New York, NY (April 19, 2011)—Some consoles might tour through the Ozarks, but a pair of Soundcraft’s Vi consoles are touring with one—the band Ozark Henry.
Ozark Henry (which is also the stage name of founder Piet Goddaer) will be touring arenas up to 6,000 capacity in Germany and Benelux through the spring and early summer before playing a major part in Europe’s festival scene and then continuing through 30-40 Benelux theatre dates in the Autumn.
Handling the FOH mix is Tom Janssen, while Ancienne Belgique is the monitor man. Stef De Pooter, Audio XL Belgium’s general manager, suggested they try out the desks. A Vi4 was proposed for FOH and Vi1 for the stage — but De Pooter was already thinking way beyond. “We needed a rental company customer for the desks — and decided to make them ultimately tourable in a dry hire situation.” Enter nearby production hire outfit, M&L Productions, run by Luc Meykens.
Stef De Pooter then contacted Thomas Verspaendonck from cabling company, Livepower/Caponline and outlined his requirement. “They make these incredible custom patch panels and cabling assemblies, patch blocks, patching systems and panel engravings,” he said, recalling how previously they had developed universal patch panels to allow any engineer or sub-renting production company to connect up to the stage racks.
With M&L Productions moving increasingly into dry hire, he repeated the commission, while for the Ozark Henry tour itself Audio XL’s in-house technical guru Udo Vanmechelen devised a fiber link that would send digital audio, data and Ethernet from the FOH Vi4 to the local rack, stationed together with the shared stage box by the Vi1 in Monitor World.
“Everyone loved the idea of a shared stagerack solution for both consoles to keep the footprint as small as possible (which helps transportation) and all the racks on stage,” said the AudioXL man.
The Vi platform lends itself well to this kind of setup,” explains Vanmechelen. “We send digital audio, data, Ethernet and even intercom over fibre to the Vi4’s at FOH and to the stagerack, which in this case is shared with the Vi1.” This provides overall analogue mic gain masters for FOH and monitors, while on the Vi4 there is still +18dB/-36dB digital trim to adjust if needed at FOH.
The two Vi’s supplied by M&L are packaged as a straightforward ‘plug-and-play’ system. Stef De Pooter: “The set will only go out fully packaged with digital and analogue cabling, including 12in/4out stage boxes, and made to measure snakes on multiconnectors and patch panels with no need to touch the racks.