Rat Sound recently debuted its Yamaha PM5D-RH console at the ESPN X Games, held at Los Angeles’ Staples Center.
Rat Sound's Jon Monson says, "One week before the event, we got a call from X Game's production asking if we had both V-DOSC and the new PM5D-RH. Ironically enough, we'd also been hearing great things about this piece and had just gotten one in that same day. The timing was perfect! The production manager had apparently been around some of the designers of the console and had his heart set on that and only that. One week later, it left the Rat shop."
Rat Sound's Daniel Bonneau was the front-of-house engineer for the event. "I hadn't had as much experience with digital consoles as I had analog,” Bonneau says, “but it was extremely intuitive and easy to navigate. The best thing about it was that this was a festival situation with around four bands a day for four days so we were able to soundcheck each band and save the mix. When it came to show time, we just pressed Recall and recalled the saved program and were ready to go. Festival situations are sometimes a nightmare for engineers because you are sharing channels, but this made it really easy.
"Another bonus was that it was both easier and faster to bring the band up with this console because everything is right in front of you—comps, gates and effects—all onboard facing you so you don't have to bend over and look at racks,” Bonneau continued. “You can hear the changes while you're actually making them! We had to follow a set TV schedule so our schedules often changed at short notice. With this event being one of the first shows in the United States with a PM5D-RH and my first time on the console, I'm surprised at how well it went for everyone. The PM5D-RH is now at the top of my list and would be more than happy to take this out on any show."