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Culture Club Kicks Off Reunion Tour With Soundcraft Vi3000 Console & Realtime Rack

Engineer Jimmy Sarikas chose the Vi3000 for multiple purposes, including live mixing as well as studio and mobile recording

By PSW Staff November 5, 2014

Front of house engineer Jimmy Sarikas at work on the Soundcraft Vi3000i; below is another image showing Sarikas with the Vi3000 in full.

More than 30 years since topping the charts with pop classics like “Karma Chameleon” and “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me,” Culture Club is reuniting for a string of concerts throughout North America, to be followed by a multi-arena tour in the United Kingdom.

The band’s long-time front of house engineer, Jimmy Sarikas, a.k.a. “Mixologist,” recently purchased a Harman Soundcraft Vi3000 console, which he put to use for a private Culture Club performance at the Heaven nightclub in London. The console was sold through Sound Technology, Harman’s UK and ROI distributor.

Sarikas chose the Vi3000 for multiple purposes, including live mixing as well as studio and mobile recording. “I’m a one-stop shop, so I needed a console that could perform multiple functions,” he says. “I can roll up to a festival and do live multi-track recording and broadcast, and I have multiple duplication systems in my truck, so I can give you 200 CDs in a half-hour after the show.”

According to Sarikas, the Vi3000 offers multiple benefits compared to other consoles on the market. “For starters, the sound quality of the Vi3000 is just amazing,” he notes. “Vi Series consoles have always had an amazing sound and that’s the case with the Vi3000. The second major factor is ease of use. I personally feel that manufacturers are making boards that are too small. I want some faders! My arms are more than capable to open as wide as 24 faders, so it’s Soundcraft all the way for me.”

For the Culture Club shows, Sarikas is running 53 channels to accommodate the multiple vocals and diverse instrumentation on stage, which includes two piano players, several guitars, a brass section and a variety of percussion. He’s also utilizing the Soundcraft Realtime Rack, a 1RU box that offers a library of Universal Audio plug-ins.

“I’m loving the Dante connectivity because I record 64 channels in and 64 channels out for virtual sound checks as well as my multi-track recordings,” Sarikas says. “I’m working with two machines for that [Mac Minis with SSD hard drives]. Both computers fit in a 1RU rack located in the flight case of the Vi3000: one is my recording device and the other is the Realtime Rack.” The computer with the “Realtime Rack” software also records a redundant 64 channels of multi-track audio via the secondary Dante output. The two screens also slide into compartments in the case. Can you believe all this and the Vi3000 in one box on wheels?”

In addition, his positive experience with Soundcraft boards in the past played a factor in his decision to add the Vi3000 to his arsenal. “I’ve used Vi6 consoles at festivals before and they always felt a bit daunting at first, but the truth is that Vi consoles are probably the easiest control surfaces to use,” Sarikas concludes. “There aren’t any hidden pages—what you need is right in front of you.”

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Jimmy Sarikas
Soundcraft
Harman Professional

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