London (April 16, 2010)–Ministry of Sound London’s main dance room, The Box, has its sound mixed on a new Soundcraft Si2 digital sound desk.
Technical Manager Alex Barrand was originally introduced to the Soundcraft Si1 by Harman UK/ROI distributor Sound Technology’s Dave Bradshaw (also former head of technology at the Ministry). As it transpired, Ministry opted for the larger Si2 model. Whereas the standard Si1 has 32 mic inputs mapped on 16 faders, with four dedicated stereo line channels and four dedicated FX Returns from the Lexicon FX processors, the Si2 has 48 mic inputs mapped on 24 faders.
“My other house technicians are delighted with the upgrade,” said Barrand. “I have used a Vi before as well as one of the old SM24’s, and have always felt comfortable. But I had never been on this.”
The console was pressed into service straight out of the box. “After patching the desk on the virtual version then uploading the show data, it was extremely easy,” he said. “The sound was the best we have ever had, from the moment we turned it on.”
The Si2 is used as master mixer for the main room setups, taking feeds from all the booth DJ mixers, as well as bands. Barrand says the extra fader group provided by the Si2 was a bonus, adding that he no longer has any need for an outboard rack, although it is simple to make third party inserts, such as a valve compressor.
“With four Lexicon processors and each channel with its own gate, comps and EQ using dbx and BSS heritage components, I have everything I need inline. It’s got a lot more weight behind it. Plus every input and output has its own dedicated input (output) socket on the back of the console.”
Finally, the 24 Group/Aux busses, available at all times, have helped, too. “On our old analog desks, it was a nightmare to do switchovers; you had to put together your outboard racks every night. But using the bus sends on the Si2 anything can be done very quickly.”