Esplanade’s Ben Tay provides a monitor mix on the Soundcraft Vi6 at Singapore’s Baybeats festival.
Singapore’s highly respected arts center, Esplanade—Theatres on the Bay in Singapore’s civic district by Marina Bay at the mouth of the Singapore River, has become the first customer in Asia to purchase the new Soundcraft Vi6 digital console. Esplanade is a not-for-profit organization that opened in 2002. Its programs encompass music, dance, theater and visual arts, with a special focus on Asian culture. The center houses world-class performance spaces, supported by a comprehensive range of professional support facilities and services. In the past year, Esplanade has welcomed more than seven million visitors and hosted more than 1,800 performances.
The Vi6 was first used for Baybeats, Singapore’s annual music festival, a free live indie music event that attracts local bands as well as acts from throughout Malaysia, Norway, the UK and U.S. At Baybeats, the console was used as a monitor desk for the Powerhouse stage. Soon after, it was used at as a front-of-house console for another festival to commemorate Singapore’s National Day.
“We operate two outdoor venues and frequently run shows that feature five or six artists a day,” explains Esplanade’s Robin Shuttleworth. “To manually handle all of the monitoring and front-of-house settings is difficult, so we were looking for ways to improve our setup. Since our console stock is entirely analog, we thought this was the right moment to enter the digital domain.”
“I really liked the profile of the desk,” Shuttleworth continues. “With the Vistonics II touchscreen interface, the Soundcraft Vi6 is so much more user-friendly than other digital consoles. You don’t have to peer at one little screen; instead, there are five generous TFT monitors. And the fact that Studer has played such a big role in the development of the console gave us further confidence.”
The console was purchased as a flexible solution for both FOH and monitoring requirements at Esplanade’s outdoor venues. However, Shuttleworth won’t rule out using the Vi6 indoors in the theater spaces at a future date. “At this stage, not many international riders are asking for digital consoles, so we’ve chosen the Soundcraft Vi6 to suit ourselves rather than anybody else. The board has only just been launched, so we’re in a pioneering position, but the features we get on the Vi6 have made it worthwhile for us to pioneer this console. We’re really happy with it.”