LA ROCHE-SUR-YON, France — Fuzz’Yon is a 300-capacity live music venue, which has been operating since 1986 in the French town of La Roche-sur-Yon. Starting out as a haven for rock bands, since 1998 it has diversified into dance genres, such as rap, trip-hop, electro and dub, as well as pop, soul and folk. One of the most intimate live clubs still functioning, Fuzz’Yon recently upgraded its aging sound desks, and after careful evaluation chose a HARMAN Soundcraft Vi6 digital console for FOH and a Vi4 for stage monitoring.
Said general manager Mathieu Rouet, whose multi-purpose role includes permanent sound and light technician, patch engineer, stage manager and equipment maintenance, “We had a 10-year-old desk and didn’t want to replace it with something middle-of-the-road or which didn’t deliver real concert sound. We knew Soundcraft would deliver excellent sound and with many mix engineers visiting the venue it was important we provided them with a recognisable, easy-to-operate desk.” Mathieu’s house technicians were all adamant in their choice.
The desk was supplied by Nantes-based DBAM, who are one of the dealers for SCV, the HARMAN Professional French distributor. The sale was supported by SCV’s Fred Epié, who visited the site for product demonstration and technical training.
Fuzz’Yon itself has an interesting setup. Originally an auction house, it is run by an association that receives funding from the state to broaden the town’s music culture. “Due to the small capacity and the low pricing policy we are unable to book big headline bands but promote bands who are well-known or up-and-coming,” said Mathieu.
The venue receives a lot of well-travelled sound technicians. “We know Soundcraft Vi is their passport to a good experience—the feedback has been amazing and most bring a USB stick with their show file, and plug into the desk.”
At the same time the venue has upgraded its old Soundcraft SM12 monitor desk, taking advantage of the new digital Vi4’s smaller footprint. They can also mix the house sound and monitors from the FOH position if required.
In conclusion, Rouet says the purchase of the Soundcraft Vi’s has revolutionised their way of working. “It has meant fewer racks, cables and paper to copy a show,” he said. “Neither do we need to rent compressors or effects—everything is included in the Vi6.The sound is better than most of the analogue desks and it is easy to use and explain. We feel fortunate to be working with these desks.”