Canadian singer Sarah McLachlan brought an abridged version of her world-famous Lilith Fair to Australia in October, the first time the female-only festival tour has been staged outside North America.
The Lilith Fair was founded in 1997 after McLachlan became frustrated with concert promoters and radio stations that refused to feature two female musicians in a row. In Australia local acts Kate Miller-Heidke and The Verses joined her for the 5-concert tour.
Jands Production Services provided the audio equipment and crew for veteran front of house engineer Gary Stokes, who has toured with Sarah for close to 21 years.
At FOH was a Soundcraft Vi6 digital mixing console, which Stokes first became acquainted with while mixing for French-American singer Madeleine Peyroux. Sarah McLachlan also utilizes AKG 535 Eb stage microphones for backup vocals during her set.
“[Peyroux] was opening for Diana Krall, whose FOH guy uses a Soundcraft Vi6,” Stokes explains. “The Soundcraft Vi6 delivers value for money, meeting most of my needs at a lower price point than other digital consoles. I would say its prime attraction is its user-configurability. I really like Version 4 of the Soundcraft software as it allows more flexibility when configuring the faders to be different things. They've implemented their user layers on their fader pages and that allows you to customize different layers to be different things.”
Gary further describes the Soundcraft Vi6 as a powerful platform that offers a very flexible approach.
”I like the way the I/O's are situated,” he added. “You have a lot of patch points situated on the FOH rack as well as the stage so you can make anything go anywhere pretty easily. That's a powerful advantage over other systems.
“I also like the MADI card capability of the Soundcraft Vi6--in fact it's a big deal for me. It's important to be able to work inter-operatively with other manufacturer's equipment, different recorders and splitters.”