New York, NY (February 27, 2015)—Massive Attack recently finished a world tour that found it playing a diverse itinerary, ranging from Italy to Iceland. Throughout the jaunt, monitor engineer Paul Hatt used a Soundcraft Vi4 console at stageside.
The Vi4, chosen in part for having a small footprint, was joined by a 32-channel Soundcraft Compact Stagebox for the input extension beyond the fully loaded Vi stage rack, plus a 64-channel Soundcraft Stagebox for additional inputs.
“I think this tour has been the most arduous outing I’ve put the Vi through to date,” said Hatt. “The Vi4 has been thrown about in local trucks, charter flights and endured both extreme heat and torrential rain. In southern Italy, we rallied around, building impromptu gazebos and placed fans around the desk as the direct sunlight and temperature became too intense, and then in Mexico, we had to evacuate the stage after five songs due to an electrical storm. The desk just keeps going and duly boots up every day without issues.”
Since most of the programming was done in production rehearsals, a typical show day for the technical team starts with loading in early in the morning, followed by a line-check and a rollback on all the gear. They then return in the evening for another line-check before show time. For Hatt, the absence of backline amps or loudspeakers on-stage and a good separation of microphones to minimalize spill created a pleasant mixing environment.
“The shows we do are dynamic and scene-heavy from a mixing perspective,” said Hatt. “Everyone is on IEMs and there are two drum kits, acoustic and electric, the latter providing what can be quite radically different triggered sounds from one song to the next. It’s actually been great on this tour to really get a bit deeper into the snapshot capabilities of the Vi4. I’ve used this desk as a layered analog console for years, but now I’ve had the chance to deal with it on a more technical level, and I’ve been very pleased with the results.”