Hollywood, CA—November 2018… A legend in the Los Angeles area for 35 years, the Cat & Fiddle opened in Laurel Canyon in 1982. Cofounded by Paula Gardner and her late husband, Kim, a London bass player whose former bandmates included Rod Stewart and Ron Wood, the British-style pub moved to Sunset Boulevard three years later, where it became a music industry landmark for more than 30 years. The pub, which regularly features live entertainment, moved to its new location at Highland and Melrose in 2017.
Daughters Eva, Ashlee, and Camille grew up in the Cat & Fiddle and now co-own and operate the popular venue with Paula. “My father was a musician; first and foremost he was a bass player,” recalls Eva Gardner, an accomplished bassist in her own right. “So when he opened the Cat & Fiddle, it was a place for him to entertain his musician friends. Anyone who was on tour at the time came through the Cat & Fiddle.”
Not surprisingly, the Cat & Fiddle also became a place for live music, and it continues to be a live venue. “Many different acts come through here,” Eva reports. “We have singer/songwriters, a more acoustic vibe, and full-on electric bands with bass, drums, and guitar.”
And as Eva observes, they have always relied on Mackie gear. “We’ve always used Mackie products for the Cat & Fiddle; we’ve used their PA mixers for decades. It felt natural to follow suit, so we use Mackie SRM450s and ProFX12v2 mixer in our new location.”
The compact Mackie ProFX12v2 provides 12 input channels, configured as 4 mono and 4 stereo channels. Its six mic inputs feature Mackie’s Vita preamps, which were designed specifically for live sound. High-impedance inputs enable direct connection of guitars and bass—especially convenient for quick setup of the Cat & Fiddle’s singer/songwriters and acoustic acts. Mackie’s built-in ReadyFX™ effects engine delivers 16 effects, including reverbs, delays, and choruses. The ProFX12v2 offers 3-band EQ on all channels and a 7-band graphic EQ for tuning mains or monitors. A built-in USB computer interface and included Tracktion recording software enable visiting acts to record their sets and stream tracks from a computer.
The Cat & Fiddle employs Mackie SRM450v3 powered loudspeakers for the mains, with some loudspeakers mounted in-wall and others placed atop tripods near the stage. The SRM450v3’s 1,000 watt power amplifier drives a 12-inch, high-output low-frequency driver and 1.4-inch titanium dome compression driver, delivering up to 128 dB SPL—more than enough to fill the Cat & Fiddle with clear, rich sound.
Between the ProFX12v2 mixer’s versatility and the SRM450v3 power and clarity, the Cat & Fiddle can handle a wide variety of acts. ”Lately the entertainment that we’ve done has been a lot more intimate,” notes Camille. “But we have DJ nights, as well,” points out Ashlee, “so we need a versatile system.”
“To have a PA system that can cater to all these different configurations is very important,” Eva concludes. “We’re able to do that with the Mackie system. Mackie has been a reliable brand for all the years that we’ve been in business.”