Midwest Concert Concepts (Superior, Wisc.) has purchased two of InnovaSon’s Grand Live consoles earlier this year. The company, after testing the Grand Live against other digital and analog mixing boards, went with Grand Live because, "We decided that buying a new analog would amount to a sideways move and that stepping into the digital realm for live sound reinforcement and mixing was important to our future," says Midwest Concert Concepts’ co-owner, Brian Houle.
The Grand Live's intuitive design, easy setup and sonic quality were among the reasons Midwest Concert Concepts chose these consoles. All of those factors, especially ease-of-use, are important because the company works at a lot of festivals. "We have to stage multiple bands," Houle says. "And because of its recall capabilities, we can mike up two acts at a time, hit Recall and then move on. We can patch any mic preamp to any fader on the console. Plus, unlike a lot of digital boards on the market, they are easy to use. And that's important in teaching the band’s engineers, who are used to mixing on analog equipment, how to mix digitally. Once these guys who've been raised on analog see how simple it is to use, they're like, 'Oh, I can do this.'"
One of the specific features Houle likes is the unit's mic preamp capabilities. “Its sonic quality stacks up well against more expensive analog consoles,” he explains. “The console's recall capabilities also provide a big boost over the plodding performance of analog units. What's more, there's a lot less equipment needed. We now carry a cable case half the size of what we had to carry the analog snake in. Plus, we can do what's traditionally taken two analog consoles to do with one InnovaSon unit."
The unit's upgradeability is another factor that prompted Midwest Concert Concepts to purchase the Grand Live. InnovaSon's new-generation Sy80 console was not yet on the market when they acquired the two units. But because of the Grand Live's configuration, new features and subsequent equipment can be incorporated.
"We can have these units completely refitted with Sy80 features for a minimal cost," Houle says. "We like the way the firmware is designed and the fact that we're not locked into that technology."