Los Angeles (August 12, 2004)–Rat Sound recently took its brand-new Yamaha PM5D-RH digital console for its debut spin at the EPSN X Games, held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
“One week before the event, we got a call from the X Game’s production asking if we had both V-Dosc and the new PM5D-RH,” said Jon Monson, shop manager at Rat Sound. “Ironically enough, we’d also been hearing great things about this piece and had just gotten one in that same day. Timing was perfect! The Games’ production manager had apparently been around some of the designers of the console and had his heart set on that and only that. One week later, it left the Rat shop.”
Rat Sound’s Daniel Bonneau was the FOH engineer for the day; despite having less experience with digital consoles than analog ones, he said. “It was extremely intuitive and easy to navigate. The best thing about it was that this was a festival situation with around four bands a day for four days, so we were able to soundcheck each band and save the mix. When it came to showtime, we just pressed recall, recalled the saved program and were ready to go. Festival situations are sometimes a nightmare for engineers because you are sharing channels, but this made it really easy. Another bonus was that it was both easier and faster to bring the band up with this console because everything is right in front of you–comps, gates and effects–all onboard facing you so you don’t have to bend over and look at racks. You can hear the changes while you’re actually making them!”
Despite guys skating off the ramp 90 feet above your head and what could be compared to the Olympics for the truly daring, the organization was very much like a corporate event. “We had to follow a set TV schedule so our schedules often changed at short notice,” said Bonneau. “Volume was also an issue due to the sound bleeding into the TV announce mics. Despite the distractions, the event seemed to go smoothly. With this event being one of the first shows in the United States with a PM5D-RH and my first time on the console, I’m surprised how well it went for everyone. The PM5D-RH is now at the top of my list and would be more than happy to take this out on any show.”