When Dutch sound engineer Bart Schulz set up his own company, BSAmedia, at the beginning of this year, his main goal was “to deliver a high standard of sound engineering and make high quality gear affordable for everyone.”
Having worked as a sound professional for 30 years—including live sound, studio and remote recording, live radio and TV broadcasts—he had recently been training sound engineers while developing broadcast sets and studios in his native Utrecht.
Setting stringent standards of equipment specification, he purchased a Soundcraft Vi1 digital console from the company’s Benelux distributors Audio XL to form the hub of a modular mobile unit because the brand is familiar to a customer base comprising broadcasters, musicians, recording studios and theatres.
Supplied with Compact Stage Box, a MADI optical card and 100-meter Quad Fiber drum, the Vi1 replaces a previous 16-channel analog live set-up.
“I can use this as a stand-alone unit for live sound, or combine the Vi1 with a 19-inch recording module for remote recording and music production,” Schulz explains. “Alternatively I can connect the Vi1 and stage box with a set of 19-inch broadcast modules to do live broadcasts on location. It is perfect for the market niches that BSAmedia wishes to cater to.”
Schulz has used Soundcraft consoles throughout his sound engineering career, and being active in broadcast is also very familiar with Studer. “The fact that the Vi1 is combining key elements of both brands made it BSAmedia’s ideal desk, suitable for all our activities.”
The reduced footprint of the Vi1 is also an advantage for two reasons: “Most of the time I work alone and cannot physically handle a big console, and secondly, most theatres and other locations where I intend to use my Vi1 are pretty small.”
Once he delved deeper into the Vi1’s attributes he was impressed with the overall layout of the control-surface: “All functions are grouped logically — you instantly know were to look/grab, and FaderGlow is a useful addition.”
He also highlights the layout and ease of use of the Vistonics screen, combined with the placement of the rotaries. “This makes for a straightforward approach — just as on an analog desk — while it packs all the power and benefits of digital..
“Now it’s time to discover all the extras that the desk’s software has to offer, such as snapshots, cues, and the iPad Remote.”