Elizabethtown College Packs a Punch with HARMAN’s Soundcraft Vi1 Audio Console

Lauren Williams's picture
Monday, September 9, 2013

A small liberal arts college looking to upgrade the audio system for its 844-seat performance space recently took a huge leap forward with HARMAN’s Soundcraft Vi1 mixing console. Having established the Vi series as a favorite digital desk for touring and installed sound applications, Soundcraft developed the Vi1 for small to mid-size venues like the one at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania.

Barry Fritz, Technical Operations Director for the college, explained how the school uses the venues for a variety of events, including theatrical productions, musicals, college orchestra performances, worship, Christmas events, weddings and national chamber music acts. “Each year the number of events and their complexity keeps increasing, so purchasing the Vi1 has been on the long-term to-do list for a while,” Fritz said. It is not surprising to see Fritz choosing the Vi1 as the college’s main mixing solution to alleviate the growing strain on the technical staff. While it retains a small form factor, it is packed with an impressive selection of features that one can also find in larger Soundcraft models such as the Vi4 and Vi6. For example, the Vistonics II™ interface is greatly appreciated among mixers in the professional audio industry and is an outstanding feature of the Vi1 console. Furthermore, it maintains a complete console package with 32 channels of analog input to 27 analog outputs.

“Having the analog inputs is a nice feature, plus the stagebox we purchased bridges the gap between digital snake and analog,” Fritz said. “I also love always having the channel displays there. With our old console, we never had enough outputs; now I have more than I know what to do with!” Spanning only just over a meter wide, the Vi1 includes 16 motorized channel faders with fixed and user-definable layers, eight output/VCA faders and two master faders. More importantly, as a digital console, the Vi1 allows for both massive customization and recallable settings.

“We do have a lot of groups that repeat throughout the year, so it’s nice to be able to recall the cues from our previously saved projects; having that flexibility makes it a lot easier,” Fritz concluded.

HARMAN (www.HARMAN.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 14,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.3 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.