Alternative indie rock band Wolf Alice recently added a Harman’s Soundcraft Si Performer 2 console for its tour throughout Scotland and England. While running the latest Si Performer V1.6 software, mix engineer Andy Robinson improved the efficiency, workflow and sound reproduction of the band.
The console came equipped with 24 channels and a Mini Stagebox, offering an additional 32 channels as well as a Cat-5 dual MADI card for the connection. An Si Dante card was also purchased for multi-track recording purposes, allowing the band to review its own performances between shows.
“We wanted a console with onboard reverb and effects, to eliminate a lot of the outboard gear when traveling between tour destinations,” says Robinson. “The Si Performer really shines when its recallable functions allow house engineers to recall features and settings for their specific needs. In fact, this is the best console to leave other engineers with, as it only takes them five minutes to learn how to use it for mixing a live show. The design is so simple yet effective, and that is why we use Soundcraft.
“The new V1.6 software is great, the pre-dynamic send pick offs allow me to compress the vocals in FOH heavier,” he adds. “The FOH experience has been transformed, now that I can do monitors and compressors on one channel.”
For Wolf Alice, the main goal is to replicate the natural sound of the band’s recordings, while adding effects for the drums and vocals. Due to the space constrictions at some of the venues, the band needed a console with a small form factor that could be easily operated on the fly, while handling at least 19 channels for the four vocals, two guitars and one bass guitar. The Si Performer offers this package in an intuitive design, decreasing time needed for patching, line checks and tweaking.
“I love how great it sounds, especially when compared to other desks,” Robinson notes. “I can really hear the compressors working, and they do exactly what I want them to do. Also, the EQ’s are responsive; I can hear even the slightest 3 dB adjustments, giving me more control. The entire system can be tweaked offstage with the iPad app. None of the other consoles in the market can compete at this size.”