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Yamaha consoles go straight ahead at The Junction

Apr, 2010

Established in 1990, The Junction is one of the premier venues in Cambridge, offering a vibrant array of music, theatre, comedy, dance and community productions. Fully engaged in supporting this diverse range of events are three Yamaha digital consoles.

Featuring three performance spaces, J1-J3, which between them stage over 100 productions a year to a combined audience of over 100,000, The Junction combines shows by established artists with a firm emphasis on developing new talent.

“We had two ten year old analogue consoles which had reached the end of their useful lives and, with the variety of production we stage, it was common sense to go down the digital route,” says the venue’s chief audio technician Paddy Matthews.

“When all the costings were done, taking into account the extra costs of outboard and cabling for an analogue console, the choice was actually very easy - the Yamaha M7CL was the obvious solution.”

As a result the Junction invested in two M7CL-48s, followed by an LS9-32.

A major advantage offered by the M7CL is the ease with which it can be moved into any of The Junction’s different spaces, hooked up instantly and a scene loaded, making the console ready to go in minutes.

“It was a very strong part of our thinking that moving the M7CL is very easy for two people. It provides an instant full gig for our second space,” Paddy continues.

“Although in the (1050-capacity) J1 main space, the two M7CLs function as front of house and monitor boards respectively, one can be moved into the (300-capacity) J2 space to provide both a large front of house setup and several monitor mixes on the same console.”

The LS9, meanwhile, is the ideal console for use mainly in J2, which can be used in the studio-sized J3 space, as required.

Shows in J1 usually feature a visiting engineer, at least at front of house, but those in J2 and J3 are invariably operated by venue staff. Apart from a ‘grab and tweak’ rackmount graphic equaliser and visiting engineers occasionally bringing a favourite valve preamp, the onboard effects of the consoles are used exclusively. Paddy also encourages everybody who uses the Yamaha consoles to save scenes.

“The rackmount equaliser isn’t necessary, we only have it because visiting engineers often request an instant tweak EQ. It just gives them a feeling of reassurance,” he says.

“Although we have a range of basic scenes programmed to cover most eventualities, I encourage everyone to tweak them and save their own presets. Even if they then don’t use them and end up mixing on the fly, having the presets as a starting point is a massive time saver.”

Overall the Yamaha consoles are proving a real success at The Junction, with ease of use and audio quality making a notable impression, as well as providing the essential flexibility for a venue with such a wide remit.

“Of all the digital consoles I’ve used, the Yamaha user interface is certainly one of the easiest,” says Paddy. “I’ve taught a couple of people how to use the M7CL from scratch and they’ve done a really good job with just a basic run-through of the facilities and control surface.

”The value for money of both the M7CL and LS9 are amazing. They’re affordable, not over-complex and sound every bit as good as consoles which cost a lot more.”

Data

Products M7CL-48 , LS9-32

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