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Big facilities, small price – Yamaha’s versatile LS9 cracks the credit crunch

Feb. 16, 2009

While the leisure industry appears to currently be holding up well in the face of increased concern at the global financial situation, the phrase ‘cost-effective’ is one inevitably very much on everyone’s lips. And it’s one that perfectly describes the Yamaha LS9.

Coming from the company that invented the digital mixing console, the LS9 fully benefits from Yamaha’s many years of experience and its position as one of the audio industry’s most established manufacturers. With a superb range of facilities, excellent audio quality and unrivalled reliability, the LS9 packs a lot of punch into an extremely cost effective package.

Comprising two models - the LS9-32 and LS9-16, they follow in the distinguished footsteps of the PM1D, PM5D and M7CL and are compact enough for one person to easily move and set up.

Featuring up to 64 input channels; 16 mix buses; eight matrix buses; extensive gating, compression and equalization; a wide range of other effects and EQ; Scene memory; USB memory recorder/player, editor software and much more, the LS9 provides everything required for small to medium scale live or installed sound applications.

“The LS9 crams the most advanced facilities into smallest footprint and price package,” says Nick Cook, European Marketing Director for Yamaha Commercial Audio.

“It really is a versatile product, plus with Yamaha’s longevity and stability it’s a very safe purchase, despite the uncertain times the industry is currently having to face. And so far it has found a home in a remarkable range of situations, from the sublime to the almost ridiculous!”

In live music, LS9s have become a staple part of the satellite stages at major UK festivals like Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds. With swift changeovers between acts and limited technical budgets meaning flip-flopping between two consoles isn’t viable, settings for an entire band performance need to be loaded instantly. The console must also be easy to use for engineers who may not have come across one before.

“Successive band engineers often have very different requirements for gates and inserts. Physically re-patching can take several minutes, which is a huge slice of a very tight changeover time,” says Phil McDaniel of hire company ESS. “With the LS9 there’s a gate and compressor on every channel, we just turn them on and off as required. And they are extremely reliable.”

The LS9 is also the ideal solution for a wide range of touring acts to put on great show without putting a great hole in the budget.

“It’s absolutely ideal for us,” says Pigeon Detectives front of house engineer Andy Hawkins. “Even when we headline bigger venues, I see no reason to change it. The LS9 is the right tool for the job.”

“The LS9 is by far the most feature rich and capable console in its price point on the market,” adds Richard Rowley, managing director of production company XL Events. And with just one afternoon to familiarise himself with the LS9, its ease of use was a real benefit to Tim Headley, front of house engineer on the 2007 tour by children’s favourites The Tweenies.

“At the end of the first week I was loving it,” he says. “Particularly as I could use my laptop, a wireless router and Yamaha’s Studio Manager software to remotely set up the sound from anywhere in the auditorium.”

The LS9 holds a unique distinction for being the only console to have mixed a live gig at 35,000 feet, proving the perfect choice for a Jamiroquai performance in a Boeing 757 en-route from London to Athens

“We needed a console that would fit on an aircraft seat, but which would be capable of doing the live mix, Jay Kay's wedge monitors, the in-ear monitor mixes for the rest of the band, backing vocalists and a live digital recording,” says Mike Lowe of sound provider Britannia Row.

“The LS9 was the ideal tool for the job. And with no space to carry any back-up, reliability was also paramount.”

With high profile events like the BAFTAs, Edinburgh Fringe and Camden Crawl also taking advantage of the LS9, it has clearly made a major impact on the live circuit. And it is making a name for itself in the installation market too.

Italy’s Grand Hotel Palazzo features an LS9 as a key element of its corporate facilities, while the combination of facilities, ease of use and advantageous price point are ideally-suited to multi-purpose venues like Milan’s Cafe Blanco.

In sport, - the football stadium in Milton Keynes - is also home to an LS9, recommended by none other than legendary sound engineer ‘Big’ Mick Hughes.

“Putting the Yamaha LS9 at the front end enhanced our quality and control of the Stadium sound system - our fans noticed the improvement straight away,” says MK Dons FC chairman Pete Winkelman, the mastermind behind the stadium development.

“Having spent a great deal of time in detailed discussions with users and rental companies during the development phase, we knew the LS9 was a good product when we launched it,” adds Nick Cook.

This is backed up by Peter Butler, Audio Sales Manager for AC Entertainment Technologies, who says, “People had been crying out for this sort of desk for many years and, from all the feedback I receive, Yamaha has been the company which truly met the needs of the user.”

In tough economic times like these, when all of this is offered at a remarkably low price point, together with the backup of one of the industry’s most successful and secure manufacturers ensuring spares and support well into the future, the LS9 really is proving itself to be the mixing console of the moment.


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