Print This Page

Subfrantic Are Kings of the Hill with New Yamaha Consoles


After several years of successfully deploying its inventory of Yamaha M7CL and LS9 digital mixing consoles on a wide variety of events, production company Subfrantic has recently made a major further investment in two PM5D-RHs and a DSP5D. Hardly were the new mixers out of their packaging than they were heading for a festival field…

Held in late June at Kings Hill, Kent - a mixed residential and business development on what was formerly the RAF West Malling aerodrome - Music On The Hill was a family-friendly three-day festival, all proceeds of which went to two Kent-based children’s charities, the Demelza Hospice Care for Children and The Children's Development Trust.

Very much a festival with a difference, the event was specifically designed to embrace everyone from toddlers to great grandparents, which meant face-painting, balloon modelling, Peppa Pig, Andrex puppies and bouncy castles sat easily alongside a wide variety of performances on the main stage.

The live music was divided into a distinct theme on each day - classical/opera on the first, pop on the second and tribute/’heritage’ acts on the third - which made it the perfect test for Subfrantic’s latest acquisitions.

“We found ourselves working more and more in situations where we had to meet other engineers’ specifications,” says Subfrantic general manager Steve Davies. “The PM5D is still the most commonly accepted desk on most riders. We looked at every option, but the rider friendliness of the PM5D made it the obvious choice.”

By also investing in the DSP5D, Subfrantic now has a complete digital mixing system which can cope with the biggest events, covering both the front of house and monitor positions.

“We invested in the DSP5D so we could do away with the need for a multicore at most of the events we do,” says Steve. “We also do a lot of orchestral shows and the DSP5D, running alongside a conventional line system, is perfect for that.”

Orchestral music was just one of the many styles on offer at Music On The Hill. The first night featured the National Symphony Orchestra, mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins and tenor Wynne ‘Go Compare’ Evans, while the second had a more teenage audience in mind, with performances by McFly, the Sugababes and a couple of up and coming rock/pop bands. On the third, tribute acts Bjorn Again and Simply Rod appeared alongside 80s veterans ABC.

One PM5D was at FOH and the other on monitors, Steve and Subfrantic’s Howard Smart at respective positions, either mixing or being there to help the visiting engineers.

“I spoke to all the production managers or guest engineers in the weeks leading up to the show and everyone was happy with the choice of consoles,” says Steve. “No one asked for any outboard once they knew we were using PM5Ds, which was nice! Another of the benefits was that Howard and I had to do very little ‘babysitting’ because everyone knows their way round the PM5D.”

He continues,” All the visiting engineers sent me their show files prior to the event, so these were loaded into the board via a laptop before each show. But there wasn’t anything that was overly complex. We fed the stage board to 12 wedges and two stacks of sidefills, while we were running the PA five way, with 12 flown mid-highs per side. The largest output count was probably for McFly, as they used lots of in-ear monitors.”

Despite the first night being wet, the sun came out for the second two days of the festival, much money was raised for its good causes and Subfrantic’s new Yamaha consoles received a universal thumbs-up.

“It went fantastically well,” says Steve. “All of the engineers got a great sound and the organisers were thrilled about the quality of the job we did for them.

“The consoles have also brought the benefits of being very popular for sub-hire. So far we haven’t really publicised that we have them, yet we're already getting several calls a week about sub-hiring them.”


Products PM5D-RH , M7CL-48 , LS9-32

Return to Top