The investment follows the company’s policy for regular inventory upgrade, and although a multi-brand operation, the company chose the Soundcraft digital platform based on the impressive features-to-price ratio.
While these are the first Vi4’s to be added to appear in B+B’s rental fleet, the company’s Sebastian Müller-Eckhard has previously designed installation systems based around the Vi4 (at the local Konzerthaus), and a Vi6 in FZW, a 1,500-person capacity live venue.
“The Vi4 is all about the sound,” he says. “It’s one of the best sounding desks on the market and you don’t need any external hardware because everything is already in the desk — in fact the internal dynamics and effects are perfect.
“As for the GUI, we recently put a Vi4 out to a local festival and the headline band’s engineer had never worked on a Vi console previously. So I prepared a show file, sent him a link to the Virtual VI software and he was able to get an impression of how it worked straight away.
“We had 44 inputs plus effects and there was only a brief line check — everything went well, as it’s just so simple and intuitive.”
The new Vi4’s will be used for both FOH and monitor mixing. “In a monitor situation you are able to have direct access to 24 output mixes by pressing just one button — which is perfect. You also have a further eight busses for effects, etc.,” notes Sebastian. “Finally, the overall quality of the sound and the low latency make it ideal for monitors.”
As for the new V3.0 software, he says the automation has been hugely improved, making the Vi a very useful tool for theatrical productions, and he is now eagerly anticipating the next development … with fade-time possibilities.
In any case B+B themselves will shortly upgrade their new Soundcraft consoles — adding more DSP to give them 72-channel capabilities.
Summing up, Sebastian says that B+B’s sound engineers are thrilled by the acquisition. “Seeing other engineers, unfamiliar with the console, preparing their mix in just a few minutes was also very important in our decision making — plus the fact, of course, that Vi mixers are appearing on the technical riders of more and more artists all the time.”
Soundcraft is a unit of Harman International Industries, Incorporated (www.harman.com).
Harman International designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment products for the automotive, consumer and professional markets, and maintains a strong presence in the Americas, Europe and Asia, employing more than 11,000 people worldwide. The Harman International family of brands includes AKG®, Audioaccess®, Becker®, BSS®, Crown®, dbx®, DigiTech®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson®, Revel®, QNX®, Soundcraft® and Studer®. Harman International’s stock is traded on the
New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “NYSE: HAR.”
B+B sound crew (left to right): Olaf Oebels, Simon Kattwinkel and Max Kremse