Former Roxy Music member Brian Eno celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, by introducing the first of two live performances of his 1983 composition Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks in the IMAX Cinema at the Science Museum in London.
Mark Hornsby's company Headtec were appointed by the Science Museum to provide the sound, and Icebreaker's FOH sound engineer Alexander Bossew requisitioned a Soundcraft Vi6 digital console as his first choice.
“I specified this, because it is so easy to produce a warm sound without having to EQ like mad,” he said. “Also the few compressors that I used were working very discreetly.”
Bossew admits with only time for a quick run through ahead of the performance — rather than full rehearsal — there had been little time to purpose-configure the desk, which was plugged straight into the cinema PA. However, this hardly concerned him as the musicians were so experienced. “They were all aware of their own dynamics and so there was little for me to correct at the desk end.”
However, the composition adapted by Jun Lee, required the use of a lot of reverb. “The IMAX is completely dry and I had to use six different internal Lexicon reverbs, which sounded excellent,” he said. That task alone consumed most of the one-hour desk programming time that was allocated.
Unsure up to the last minute whether his favourite desk would be made available Alexander failed to order a MADI soundcard — something he deeply regretted.
“It would have been great to multitrack the show. I have had great recording experiences using the Vi6 in the past — particularly during a music and performing arts festival in Austria (Donaufestival, Krems) in 2007; the stereo recording turned out to be of amazingly good quality.”
In conclusion, the sound engineer says his love of the Vi6 is based on its amazing sound, and the fact that he can work quickly on the surface “even when setting up more sophisticated patches that would be almost impossible to realise on analogue (and many digital) desks.”
He says he feels particularly privileged to have mixed the sound for this landmark event. “Usually my colleague Ernst Zettl mixes their sound and for the performance at the IMAX I was only substituting for him. “But I hope it won't have been the last opportunity I get to collaborate with this astounding collective of excellent musicians.”