New York (December 12, 2011)—This past weekend, the third annual Wintersong Band concert series was held at the Brooke Theatre in Bound Brook, NJ, with the eight-piece namesake band staying on the same page via Aviom personal mixers.
The Wintersong Band hosts an annual concert that features a compilation of holiday classics and original compositions, with the intention of offering a great night of music while giving back to the community. The two-night concert features an eight-piece band, including a bass player, keyboard player, drummer, two electric guitar players, an acoustic guitar player, a percussionist and a fiddle player—with some musicians playing multiple instruments, such as the banjo or mandolin. Depending on the song, there is anywhere from one single vocalist to several with a group of backup singers, requiring equipment that can match the dynamic nature of the show and its various band configurations.
“It was our goal to create a concert that’s fresh and really puts us and the people who come to the show in the spirit of Christmas,” says Michael Hoddy, sound designer and co-creator of the Wintersong Band. While the first two years’ concerts took place in Hoddy’s local church, this year’s show was the group’s biggest yet, held at the historic Brook Theatre. “It’s an old 1920-something theatre—a really great environment to celebrate this wonderful holiday. Since the collection of songs ranges from rock to folk to Latin to a capella, the stage layout changes considerably throughout the show.”
Hoddy, who uses Aviom personal mixers regularly when consulting as a sound designer, has used Aviom personal mixers for all Wintersong Band productions to date. “I’ve been using Aviom products since about 2004,” says Hoddy. “Aviom Personal Mixers have always been easy to implement and are reliable. What makes them specifically beneficial during Wintersong is the fact that we have really limited rehearsal time. It’s hard enough to get our entire group together to run through the show of about 20 tunes, so what we don’t have time to do is mess around with monitors.”
This year’s Wintersong system included a Yamaha digital console equipped with an Aviom16/o-Y1 A-Net Card. One Cat-5 cable ran from the Y1 card in the console to two A-16D Pro A-Net Distributors on stage—one stage left and the other stage right. From there, the A-16D Pros provided 16 channels of audio to both A-16R Personal Mixers and A-16II Personal Mixers used by musicians with either personal monitors or floor wedges, depending on their position. “It’s a very flexible, adaptable solution and we love that the Cat-5 keeps the system simple without the need for special wires or proprietary cables,” says Hoddy. “Besides the obvious benefits of being able to get it set up very quickly, it is ridiculously reliable and allows us to simply make music. In all of my years of using Aviom, you plug it in and it works.”
Hoddy, his band and the show engineers loaded into the venue only one day prior to the show, significantly limiting on-site rehearsals. “It’s simple; you can just put the system together as you need to, so if you need to add another mixer once you’re on site, you can easily do so,” says Hoddy. “We have to get in and get going very quickly, so with the Aviom system, we don’t really have to think a lot about our setup—everything’s right there and we don’t have microphone feedback. Considering our setup is in an unfamiliar space, Aviom Personal Mixers provide us with something that is familiar and predictable.”