As one of the few UK partners selected to join the new Soundcraft Vi network, Liverpool-based Adlib has been consolidating its growing fleet of Vi6 and Vi3000 consoles — for rental, sales and installation.
Confirms director Dave Kay, “The Soundcraft Vi series remains our first choice of console in view of its simplicity, reliability and usability. We provide regular training for potential users, backed up by a great service and support team.”
Despite making an immediate commitment to the company’s new Vi3000 hybrid — investing heavily for both sales and rental stock — he emphasises that the Vi6 shows no sign of letting up, even after eight years.
“This is because the software and feature set has evolved over the years, making it still very much a current product which continues to be specified,” he says In 2015 we have already had the consoles out on some high profile tours, The Script’s monitor engineer Paul ‘Mini’ Moore is currently using it on the ‘No Sound Without Silence Tour’, Illias Andrianatos specified a Vi6 for the February Kaiser Chiefs arena tour and had a Vi1 out last year for some smaller club shows when they didn’t have the truck space to transport the Vi6, while a third sound engineer who has also been booking the desk into Monitor World has been Lady Antebellum’s Peter Bowman for some European dates and the ‘Country to Country’ headline show last weekend.
Paul ‘Mini’ Moore who mixes monitors for The Script says “I have always loved the simplicity of Soundcraft analogue consoles and the Vi range retains this look and feel, everything is easy to access and I can see all the channel information at a glance.”
Dave Kay is in no doubt why the Vi6 is proving such a popular monitor desk. “It’s an extremely good workhorse, with lots of outputs, screens and faders. Any monitor engineer likes to have a lot of visual feedback and desks tend to be either ‘heads up’ or ‘heads down’. While many are moving to a single screen with fewer faders the Vi6 and Vi3000 are both ‘heads up’ consoles where you can feel your way easily around the desk and maintain visual contact with the stage, instead of having lots of pages and menus to scroll through.”
He also notes “the significant upgrade” introduced in the new 4.8 software, providing the option to turn all busses to stereo; with the stereo mix capability doubled to 32 — without stealing any other busses — this is ideal for the growing number of in-ear mixes.
Meanwhile, there has been no shortage of takers for the Vi3000 — and Audio dept Director Dave Jones anticipates a busy year in prospect for the desk. Adlib engineer Steve ‘Pato’ Pattison has already been out with Britain’s Got Talent winners, Collabro, and expect further Vi3000 deployments — by the experienced Walter Jaquiss, a Soundcraft Vi ambassador, with John Barrowman, and John Delf with the UK and European legs of the of 5 Seconds of Summer Arena tour.
“Pato is making full use of the Dante outputs on the Vi3000, interfaced with the Aviom personal monitor mixing,” reports Kay. Along with the Realtime Rack, integrated into the Vi3000 package for playback and recording, sound engineers also like the improved mic preamps on the Vi3000.”
In summary he says, “The Vi platform was built with a lot of scope for expansion from the beginning and after eight years, for the desk still to be current is great. Last year Soundcraft came out with more option cards including the Dante and RockNet cards — and with improvements like this and the stereo busses, the company has shown its ongoing commitment to new features.
“As for the Vi3000 it’s a great compact package and we can put it out with confidence and without the need for extra racks.
“With all the platforms Soundcraft try and keep a common standard so that wherever you are you have a standard Vi package — and engineers can move easily between the Vi6 and Vi1 using the same show file.”