Having previously invested in Soundcraft's Vi4 and Vi1 consoles, London-based rental firm Hark has welcomed the arrival of the company's new generation of desks – particularly the Vi5000.
Run by Mark Hornsby, Hark has upgraded its Vi4 to the new Vi5000 through Soundcraft’s conversion kit at the request of monitor engineer Harry Bishop (pictured) to enable him to ramp up the dynamics, processing power and channel count for chart-topping electronica trio Years & Years – all of whom are now on in-ear monitors.
At the same time Hark has purchased the Ultimate Bundle for the RealTime Rack – the de luxe package that unlocks all 74 UAD-developed plugins, which provide a wide selection of classic emulations.
Hornsby describes the move by Soundcraft as a welcome development: “The upgrade is like buying a new Vi5000 but in a more more economical fashion, and I don't have redundant hardware," he explained. "The core has more functionality and with more processing power now available, there is more DSP including a dynamic EQ which was really necessary – plus It boots up in just 30 seconds!”
Hark heeded the plea from Bishop as soon as the band started to play increasingly larger capacity venues. “He was struggling with his [existing] small format desk because the band has doubled its channel count,” Hornsby continued. “And the fact that Soundcraft have created extra ear outputs was an immediate bonus.”
Bishop added: “The Vi has long been my desk of choice. I’m extremely comfortable on this platform because I like a simple workflow. Prepping the desk has been easy as I can add channels where necessary and rearrange in custom fader pages on the desk. “In a festival environment too this is leagues ahead of all the other consoles as it’s so easy to set up and everyone can use it.
The new desk will go to Europe as part of a control package during December, and will be largely deployed with Years & Years down at the stage for the foreseeable future. However, Hornsby sees enormous potential way beyond, in particular during the festival season. “I’m expecting to get far more work out of it. I still think [the Vi] offers the best surface and sound – and as a ‘walk-up’ desk for festivals it’s perfect,” he stated.
Hark’s Soundcraft Vi1 also handled some of the earlier show mixes for Years & Years FOH engineer Pablo Campanaro, and recently mixed support band Shamir at Brixton Academy as well.