Whether by accident or design, the partnership of sound engineer Bryony October and tour manager Tim Boardman has made a speciality of starting a number of emerging acts on the road to success—supporting them with their expertise if not the luxury of full production.
On many occasions over the past six months, Soundcraft Si Performer 3 and Si Expression consoles have been chosen by the pair for lower budget tours around Europe.
And when October suffered a freak accident in Dortmund recently, leaving her at the A&E department of the local hospital, Boardman found himself piloting the Performer 3 for the first time and to his relief found it an intuitive “walk-up” experience like so many sound engineers before him. On many other occasions he has simply taken October’s show files and performed the mix for other artists on an Si Expression.
“It’s amazing what can be achieved, mixing FOH and monitors together and delivering a big sounding show from a desk that sits in a 19in rack,” he said.
Since finishing her long stint with the Noisettes, October has worked with artistes such as Billy Ocean, Laura Marling, Delilah, Marika Hackman, Bo Bruce and now Moya—a 4-piece band fronted by lead singer Emily Andrews, who have been supporting Rod Stewart on his current arena tour.
Earlier this year Moya played equally large venues in an acoustic setting supporting Mick Hucknall, but this time the band wanted to plug in—with Soundcraft’s ViSi Remote app for iPad enabling the band to control their monitor mixes from the FOH desk.
With their stripped down, splitter van-friendly production consisting of little other than a router, Cat-5 multicore and the compact Performer 3 (a convenient one-person lift), they persuaded Stewart’s Major Tom production team that rather than perform again in an acoustic context, they could carry a line system for the 30-minute support stint without compromising the main event.
With 29 of the 32 recallable inputs working the board to near capacity (along with 13 outputs) October is blessed that she that she can see all activity on the top Layer of the Si Performer with no page changes necessary. At the same time the desk’s FaderGlow and color backlit name displays on every channel provide her with a definitive color reference of what monitor mixes are being sent.
“It means I never make a mistake when moving from FOH to monitor mixes and I can clearly see the dynamics present,” October says.