Kings Cross venue installs Si Compact 32 console
After its illustrious past as a cinema, the landmark Scala at London’s Kings Cross has now been firmly established by director Ryan Bissett as a popular alternative live music, club and arts venue.
Since the venue also hosts LAE Live Audio engineering diploma courses, it depends on showcasing the best in production technology. Recently it upgraded its mixing consoles and now standardises on Soundcraft platforms, which can be found in both the house and stage positions.
Three and a half years after purchasing a 32-channel Soundcraft MH3 from dealers Crystal Pro Audio, head of sound George Gregori gave the go-ahead for the purchase of a new Soundcraft Si Compact 32 from the same suppliers — giving them a matched channel count at both ends.
The desk was specified by head sound engineer Dave Preston, who earlier reviewed several other options in the same category before deciding on the Soundcraft solution. The combination of a packed featureset in a compact form factor — at a price point the venue could afford — ensured it ticked all the boxes.
Preston said that the old monitor desk had long exceeded its sell-by date, and in the new era of IEM’s, the reduced channel count was no longer sufficient to send stereo pair mixes to IEM’s. “We had a wish list,” he said. “Aside from the additional channels we knew the Si Compact had the same preamps as the Soundcraft Vi’s.” And for the monitor engineer, the quality of gates and compressors was equally important, he said — as was the overall ease of use.
“Because of the nature of the Scala we get a lot of new sound engineers coming through with emerging bands and we need them to be able to get straight onto the desk without a lot of complicated patching. The Si Compact 32 is easy — although it’s digital, it has an analogue feel to it and it suits the venue perfectly. We have been running it 12 hours a day, five days a week — so it’s already had a lot of usage and it has performed flawlessly throughout.”
A further bonus is that the Scala also hosts bands in the adjacent balcony bar, and the Si Compact 32 is sufficiently lightweight and portable for it to be relocated on these occasions, and redeployed as a house mixer.
The console itself features 32 recallable mic pre amps plus four stereo returns, AES in and 64 input option slot, with a capacity to combine up to 40 of these inputs to mix; each input is equipped with compressors, gates, parametric EQ, High Pass Filter and delay.
All Soundcraft consoles are distributed in the UK and Eire, as part of the Harman Professional portfolio, by Sound Technology Ltd.