The Knitting Factory in New York City celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, a milestone it’s marking with a complete technical overhaul to its main stage sound reinforcement, lighting and video systems. One of the first upgrades is a 32-mono/4-stereo-channel Soundcraft MH3 mixing console to the FOH position.
“The MH3 is a really great-sounding console,” Knitting Factory's head mixer Jason Tubbs (pictured) says. “The definition I’m getting out of this desk is far greater than we’ve ever had. And the real beauty of it for a venue like ours is that it’s straightforward and analog with great-sounding preamps, nice responsive EQ and more aux sends than I’d ever need.
“I really wanted to keep it simple,” Tubbs continues. “We have at least two or three outside engineers here a week, and that’s a number that has actually increased. I wanted a console I knew engineers would be able to simply walk in, sit down and get to work on. I think that’s extremely important at the club level. These are the trenches—you’re on a tight schedule and you’re an hour late for soundcheck and need to load in, set up quick, do your soundcheck and get out of the way for the next band. Things have to happen fast.”
As a dual-purpose console, the Soundcraft MH3 has been providing both the FOH and monitor mixes since the desk went in. However, the club has recently carved out some new space just off the stage to accommodate a monitor mix position, which will allow the MH3 to serve as a dedicated FOH console. “The MH3 has 12 aux sends, and I’ve been using seven of them for monitors and effects, but now our monitor mixes will be handled from the stage, which is a big development for us.”
Upgrades to the club also include new powered speakers, a monitor console and outboard processing, as well as an HD video system. XM Satellite Radio recently launched a "Live From The Knitting Factory" program, airing shows from both the New York City and Los Angeles Knitting Factory locations. “We’ve worked with Effanel here in New York, and that’s gone really well so far,” says Tubbs of the XM productions. “They simply bring in an HD rig and set it up backstage, so it goes on completely independently of FOH, but the improved room sound overall is certainly a factor.”