The House of Blues (HOB) has 13 venues throughout the United States, and recently, contracted Sound Image of Escondido, CA to upgrade its front-of house mixing facilities with a combination of
Soundcraft Vi4 and Vi6 digital mixing consoles in its New Orleans and Anaheim locations, and a Vi1 console in use at the HOB Mandalay Bay venue in Las Vegas.
“Saying that the tour sound business is competitive is like saying that LeBron James is a good basketball player,” says Jason Schmidlapp of Sound Image. “Top-tier venues like the HOB know they have to keep up with the latest and greatest in sound reinforcement technology in order to stay current and desirable to artists and customers.”
The House of Blues has been standardizing its sound reinforcement systems in order to be more accommodating to artists and attract a higher level of performers. “The Soundcraft Vi6 is a tour-friendly console and an industry standard,” Schmidlapp notes. “There are times when acts will come through and I can see the look of relief on a visiting front-of-house engineer’s face when he or she sees that they’ll be mixing on a Vi6.
“Engineers are familiar with Soundcraft consoles and like the fact that they can get consistently excellent sound from venue to venue and even use their same console configurations and settings,” Schmidlapp continues. “It saves time, makes life easier and reduces the stress of mixing a live show.”
Sound Image completed the most recent House of Blues upgrade at the Mandalay Bay hotel, which is also home to the world’s first installation of JBL Professional new VTX line array loudspeakers. The installation coincides with a 2-year residency by Carlos Santana, who is performing his “Greatest Hits Live: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” show through 2014.
In addition, the Houston and Boston HOB locations each feature a Soundcraft Vi6 at the front-of-house and monitor positions.
“The more consistency we can get in the sound reinforcement systems in House of Blues and elsewhere, the better it is for everybody—the management, the staff, the performers and especially the customers. It just makes practical and economic sense,” Schmidlapp concludes.