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There‘s No Delta Blues with Yamaha

Aug,2011

One of London’s most respected audio rental and installation companies, Delta Sound has provided its expertise and equipment to a huge variety of projects, from the smallest corporate presentation to Trafalgar Square rallies, television’s X Factor and the vast Westfield White City retail complex. Yamaha digital mixing consoles are at the centre of much of the company’s work, a relationship the company has recently reaffirmed by purchasing four further digital mixing systems.

Delta’s relationship with Yamaha goes back over a decade, to the development of the PM1D. The company’s rental inventory of Yamaha equipment currently includes two PM5Ds, a DSP5D, six M7CL-48s, four LS9-16s, a DME64 digital mixing engine, 12 SB168-ES stage boxes and a wide array of amplifiers, multi-effects, reverbs and Mini-YGDAI interface cards.

“The thing with Yamaha equipment is… we know it and we trust it,” says Delta project manager Lee Dennison.

He elaborates, “Their equipment is extraordinarily reliable, which is of fundamental importance to a business like ours where, irrespective of a job’s size or complexity, we treat every one as if it’s the most important one.

“Using the old adage of it taking years to build a good reputation, but only minutes to lose one, we need to be sure that the equipment we deploy is not going to fail and, if there are ever any problems, that they are put right very quickly and learned from so they don’t happen again.”

The fact that there’s a Yamaha mixer that’s suitable for any job is a definite advantage, witnessed by the surprising variety of work that even Delta’s LS9s get used on.

“The LS9s are out all the time. They allow us to supply complete ‘gig in a box’ style systems, which are perfect for small conferences, breakout rooms at larger conferences or larger scale events where the main sources are a few live inputs plus some playback,” says Lee.

“They’re also used as part of bigger systems, for example we have used them on the Tour de France and an event where we were sub-mixing audio over IP from Trafalgar Square to various royal parks around London for screen relay. The LS9 sits quite happily in small format, remote stations and delay points.

“We even had one on the opening of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. With the world watching the lavish celebrations, we needed the reassurance that we wouldn’t be the weak link!”

The M7CL is used, as you would expect, as the main mixer on medium-scale events and it’s in this console that Delta has recently made a significant investment, purchasing four M7CL-48 consoles, MY16-ES64 Ethersound interface cards and 12 SB168-ES stage boxes.

“We considered the M7CL-48ES, but we liked the versatility that using the standard M7CL with the SB168-ES stage boxes allows,” says Lee. “For us, having the additional local ins and outs of the standard console more than makes up for using a slot for the MY card. It’s the best of both worlds - we have all the benefits of the stage boxes, but if you suddenly need 12 inputs at FOH, it’s a lot simpler than pulling a stage rack apart!

“Having the MY cards in the inventory also means that we can use the stage boxes with our LS9s, which is another benefit.”

One of Delta’s more unusual uses of an M7CL was when London’s Tate Modern gallery staged a performance of the composer Alvin Curran’s Maritime Rites. Performed on a barge on the River Thames, an M7CL located on the barge sub-mixed the three musicians to a ground (well, boat)-stacked line array, the signal also being fed wirelessly to the main FOH mix position on the river bank.

“We needed a low-weight console which could supply all the required processing and be easy to get on and off the barge, so the M7CL was an ideal choice,” says Lee. “Technically, it was an interesting job. The main focus was Alvin and the musicians on the barge, but the brass section was 300m away from it, playing back at him through the system that was playing him!”

Another project where the M7CL features is the Westfield White City Shopping Centre, the vast retail complex in London’s Shepherds Bush. The Atrium is a large, multi-purpose performance space equipped with a comprehensive audio network for both EtherSound and analogue audio, with facilities panels allowing connection of a range of equipment throughout the area. This allows performances to take place in different locations within the area.

The hub of the system is a Yamaha DME24N digital mixing engine, which interfaces with the rest of the Westfield audio system, with the M7CL chosen for the area’s main mixer because of its excellent facilities in a highly portable package and being familiar to a wide range of audio engineers.

All audio for the Atrium is routed via the DME24N, which is connected via AES/EBU and an NAI48-ES interface to the main control room. The EtherSound network connects it from there to the M7CL, which is used to mix both front of house and monitors as required, via another 48 input / eight output NAI48-ES stage rack, fitted with AD8HR and DA824 interfaces.

With ongoing projects like monitor equipment for television’s X Factor (two PM5Ds and a DSP5D), a steady diet of corporate work and tours and many events both before and during the 2012 Olympics now at the planning stage, Delta Sound’s Yamaha inventory is going to be extremely busy. That’s another reason why the reliability is so vital.

“Yamaha equipment gives us the confidence to pitch for all ranges of high profile jobs and know we’ll meet - and regularly exceed - client expectations,” says Lee. “It also means that lower-profile clients will want to use our services again, regular business which is vital to us.

“Their service and support is also second to none. From advice on simple technical issues to complex system design and configuration, there is always somebody who will help. The backup is brilliant and is a credit to them.”

Data

Products PM5D , M7CL-48ES , DME64N

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