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Yamaha training brings Fringe benefits


The introduction of the M7CL and LS9 small format digital consoles has seen a literal explosion in the numbers of Yamaha audio consoles in use at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe over the past few years. ‘Found space’ is the key theme for Fringe venues, which range in size from toilets and taxis to drill halls and sports arenas. Consoles which can handle an equally diverse array of spaces are ideal - hence the massive popularity of the Yamaha products. With this in mind, this year Yamaha Commercial Audio despatched two of its most experienced trainers to help users get the most out of the products.

The Edinburgh Fringe is where many of the sound engineers of tomorrow really cut their teeth. The hours are long, time between shows non-existent, productions are remarkably diverse and working conditions are often cramped - all-in-all an excellent ‘in at the deep end’ training ground for budding engineers. However, it’s not exactly conducive to getting the most out of a mixing console - the pressure and lack of time are just too overwhelming.

Thus it was that this year, a few days before the Fringe ‘get in’ began in earnest, Yamaha’s Nick Pemberton and Scott Fraser spent a couple of days at the city’s Assembly Rooms complex, to give Fringe engineers hands-on experience on Yamaha consoles in a relaxed environment.

“There are a huge amount of Yamaha consoles in use at the Fringe this year, ranging from those supplied by the major rental companies to people lending gear to mates as a favour,” says Nick. “There is also a huge mix of experienced and inexperienced sound engineers, so our aim was to make sure they were all comfortable and as close as possible to the same level of competency.”

The sessions tried to reach as many users as possible, focusing on the LS9 and M7CL on the first day, with work on the PM5D - used on many of the Fringe’s biggest shows - on the second.

“Many of the operators on shows which use the LS9 are relatively inexperienced and they frequently have to multi-task, so it can be a very intimidating experience for them,” Nick continues.

“Our aim was to get them past that slightly fearful stage, to make sure they were absolutely confident with using the console, then they could move on to the M7CL session if they wanted to. With the PM5D we also introduced the advanced features that the engineers weren’t familiar with.”

The response to all sessions was very positive, with the LS9 trainees unanimously agreeing that they were now confident to take the LS9 into shows up to theatre-size, while the M7CL and PM5D trainees all mastered facilities which they wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity to.

“All of them responded very well to the training,“ says Scott. “We not only got everyone really comfortable with the basic features, the bread-and-butter operations which will get them through a show, but also the features which allow sound engineers to be really creative.”

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe runs until 31st August.


Products M7CL-48 , LS9-32

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