Shell Theatre in Fort Saskatchewan, Canada, recently acquired a Harman Soundcraft Vi6 digital console to streamline its work on the numerous concerts, dance recitals, musicals, and Christmas productions that it stages throughout the year.
Owned and operated by the City of Fort Saskatchewan as part of the Dow Centennial Centre and the Sherritt Cultural Pavilion, the 538-seat performing arts space attracts many North American touring artists, with an emphasis on Canadian talent. When in-house audio operator Norah Seed first arrived at this venue, she used her 25 years of audio technician experience to learn a new digital console that provided a simple and effective way to mix each show and continues to meet or exceed various client needs.
“I’ve had experience with other consoles, but since I’m new to this venue, I’m grateful to have an easy console to work with,” said Seed. “I like the way it can be set up, as I can have as many auxiliaries and matrices I need for every file; all the gains and high pass filters are exactly where you expect it to be, and the EQ functions are flexible. Everything is in a logical place and it all makes sense.”
Many racks of outboard equipment were stored away immediately after the Shell Theatre acquired the Vi6, completing the transition from analogue to digital. As the EQ, gates, compressors and reverb units collect dust underneath the stage, the Soundcraft console’s colour-coded FaderGlow lighting and its widescreen Vistonics II interface illuminate the now de-cluttered space.
“I love the colour-coded lighting on the faders and the Vistonics widescreen,” said Seed. “The interface is intuitive for whatever I want to do, such as EQ-ing the vocals instantly, rather than touching three buttons to get there. The illuminated and colour-coded faders are just handy to indicate which feature you are editing and for operating in a dark theatre environment.”
“The Vi6 combines the best of both digital and analogue, because it allows me to mix quickly while having all those digital features,” Seed concluded. “Not only does it make my life easier, it also sounds great.”