U.K.-based Celtic rock band IONA recently finished a successful tour throughout the United States while deploying a Soundcraft Vi1 as its front-of-house console, supplied by sound provider Dogwood Audio of Chicopee, MA.
Dogwood also supplied the system for the band’s previous U.S. tour in 2010, and based on that successful effort, the company was asked to do it again for this tour. In addition, Dogwood owner Mark Jerrell was also brought on board as the audio engineer
After a conversation with Dave Bainbridge, IONA’s lead guitarist, the two decided the Soundcraft Vi1 console would provide them with the most flexibility.
“There are many challenges of traveling during a 2-week tour,” says Jarrell. “The stretches between gigs are not long and there isn’t much time to set up at the various venues. I have to be able to have everything up and running in no time and with the ability to recall the presets with the Vi console, I never have a problem.”
Another challenge for Jarrell is the varying size, acoustics and equipment of each venue. “We see everything from a large theater to a small club,” he notes. “With the Vi1, all I have to do is adjust the EQ in the different venues—it’s straightforward. What I love is that once I adjust the settings for each venue, I can then save it as a file for when we come back.”
The custom channel layers also help Jarrell to have a smooth show, as he is able to arrange them to suit his needs. “The desk is a lot of fun to mix on,” Jarrell states. “It’s such a warm sounding console! I use the Lexicon effects pretty heavily, the tap delay, reverb and more. It has the feeling of a nice analog desk; making an adjustment is always easy to do.”
With such a dynamic group, Jarrell appreciates the flexibility the Vi1 offers. “IONA likes to change up the set list sometimes. The road manager is also a percussionist so every once in a while they call him up to play along. I am able to easily control each microphone individually and it is really easy to adjust gain and the high pass filter if needed.”
“Overall, it has been a pleasure to tour with IONA and a lot of fun using the Soundcraft console,” Jarrell concludes. “I can’t wait until the next U.S. tour comes around. I already have all my presets and files saved so I’ll be ready.”