Belfast’s award-winning Lyric Theatre, the only full-time producing theatre in Northern Ireland, has upgraded its FOH sound mixing console with a new Soundcraft Vi1000.
According to technical manager Ian Vennard, the facility’s existing desk had become dated and needed replacing. “We were starting to struggle with what we were trying to achieve with it,” he admits, “and our programme has included shows that stretched us way beyond its capabilities.” Consequently, over the past few years, they had rented different consoles – including Soundcraft – on shows that demanded more from the FOH console.
Eventually it was time to upgrade on a permanent basis, and with 2018 being the Lyric’s 50th anniversary at its Ridgeway Street home, there seemed no better time to act. The 96-channel Vi1000 digital desk was acquired from local dealer McCusker Pro Audio.
Vennard says: “The Snapshot Recall on the Vi1000 was one of the things that really stood out to us, and was the principle reason for going with the desk. Our Autumn season will see us present Good Vibrations, directed by Des Kennedy, and this show will allow us to really push the capabilities of the Vi1000, with a high input count from live musicians on stage and extensive sound design plot for the show. This will enable us to present the best sonic experience possible for the audience.”
As with most theatres, space at the Lyric is at a premium so the form factor of the Vi1000 meant that they could have a 96-channel mix at front of house and take up no more space than their previous 32-channel desk. “This meant that we can greatly expand our capabilities without having to eat into more real estate in the theatre.”
Supplier, McCusker Pro Audio, has been the Theatre’s long-term equipment and service providers. “They have been a great company to work alongside, providing us with high quality gear and a great service,” says Vennard. “During the auditioning process they we able to allow us to trial a Vi3000 and we were sold [on the platform] immediately.”
Soundcraft consoles are distributed in the UK and Ireland, as part of the Harman portfolio, by Sound Technology.