Rocky Mountain Production Services recently selected a Soundcraft Vi6 digital mixing console to solidify the sound reinforcement system at General Motors Place, home to the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League.
The venue’s audio system is designed to enable console operation from any one of three locations around the arena, including the game position on the 300 level, the concert and special event position on the zero level and any office location throughout General Motors Place.
“We chose the Soundcraft Vi6 because we needed it to be efficient and effective,” said Canucks Sports & Entertainment Chief Audio Technician John Riley. “The Vistonics II touch screen technology designed by Studer allows the engineers to control the console where they look providing outstanding control and speed of operation.”
With versatile capabilities suited for a fast-paced event such as ice hockey, the Vi6 provides the engineer with the means to touch a channel which then intuitively provides him or her the controls needed without having to stop and search or make a choice.
The Vistonics II touch screens feature integral rotary controls and switches mounted right on the glass taking away any confusion normally associated with an interface.
“The Vistonics is pretty amazing with its advantages of a traditional analog console in that every strip has its own EQ, routing and dynamics control right in front of you,” said Ross Coplick, Canucks Sports & Entertainment Audio Coordinator.
“When I get something sounding really good on one strip, I just touch ‘copy’ and paste it onto a couple of neighboring channels. This feature saves me 10 minutes I would have used fiddling with knobs to get everything dialed in,” added Coplick.
Interface capability differentiates the Vi6 from other consoles, commented Fred Michael, President of Rocky Mountain Production Services. “In the installations we are doing these days, cross-platform compatibility between different manufacturers’ products is essential.”
Michael continued, “We had to get people from Optocore talking to people from Soundcraft at a very high level to ensure compatibility between the Vi6 and the Optocore MADI card and both worked hard to make the complete installation a success.”
Coplick noted, “We roll the Vi6 away from the mix position to our audio room down in the basement, but it goes right back on the network as soon as it gets there. It takes about 10 minutes to roll it downstairs and reconnect the Optocore, and then the console’s live again.
“Recently, we rented the ice for our corporate sponsors and season ticket holders for a Christmas skate. I played the music through the console in the audio room and it worked just as well as if I had been up in the mix position. We’ve also got 300 feet of fiber optic snake so we can locate the console down in the traditional FOH position on floor level if we need it there,” Coplick added.
Easing the Vi6 learning process, Soundcraft provides Virtual Vi offline editing software to enable engineers to store, edit or set-up their shows away from the operating console and transfer the settings to the console via USB.
“I only had a couple of days looking at it offline then we did our three pre-season games and it all worked out great,” concluded Coplick. “You tend not to get lost in the layers, and you don’t have a danger of being locked out of places making it easier to use than a lot of the other consoles.”