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Shell Theatre Streamlines Dance And Music With Soundcraft Vi6 Console

Veteran audio technician sought console providing a simple yet effective way to mix a diverse range of shows

By PSW Staff December 8, 2014

In-house audio operator Norah Seed at work on the new Soundcraft Vi6 at the Shell Theatre.

As the in-house audio operator for Shell Theatre (Fort Saskatchewan, Canada), which recently acquired a Harman Soundcraft Vi6 digital console, Norah Seed is well-equipped to handle the venue’s variety of live programming.

The 538-seat performing arts space accommodates numerous dance recitals, musicals, and Christmas productions throughout the year, while maintaining its own self-produced Season Series consisting of professional acts from around the world and local acts from the region.

Owned and operated by the City of Fort Saskatchewan as part of the Dow Centennial Centre and the Sherritt Cultural Pavilion, the Shell Theatre attracts many North American touring artists, with an emphasis on Canadian talent.

Seed, who’s worked as an audio technician for 25 years, sought a new digital console that provided a simple and effective way to mix each show, while also exceeding various client needs.

“I’ve had experience with other consoles, but since I’m new to this venue, I’m grateful to have an easy console to work with,” she notes. “I like the way it can be set up, as I can have as many auxiliaries and matrices I need for every file; all the gains and high pass filters are exactly where you expect it to be, and the EQ functions are flexible. Everything is in a logical place and it all makes sense.”

Many racks of outboard equipment were stored away immediately after the Shell Theatre acquired the Vi6, completing the transition from analog to digital. As the EQ, gates, compressors and reverb units collect dust underneath the stage, the Soundcraft console’s color-coded FaderGlow lighting and its widescreen Vistonics II interface illuminate the now de-cluttered space.

“I love the color-coded lighting on the faders and the Vistonics widescreen,” says Seed. “The interface is intuitive for whatever I want to do, such as EQ-ing the vocals instantly, rather than touching three buttons to get there. The illuminated and color coded faders are just handy to indicate which feature you are editing and for operating in a dark theatre environment.”

“The Vi6 combines the best of both digital and analog, because it allows me to mix quickly while having all those digital features,” she concludes. “Not only does it make my life easier, it also sounds great.”

Harman Professional


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