vi6 delivers a lot of power and features, including 64 mono inputs into 35 outputs and a 32-group/aux matrix, plus main LCR Mix and LR Solo busses. But it does so in a very compact amount of space. “As we were doing a sold-out club tour, the footprint at FOH was an issue, as was truck space,” Hira explains. “So its small size fit the bill perfectly. It made FOH very quick to set up, and it was very reliable—never let me down once. It's a great console.”
Soundcraft's first large-format digital live desk, the Soundcraft Vi6 is a third-generation console, thanks to a joint development with sister console company Studer, and is part of the extensive Vi Series of consoles. Its patented Vistonics II interface uses a sophisticated touchscreen color TFT monitor with integral rotary controls and switches mounted on the glass to provide a “where you look is where you control” user experience. The Vi6 offers 64 mono inputs (expandable up to 96) into 35 outputs. Pairs of mono inputs can be linked to create stereo channels. Its 24 insert send/return pairs can be configured (using available I/O) and assigned to any of the 64 inputs or 35 output channels. All 64 input channels can have direct outputs in addition to their internal bus routing, assuming sufficient I/O is available (via an optical MADI card). There are 16 GPIO contact closure inputs and outputs on the local rack, and 8 inputs and outputs on the stagebox, as well as one MIDI In and two MIDI Outs on the rear of the control surface.
Artist Photo Credit: Fay Woodford, faywoodford.co.uk