The Pleasance Theatre – one of the cornerstone venues of the annual Edinburgh Fringe Festival – has been supplied with a Yamaha LS9 digital console.
In addition to its Fringe duties, the 300-capacity Pleasant Theatre stages drama, live music, dance, comedy, lectures, conferences and film screenings on a year-round basis.
“The theatre had previously had been an empty space with some tabs, a few hemp bars and a 125a socket,” said Tom Lawes of EUSA (Edinburgh University Students’ Association). “It was used by a variety of student societies to put on various shows and occasionally some in-house events. We bought the LS9-32 in preparation for redeveloping the theatre, which was mainly the installation of a technical infrastructure which would allow events to occur on a much more regular basis.”
Lawes and the Student Union team deployed the console on a number of shows in other venues while waiting for the rest of the upgrade to take place. Now in permanent residence at the Pleasance, the LS9 is being used for everything from a single microphone and some playback for a comedian, to mixing a full orchestra and choir.
The console’s effects, recallable scenes, reliability and strong reputation among live sound professionals are just some the features praised by Lawes, adding that the sound team had found it to be “very flexible when dealing with all the challenges that we have presented to it. Everything is very clean-sounding and accurate, which is of especial benefit as you don’t necessarily get the best representation of what is going on in the auditorium at the mix position. Using the monitoring functions of the desk I can trust what I hear in my headphones. We also do a lot of folk music so detail in sound is important and the desk transmits this well.”
Meanwhile, the venue’s awkward-to-reach mix position has seen the sound team making use of the console’s remote control capability. A Windows computer is linked to the LS9, running Yamaha Studio Manager and its own dedicated wireless network. This can, in turn, be controlled by any laptop, irrespective of operating system.
“Being able to operate key functions of the LS9 from the stage has been great. It saves a lot of running about,” said Lawes. “The console basically packs a whole lot of features into a very compact package at a price that's hard to beat. Any problems I have had with the interface have proved to be features on the M7CL, which is probably going to be our next digital desk, which I guess says a lot about our opinion of the console.”
Image Credit: Diana Johnson