A Soundcraft Vi6 large format digital live desk from Jands has been introduced to Channel 7 Perth’s news control room.

According to Colin Graham, primary operator of the Vi6 digital live desk, while they were searching the market they originally wanted a Studer Vista 5 console but it wasn’t within the budget. However, in his research he came across the Soundcraft Vi6 console and realised that it was really a Vista 5 without as much fruit, and the fruit that it was missing wasn’t what he was interested in.

Graeme Pennifold, Channel Seven’s Engineering Manager, explained that there were other contenders but that they soon focused on the Studer from an operational view. They liked the Vistonics control on the Studer, but found that the Soundcraft Vi6 digital live desk also featured the Vistonic control, but in a console that was more affordable.

Graham felt that the Vistonic interface on the Vi6 was very intuitive, describing it as a fourth generation digital console.

Ease of operation is aided by use of colour and holes drilled in the monitor so that the knobs were linked to what is being looked at. When working as quickly as they do in television, they do not want to have to think too much and they need to be able to react quickly. The fact that everything is only one or two levels down at most is very helpful.

Pennifold and Graham report that their jobs have been made a lot easier since the arrival of the Soundcraft Vi6 wide format digital live desks into the newsroom. Whilst Graham operates the Vi6 digital live desk console for the news reports Monday through to Friday, a range of freelance operators are in charge at the weekend.

While experienced, freelance operators may only be doing the news once or twice a month so it is important to have an intuitive console. The casuals only needed two sessions each of a staged installation for the Vi6 training before they were comfortable with the operation of the digital console.

Graham pointed out that the console also sounds good, stating that not all digital control consoles in that range do. He describes the sound of the Vi6 as warm with really good dynamics and EQ.