Would you like to mix on a computer?

What I Do With My SAC Rig

The short answer is anything and almost everything.

I am approaching my 6th anniversary of the time that I began using my SAC system. It has been a pleasure to use the SAC rig in all of the situations that I am normally involved. With the exception of the first event of 2009 I have done virtually everything on my SAC system. So, at the close of the 2014 season I have used SAC for six seasons.

When I set up my SAC rig it was with the intention of using the full virtual mixing experience. I was happy to leave the heavy boards, house rack, and snakes in the warehouse. I have never hooked up a fader pack to my rig. Early on there were a couple of times that I thought it might be nice, but there are ways to do anything you really need to do if you know your way around and put some thought into making it happen. For information about the techniques I use you can check my workflow in SAC page.

I began using my SAC rig the day that I've got it stabilize. I had a band gig in a club and I took the SAC rig out for the first time for that gig. I received many compliments on the sound quality at that time. The next gig was a convention with the Church of God. This is quite a complex live mixing situation. With these gospel conventions there are typically 8 to 12 vocal channels plus a full band. I took my Soundcraft GB eight along as a backup but it sat where I placed it when I loaded in through the whole convention. Again, I received many compliments on the sound quality.

I do primarily event and convention work with an occasional band gig or a rare concert thrown in. My SAC rig has served me well through this entire time. One of my primary gigs is providing production for motorcycle rallies. During a motorcycle rally there are typically three or four bands that play per day through the event. Each band plays two to four shows during the event. When a band has multiple shows I make a scene (take a snapshot) of the system including monitors and recall the scene for subsequent shows. One of the venues I work added a second stage last season. I could switch stages by connecting the netbook that I use as a FOH remote to the router on the SAC system controlling that stage.

I have also used my SAC rig for a Blues Festival for which I provided production for four years. The Blues Festival had 18 different acts playing over a three-day period. Because of the nature of the event these were all throw'N'go shows. The SAC rig handled the situation without problem. The first year I carried a dedicated (hardware) monitor desk. I took the same rig out for the second year but due to inclement weather there was a venue change for the second and third day. The indoor venue had a reasonable house system but provided only four monitor mixes from the FOH desk. I did not take the monitor desk along but did monitors on the SAC rig and added a good drum fill. This proved adequate for the situation. The following two years I did not bother with the hardware monitor console at all. We did the whole event on the SAC rig using the host computer (on stage) for monitors and a remote for front of house.

I do everything from local bands in clubs on up through smaller concert events. If I am mixing I am on my SAC rig. Even when I provide a hardware FOH for a band engineer I generally do monitors and opening acts on my SAC rig.

Often, when I mix on a house system, I take my SAC console along and mix in my preferred environment. I drive the house system through whatever the house uses for a console as I did for the Blues Festival.  This often offers me options that would not be available on the house system. These options include better gates and comps available on every input channel as well as the option for remote control if the venue mix location is less than optimum.

Would you do sound on a computer?

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