And the Lord (or possibly Tim Dalton?) said: ‘Let there be live!’ And then there was sound. And it was good.
This week was our first time in SAE’s all-shiny and brand-new Live Sound space. The room is ‘bloody huge’ and according to Lance Krive, has about 2 (presumably metric) tonnes of sound proofing in the the ceiling. Also, we have a shiny new motorized lighting rig; lovely black curtains and even a green room, which is not actually green.
Avid S3 Surface with AVB-networking
Oh yeah. We also have a brand new Avid S3 control surface to work with and a whole bunch of fantastic amps and FoH speakers, but, most impressively; the ‘giant fuck-off multicore’ has been replaced by a much more sensible (and several orders-of-magnitude cheaper) CAT-5 networking cable.
The blue thing means the sound.
I am really impressed. I did Live Sound -BAP190 with Lance just over a year ago, and we were still using the ‘giant fuck-off multicore’ and having arguments about ‘analogue vs digital’. PS: Digital won.
We spent the day going over the basics of a live sound rig, and also had a look at the features of the S3 surface and interface. The Avid software is incredibly powerful, and has may options of customization, and most importantly, recall for just about every parameter you could think of. Usually, a live sound rig is accompanied by a massive rack, or racks of outboard hardware: parametric EQ; Compressors; Reverb; Delay; general FX modules; which normally take up a whole bunch of 19″ rack slots. This has all been superseded with software. I am slightly torn about this. Whilst the software is incredibly powerful, I do miss the tactile response and direct control of hardware. However, the software is incredibly powerful, and oh-so-much cheaper than hardware. Also, you can use the standard array of Pro Tools plugins, plus a plethora of 3rd party plugins. It’s a no-brainer. Digital has won. Software rules.
I shall miss the fun of plugging in a whole bunch of seldom-used outboard gear, and the inevitable signal flow headaches that follow. However, it’s a new age and a new frontier. Now I need to get used to software layers, and almost ‘imaginary’ signal flow that ‘just works.’
We managed to get the basics down fairly quickly, and managed to tune the room with pink noise, dutifully facilitated (and easily recalled) with the click of a mouse with the new S3 rig.
I am looking forward to see how our already excellent group deals with the challenges of our Live Sound projects.