LONDON, United Kingdom – More than 30 years since winning the world over with pop classics like “Karma Chameleon” and “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”, Culture Club is reuniting for a string of concerts throughout North America, to be followed by a multi-arena tour in the United Kingdom. The band’s longtime front of house engineer, Jimmy Sarikas, aka “Mixologist”, recently purchased a HARMAN Soundcraft Vi3000 console, which he put to use for a private Culture Club performance at the Heaven nightclub in London. The console was sold through SSE Audio Group, Soundcraft Vi Select dealer.
Jimmy purchased the Vi3000 for multiple purposes, including live mixing as well as studio and mobile recording. “I’m a one-stop shop, so I needed a console that could perform multiple functions,” he said. “I can roll up to a festival and do live multi-track recording and broadcast, and I have multiple duplication systems in my truck, so I can give you 200 CDs in a half-hour after the show.”
The first task for Jimmy’s new desk – was a private performance from the group at the Heaven nightclub in London.
Alex Penn, Sales Director for SSE Audio Group commented, “As SSE Hire has been working with Culture Club on various recent events, and SSE Audio Group has been long term suppliers of Soundcraft Vi consoles for both Hire and Sales, Jimmy got in touch with SSE Sales when he decided that the Vi3000 was his console of choice. As Jimmy really wanted to use all of the available features of the console we had to develop some customised packaging solutions, housing two screens (record overview and Realtime Rack) in the case, as well as the Realtime Rack itself and a UPS.”
According to Jimmy, the Vi3000 offers multiple benefits compared to other consoles on the market. “For starters, the sound quality of the Vi3000 is just amazing,” he said. “Vi Series consoles have always had an amazing sound and that’s the case with the Vi3000. The second major factor is ease of use. I personally feel that manufacturers are making boards that are too small. I want some faders! My arms are more than capable to open as wide as 24 faders, so it’s Soundcraft all the way for me.”
For the Culture Club shows, Jimmy is running 53 channels to accommodate the multiple vocals and diverse instrumentation on stage, which includes two piano players, several guitars, a brass section and a variety of percussion. Jimmy is also utilizing the Soundcraft Realtime Rack, a 1RU box that features a library of Universal Audio plug-ins.
“I’m loving the Dante connectivity because I record 64 channels in and 64 channels out for virtual sound checks as well as my multi-track recordings,” Jimmy noted. “I’m working with two machines for that [Mac Minis with SSD hard drives]. Both computers fit in a 1RU rack located in the flight case of the Vi3000: one is my recording device and the other is the Realtime Rack.” The computer with the “Realtime Rack” software also records a redundant 64 channels of multi-track audio via the secondary Dante output. The two screens also slide into compartments in the case. Can you believe all this and the Vi3000 in one box on wheels?”
In addition, Jimmy’s positive experience with Soundcraft boards in the past played a factor in his decision to add the Vi3000 to his arsenal. “I’ve used Vi6 consoles at festivals before and they always felt a bit daunting at first, but the truth is that Vi consoles are probably the easiest control surfaces to use,” Jimmy said. “There aren’t any hidden pages—what you need is right in front of you.”
For more information on Culture Club, please visit www.culture-club.co.uk
For more information on SSE Audio Group, please visit www.sseaudiogroup.com
Soundcraft and Harman products are distributed in the UK and ROI by Sound Technology Ltd, for more information, please visit www.soundtech.co.uk
HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and enterprise automation solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson ® and Revel®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 16,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.6 billion for the 12 months ended September 30, 2014.