Mark HalberstadtBoulder, CO (April 22, 2009)–Colorado-based funk band Funkiphino has developed a new working paradigm centered around Aviom’s Pro64 and Pro16 system capabilities and interface.
Playing as a group for over 10 years, performing at high-end private corporate events as well as weddings, Funkiphino needed a way to keep its on-stage image polished and clutter-free while ensuring that all of the band members were able to communicate with one another.
“We’re a 13-piece funk band and our sheer size limits the places we can play,” says keyboardist/manager Chris Fischer. “Our relationship with Aviom equipment turned into an evolution in our working model, replacing first our outdated, feedback-ridden floor monitoring system and, in its final form, actually changing our front-of-house mix system. I think that is quite remarkable for a monitoring/communication system.”
This evolution began with the band using Pro16 Personal Mixers to upgrade the monitoring system. According to Fischer, “We were playing in venue after venue where the engineers were simply in over their heads. We had enough instances where we had horrible, nightmare monitoring issues and that’s what initially got us to move into the Aviom orbit. Once we got used to in-ear monitoring and having individual control of our mixes, we began to analyze our entire equipment chain.”
Because of the close integration between Yamaha and Aviom, the group decided to acquire a Yamaha DM1000 digital console for the front-of-house mix. “We upgraded to the digital console and the Aviom Pro64 system,” says the band’s technical advisor, Mark Halberstadt. “The change for us was dramatic.” Using the 6416m Mic Input Module and the 6416Y2 A-Net Interface Card, the band sends 16 channels of digital audio directly into its console from the stage inputs. The 6416Y2 card also sends 16 returns to the band’s A-16R Personal Mixers.
All rack-mounted gear and the front-of-house console are located backstage. The sound engineer controls the console from across the room in a typical front-of-house position from a tablet PC that is wirelessly connected to the console.
“When you take a look at what we are doing, it is hard to believe that everybody isn’t doing this,” says Halberstadt. “We no longer need to run a snake across the room into the console, because we no longer need to have a console out in the middle of the audience. For a high-end corporate event or exclusive wedding, the facility owners and the clients are extremely happy. We can now deliver a better sounding performance and we take up 50 percent less room. Where we had to run snakes onstage, we now run a Cat-5 cable and our front-of-house engineer can be completely wireless. The entire evolution of this system is incredible and it started with the Aviom card for the Yamaha console.”
The new setup improved communication for the band, says Halberstadt. “The first thing we instituted with the new system was an intercom channel where the members can converse and the drummer can count off a song without involving the audience.”
Adds Fischer, “We can now walk into a facility, set up and know that 95 percent of our sound is ready to go. This takes an enormous amount of stress out of each setup in terms of scheduling. We all want to be efficient at all times, but this is show business after all, and the nature of the business is to expect the unexpected. Now, we are carrying a lot less equipment and we are setting up very compactly. If we are running late for some reason, we simply turn on the system, hit a button and we are performing.”