SSE Audio Group has one of its four new Soundcraft Vi6 digital consoles out on tour with British metal band Thunder.
The Soundcraft Vi6 is in the hands of FOH engineer Pete Russell, who has been mixing the band for nearly a dozen years. Also a project manager for the SSE Audio Group, Russell has been close to the development program of the Vi6, but this is the first opportunity he has had to use the console on the road.
“Although it’ s right up there sonically, the outstanding quality of this desk is that it is just so user-friendly,” Russell says. “I’ m very impressed by the amount of information that is available on the surface and how easy it is to use. The layout is excellent; within two minutes of seeing the Vi6 for the first time, I could work out how to mix on it. You can’ t say that of many digital consoles.
“Thunder is a very live band, so I can’ t really program the mix—it’ s very hands-on; I fly by the seat of my pants,” Russell continues. “There are no backing tracks. Guitars, amps, drums, they play; that’ s it. So I’ m not using the snapshots or presets for this band, just setup memory and gig memory plus setup for the support band, although that would be different if it was a band where one could preset or program a lot of the mix.”
In his capacity as project manager, Russell has also recommended the Vi6 to SSE client Bullet for My Valentine. “It’ s ideal for their gigs, where there are three or four bands on the bill, and they’ve chosen to use Vi6 at both ends,” he says.
An unusual aspect of this tour involves the support act slot being put up as a competition prize. Dates were divided up between five winning bands, so Russell is seeing a lot of new faces at the mix position. “With the setup memory safely on the desk, I am perfectly happy for the support engineer to come out and use the main console,” he says.
With the support bands using the same console, Russell has no backup plan, demonstrating his confidence in the stability of the Vi6 platform. “I’ve got a phone, and Andy Brown and Simon Roome from Soundcraft are at the other end of it!” he says. “They’ve given me all the backup I need.”