Engineer Chris Leeckie used Harman’s Soundcraft Vi Series consoles while on tour with Kaiser Chiefs in the U.S. and Europe.
While on tour with 5-piece rock band Kaiser Chiefs, sound engineer Chris Leckie has relied on Harman’s Soundcraft Vi Series consoles for all front-of-house and monitor needs. During the European part of the tour, which took place through the end of July, Leckie and monitor engineer Ilias Andrianatos used the Soundcraft Vi6.
However, Leckie reports that during the preceding North American leg of the tour, it was not logistically practical to transport the Vi6 around the country. “Harman and Soundcraft were helpful in supplying a pair of the more compact Vi1 consoles to be used by me and our monitor engineer. This allowed us to retain most of the facilities available to us on our Vi6, and keep some degree of consistency from show to show.
“[Kaiser Chiefs] don’t play to a click track, which adds difficulty to my job,” Leckie continues. “There isn’t a rack of equipment sending me identical program material at the same level every night, and if I’m going to keep a handle on the somewhat unpredictable, wriggling beast that is a Kaiser show, I need to see what is going on at all times and have access to everything as quickly as I would on an analog board. Soundcraft and the Vi Series does that, and at any point I can see EQ, gates, compression, effects, etcetera, on every channel, rather than having to negotiate my way through multiple tiers and screens.
“With each software update the desk gets better, with sensible and useful additions that continue to make my job easier and more enjoyable,” Leckie adds. “The new user layers allow me to arrange faders into convenient locations for specific songs. The quality of EQ and dynamics of the Vi console is superb as well. At any time, Ricky Wilson [vocals] can pick up any of the three different vocal microphones at his disposal and I have to maintain the intelligibility and consistency when he climbs up in the front of the P.A. or wherever he runs around.”