Österreichischer Rundfunk, the Austrian national public service broadcaster, has recently purchased a pair of Soundcraft Vi1 digital consoles.
The order was placed with Soundcraft’s Austrian distributor Kain Audio by Landesstudio Tirol, one of nine regional studios operating under the ORF umbrella, after carrying out extensive tests against other brands. These will be used for live broadcasting, FOH mixing and recording purposes in the Innsbruck/Tirol region.
According to ORF tonmeister, Jürgen Brunner, the old set-up was desperately in need of upgrading. “We considered a number of different factors, such as price, size, quality and ease of use. We concluded that the Vi1 was the best concept for us, very easy to use, with the Widescreen Vistonics interface, and with no quality limitations.
“The internal filters sounded excellent as did the graphic EQ, and it offers good flexibility, with external Stagebox, MADI option and offline editor — all packaged into a really good price. With a digital console like the Vi1 there is no need to pick up dozens of graphic EQs or other external effects.”
One of the compact Vi1’s will be for portable use while the other will be permanently installed in their Innsbruck broadcasting hall for FOH and recording purposes (using RME MADI cards and M-16 DA extension). While the desk’s footprint had been one of the overriding criteria, ORF also needed the ability to save and recall different shows with different cues — and to handle everything over a WLAN network in the future. After its first outing — broadcasting a live folk music show from the centre of a ski resort, 2200 meters above sea level — Jürgen Brunner felt the decision had been 100% justified. “The Vi1 is exactly the right console for the things we need — it’s very easy to use and to configure, and it sounds great.”
This is not the Austrian broadcasters’ first experience with the Soundcraft platform, since they run three analog consoles in their FÜ25 (small Video OB trucks). And it won’t be the last, since ORF is now dipping further into the manufacturer’s catalogue, and is in the process of purchasing new Compact Stageboxes — both for its mobile Vi1 and also for the new Soundcraft Si Compact, which it also has on order with Kain Audio.