Friends Of Shiva Soars Ahead With An Impressive Inventory Upgrade

Staying ahead of the technological curve is a key mantra for success in the intricate realm of live sound and concert production. And one of India’s most prominent event equipment rental service providers - Friends Of Shiva – stand as a testament to this adage; as the company continues to assert their business and technological prowess through consistent tech upgrades to their existing world-class inventory.

In recent times, the Kolkata-based ace rental service provider has made a significant enhancement to their digital mixing capabilities with the addition of the current industry favorite DiGiCo Quantum 338 system coupled with the SD-Rack, along with a single unit of the incredibly nimble yet powerful S31 digital mixing console. Additionally; the company has also expanded its already impressive FOH loudspeaker inventory with the acquisition of a brand-new comprehensive PANTHER line array system from Meyer Sound, complete with the powerful 2100-LFC Low-Frequency Control elements. These strategic investments have afforded the company a powerful edge over their peers; as Friends Of Shiva stand proud as the owners of not just the first PANTHER line array system in Eastern India, but also the first DiGiCo Quantum 338 system in the region.

“As a company, our vision for success is deeply rooted in our relentless pursuit of audio perfection. And these strategic investments are a key extension of this ever-evolving pursuit. The fact that we’ve acquired the region’s first Meyer Sound PANTHER line array line array system, and DiGiCo Quantum 338 + S31 digital mixing consoles exemplifies our commitment to delivering outstanding events by pushing the envelope of sonic excellence through industry leading technologies!” exclaims Kyle Mukherjee, Director of Friends Of Shiva as he speaks about the motivations behind the recent investment, while noting the fact that this strategic move not only underscores their position as an industry leader but also signifies the companies unwavering commitment to delivering unparalleled audio experiences.

Kyle explains that the company has built a formidable legacy of reinforcing some of the largest and most extravagant event productions in the region; and decision to acquire the Quantum 338 system was fueled by the need to meet the evolving demands such events. He elaborates, “We’d noted that a majority of all top touring artists and engineers citing the Quantum 338 as their preferred desk to work with. And fulfilling this demand was top priority for us, since almost every large-scale production that takes place in the region invariably chooses to work with our company as their preferred technical partner. To be honest, the DiGiCo Quantum 338 digital mixing console is, in fact, a true technical powerhouse – with its lavish 128 input channels, 64 busses, and a 24x24 matrix, all operating at a pristine 96kHz sample rate. The console is capable of delivering unrivaled audio quality, versatility, and an array of advanced features like Mustard Processing channel strips, Spice Rack plugin style native FPGA processing options which provides a plethora of effect options, Nodal Processing and True Solo – all of which make it a top choice in the industry. And when you throw the SD-Rack into the mix, what you have is a comprehensive system that offers ultra-low latency, high-channel-count audio transmission, and seamless integration with diverse stage configurations with the capacity to accommodate a wide range of audio sources – all while assuring uninterrupted reliability.”

On the other hand, the decision to invest in the S31 mixing console was a strategic move that was influenced by the desk’s versatility, efficiency and ability to offer an impressive set of features and capabilities within a compact footprint. “The S31 offers DiGiCo’s flagship audio quality, power and flexibility – all in a compact frame – which makes it the perfect main mix solution for small to mid-size event; whereas its capacity to work seamlessly with all other DiGiCo consoles makes it extremely useful as a ‘slave-desk’ for larger-scale shows. The surface is both intuitive and familiar, with three multi-touch screens over three banks of 10 faders; while the 48 flex-channels, the equivalent of 16 busses and benchmark 96kHz performance, all assure world-class level performance value. Plus, the new ARM QuadCore RISC processor which runs in harmony with the low power 484-ball array FPGA core and fourth gen SHARC DSP offers truly impressive processing power, with the capacity to scale up with future upgrades. And another great positive is the UB MADI interface for DAW recording, in addition to dual DMI (DiGiCo Multichannel Interface) option card slots, interfacing to industry formats such as Analogue, MADI, Dante, Waves SoundGrid, or Calrec’s Hydra 2 Network. These aspects not only make the desk extremely flexible and dexterous to work with, but also allows us the capacity to cater to the widest range of events, without any compromise on delivering a world-class mix experience.”

Speaking about the acquisition of the new Meyer Sound Panther system, Kyle reveals that this decision was driven by the need to have a truly wholesome and comprehensive world-class sound reinforcement ecosystem, so that the company could assure pristine audio productions for every kind of event. With the new inventory boasting a total of 24 units of the PANTHER Line array modules and 16 units of the 2100-LFC subwoofers, Kyle's innate understanding of loudspeaker nuances shines through as he notes that the PANTHER and 2100-LFC combination affords Friends Of Shiva remarkable scalability and adaptability to efficiently cater to medium to large-scale event productions.

Kyle elaborates on this stating, “In my opinion, the PANTHER line arrays are a technological marvel. Packing unbelievable power and precision into a form factor that’s not just logistically convenient but also extremely beautiful to look at; the system’s high output and minimal distortion, remarkable frequency response, exceptional phase coherence, and expansive horizontal coverage make it the ideal choice for delivering pristine sound across a wide spectrum of venues. While the max peak output of 150dB and horizontal coverage capabilities ranging from 80 degree to 110 degrees are great markers for the system’s capacity for astounding power and precision; the true magic happens when you combine this with intelligent optimization and processing capabilities of the Galileo GALAXY network platform, which allows us to fine-tune the system to match the acoustics of any venue. Additionally, we are the first and only company in India to have acquired the 2100-LFC subwoofers; and we did so because we knew that the 2100 LFC perfectly complement the PANTHER line array modules while enhancing the overall performance of the system with its thunderous low-frequency fidelity; thereby allowing us to bring together a truly wholesome and immersive audio experience."

Furthermore, Kyle asserts that the acquisitions of the digital consoles from DiGiCo and the Meyer Sound PANTHER line array system has expanded the world of possibilities for Friends Of Shiva, as he is confident that the company will undoubtedly be at the forefront of mega productions to grace the region in the times to come.

“What excites me most about the addition of our DiGiCo consoles and the Meyer Sound PANTHER system is how it has positively influenced our ability to seamlessly adapt to diverse venues and event scales. Not only can we efficiently cater to the most intricate and complex production demands with great ease; but we’re also able to extend a greater sense of confidence to our clients to rest assured of enjoying a truly bespoke event experience powered by industry-leading technologies that have set new benchmarks in live sound!" he concludes optimistically.