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Yamaha CL Digital Consoles ‘Shine’ Bright for Legendary Band

BUENA PARK, Calif.—The band that’s been ‘shaking bootys since 1973’ and just released a new CD with songs from the 60s, KC and the Sunshine Band (KCSB) is still going strong. Touring consistently year after year, the band’s front of house and monitor engineer recently turned to Yamaha CL Digital Audio Consoles for mix detail.

The KCSB system design was the product of front of house engineer David Dean, monitor engineer Chad Griswold, and production manager Rick Raymond brainstorming while sitting outside a frozen yogurt eatery in Sao Paulo, Brazil earlier this year. “We sketched out the idea on a napkin and discussed the idea frequently through early summer, states Dean. We have a large band, and our design sought to minimize the show footprint and truck pack as well as take advantage of the networked audio capability.” 

Dean, who is a faculty member at Full Sail in Orlando, said the school has had a long history of using Yamaha consoles dating back to the PM3000 and 2500 models. “Faculty teaching within the Show Production Bachelor’s Degree Program here at Full Sail is active in the live event production field, and the gear we use to teach students has to be national act rider friendly for us to consider purchasing so that students learn on equipment they will use in the field. The Yamaha gear fills these requirements.”

Brian Coviello from Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems brought out a CL5 to Full Sail in 2013. “Initially, I was skeptical about us fitting it into our school curriculum, but fellow colleague and faculty member, Mark Johnson, and I witnessed my show production class setting up the CL5 and Rio rack system with no instructor help, says Dean. They had the Dante patched up with multi-track playback and were making noise within 10 minutes!” Dean said he attributes this to the similarities between the Yamaha M7CL and CL Series. The students utilize a 6-station M7CL mix lab on a regular basis and this familiarity helped them when presented with a CL. The M7CL lab also incorporates an old, but reliable, CobraNet™ setup used to distribute multi-track from Pro Tools to each student’s M7CL via Yamaha MY cards.

After that experience, Dean said he came to the realization that the Yamaha CL Series was going to be a major player in the market that his students would soon be entering. “I no longer had reservations regarding our adopting the CL Series here at school. In fact, we are currently in the process of designing an upgrade to our production facilities that will include Yamaha CL and QL consoles and Dante.

“KCSB monitor engineer Griswold was an early adopter of both the Yamaha CL and the new Yamaha QL and had been raving about the capability of Dante,” notes Dean. He had recently done a corporate gig where he had accessed a Shure ULX-d wireless system via Dante. In addition to mixing monitors for KCSB, Chad owns Mastermind Production Group Inc. based in Orange, CA where the new KCSB system was built and tested.”

With Dante networking as a major factor in the decision, and both Dean and Griswold having positive experiences with the new Yamaha QL and CL consoles, the CL5/Rio/Dante option was incorporated into the KCSB show design. “The benefit of losing most of our stage wiring while shrinking our Monitor/FOH footprint would enable us to easily adapt to the different venue styles we encounter throughout the year with KC and the Sunshine Band,” Dean adds.

The dual Yamaha CL5 system for front of house and monitors consists of three Rio 1608-D input/output boxes on stage as stage I/O connections with custom panels for power and single I/O; one Rio1608-D in monitor world with RF mics in the same rack, handling all FOH sends and any extra INs that the engineers constantly have on events, two Rio Ro8 racks for in-ears (all ears are now in their own rack), four Cisco SG300-20 switches-two at monitors and one for front of house on stage, and one 500’ Fiber Optic snake for the front of house run.

For more information on Yamaha CL and QL digital audio consoles, visit


Photo ID: L to R: David Dean – FOHE,Chad Griswold – ME, Rick Raymond – PM

About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems:

Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. (YCAS) provides a full line of professional audio products offering complete systems solutions for the sound reinforcement, touring, broadcast, commercial recording, and post-production markets with a complete line of digital mixers, amplifiers, speakers, processors, networking capabilities, and NUAGE Advanced Production DAW System. YCAS is also the official North American distributor for NEXO speaker products. With the new CIS Series that includes ceiling and surface mount speakers, mixer and power amplifiers, and matrix processors, the Company furthers is commitment to their commercial installation solutions customers. All market sectors receive comprehensive in-house/field product training, a dedicated dealer network, and 24/7 technical support.