Sidelines (Marietta, Ga.), a sports bar and grill, has now converted its former 350-capacity special events room into a full-on heavy metal concert venue known as The Darkside. Sidelines owner Joe Ahn and Infernal Machine singer/guitarist Shain Stewart are partners in this new project.
To properly equip the new performance space, Stewart turned to Atlanta’s Guitar Center, which suggested a 40-channel Soundcraft GB8 mixing console for the venue. Stewart then brought in Fred Jacobson and Todd Magee of local systems integrator FSJ & Associates to make some final equipment specifications and perform the sound reinforcement system installation.
“Having been a longtime Soundcraft fan, I was excited to learn that Shain was having us install a new GB8,” says Magee, who now also serves as The Darkside’s primary house sound engineer on weekends. “I basically grew up mixing on Soundcrafts, so even though we were installing this desk, I knew that it would sound great, and it does. The new mic pre’s and EQs on the board are absolutely top-notch. There’s lots of headroom and a nice crisp definition on the high end, and yet the GB8 still very much retains that classic British sound.
“The GB8 has individual channel phantom power, phase reverse, 100Hz low-cut filters, 4-band EQs that are incredibly responsive, eight aux sends, four stereo channels, four stereo returns and an 11×4 matrix, which is awesome, considering how affordable this console is. There’s no doubt that a lot of thought went into how the GB8 was laid out and what it was equipped with. This is a quality desk.”
For now, Magee is using the console to mix the house P.A. system and monitor wedges, which, he notes, has been working out very well. “I’ve already had so many musicians tell me that this is the best club to play in the Atlanta area and that they had the best monitor sound ever on this stage. And, of course, I guess I have to share at least some of that credit with the GB8,” he says with a laugh.