An early August stop at the Count Basie Theatre (Red Bank, NJ) gave engineer Melissa Britton the opportunity of mixing front of house on the new Yamaha CL5 digital audio console while out on summer concert tour with saxophone player Dave Koz, joined by special guest BeBe Winans.
Koz is one of the most prominent figures in contemporary jazz, the recipient of two Gold Albums and two GRAMMY nominations, with five Top 5 hits on the contemporary jazz charts to his name.
His most recent release, Hello Tomorrow, was called “an event record” by The New York Times, and was named Best Smooth Jazz Album of 2010 by iTunes. Winans won his first Dove Award for a duet with his sister CeCe, “Close to You,” on their 2009 album Still.
“I was definitely interested in using the new Yamaha CL console when I heard about it,” states Britton. “I’ve been using the PM5D for a long time, and was pleasantly surprised when I finally got to use the CL. ACIR Professional (Egg Harbor Township, N.J.) co-owner Ed DiBona asked me if I’d be interested in using the console, and I was so happy he brought it in. It was really fun to mix on and easy to get around on. I was comfortable instantly.”
Britton adds that the Yamaha CL console has some really unique features that neither the M7CL nor the 5D have.
“I love the fact that Yamaha took the very best parts of each of those consoles and added a bunch more cool features like the Premium rack, love that,” she says. “The console sounds good and it feels good. The CL has more input and output options which is great when I’m mixing monitors.
“Another great feature is that you can record straight to a USB thumb drive, which I did at the Basie show, and was amazed when I listened to what was coming through the headphones. You can also cue processing and effects from the touch screen, as opposed to going to the channel.”
Not long ago, Britton had the opportunity to demo the new NEXO 45 N-12 stage monitors and was quite impressed while mixing monitors. “If I could have the N-12 wedges and the CL when mixing monitors, now that would be a great gig.”
Britton notes that the CL is now her new first choice in a digital console. With the summer tour ending, she will re-unite with Koz for a Christmas tour beginning on Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve.
Yamaha Commercial Audio