Academy Music Group upgrades five UK venues with Avid

Owner and operator of live venues in the UK, Academy Music Group (AMG) has upgraded five of its O2 Academy venues with Avid’s Venue SC48 consoles.

In a bid to enhance the production values of its venues, AMG purchased the Avid consoles from Adlib Solutions in Liverpool, which were subsequently installed at O2 ABC Glasgow, O2 Academy Liverpool, O2 Academy Birmingham, O2 Academy Oxford, and O2 Academy Newcastle. These are in addition to the Venue Profile Systems already in place at O2 Academy venues in Bristol, Islington (London) and Oxford.

AMG technical manager Ed Jackson said that Avid has been one of the console vendors of choice ever since the release of the Venue family of systems. “The familiarity that many touring engineers have with the board means that it is a great desk to have in our selection of in-house equipment, improving the already high standard of production services across the Group.

“They are a one flightcase solution,” added Jackson. “In some venues where space is limited, or when we have to provide a full console set up alongside a touring desk, they fit in the space required. The boards were chosen so they can be used in both Front Of House and monitor positions. Their small footprint means that they can be moved around and used in our venues of varying capacities. Visiting engineers touring on larger shows are often able to bring their own boards, but the smaller tours and support bands don’t and we need to be able to provide for them"

According to Jackson, the ability to record 32 channels over FireWire to a laptop running Pro Tools 10, was another attractive feature. “That’s been something that we wanted to achieve in-house for a considerable length of time,” he said, “so we’re delighted to make this a reality for artists playing our venues. Even as recently as a few years ago, to record 32 channels would have required a [remote broadcast] truck, a separate multicore [snake], splits and more. To be able to turn up to a show with a laptop and plug it in with one cable and record on an industry-standard platform means that the costs have been reduced significantly, making recording for newer bands and independent artists a viable option on a smaller budget.”

Furthermore, Jackson noted that the response from AMG’s technical managers across the UK has been positive. “We were able to get the SC48s set up before sending them out to the venues so that they were able to use them straight away,” Jackson concluded. “They opened the cases, plugged them in and off they went. Since they’ve used the extra features on the SC48s, all of the feedback has been positive.”

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