Los Angeles, CA (April 8, 2019) — If great music is like fine wine, then Los Angeles-based collective Flight of Voices is music’s sommelier. Calling on an extensive stock of artists, their tastings offer a diverse musical palate for audiences to savor. These ensembles perform in a wide variety of unique indoor and outdoor venues from Malibu’s Saddlerock Gardens to the legendary Village Studios to a room in Beverly Hills made entirely of pink salt. Needing a powerful but lightweight and easy-to-use P.A. system, they found QSC to be the perfect pairing. Everything is mixed and recorded with a TouchMix-30 Pro compact digital mixer. Two K12.2 powered loudspeakers serve as mains, supplemented by a KS112 powered subwoofer and three K10.2 powered loudspeakers handle monitor duties.
“We do gigs in all different kinds of locations,” says co-owner Alex Nimier. “Mountains, caves, studios – and we’ve always used QSC, even back when we were literally renting the stuff from Guitar Center every week.”
This ever-changing rotation of venues means Flight of Voices’ sound system needs to be scalable, unobtrusive, and able to turn on a dime. Audio engineer Robert Richardson explains why QSC proved the versatile champion that the team needed. “Our shows can range from 12 people in the audience up to about 200. We use this same setup for all of them, indoors and out. The system performs wonderfully. The K12.2 speakers — I mean, those things are 2,000 watts! They project plenty to our largest audiences. For our smallest audiences, they remain very nuanced and hi-fi sounding. Unlike other speakers, you don’t lose detail if you turn them down.”
It’s not just the audiences that vary wildly, as founder & co-owner Sophie Ilys explains: “We create combinations of genres and voices to give the audience a different experience every time. We might pair a jazz singer with someone from the folk world, then maybe a soul singer, add a Latin percussionist, and so on. Sometimes artists do several shows together. For others, it’s the first time that they’ve met!”
This is where the features of the TouchMix-30 Pro —scenes for quick setup of different vocal and instrument types, anti-feedback and room tuning, and remote control via tablet, and more — prove invaluable. “I hook up a strong Wi-Fi router and set up my own VPN,” details Richardson. “Then I just roam around the venue controlling the TouchMix with my iPad, checking the sound from any spot. We don’t have to run masses of cables or snakes under guests’ feet, which would be bad in the places we play in. The interface on the iPad is an exact mirror of the mixer itself, so there’s no learning curve between the two, and there’s no latency that’s been a problem. In fact, I barely touch the mixer itself while the show is going on.”
Richardson also speaks to the TouchMix’s audio quality. “The preamps, EQ, compression, effects on the TouchMix all sound top-notch. Because of the diversity of venues and artists, I’ll use EQ on every channel to get everything into a cohesive sonic space, then compression as needed, reverb as needed. I’m always able to dial in the sound very quickly.”
“On a recent Saturday in the Moroccan Ballroom at Village Studios, we had eight musicians onstage,” adds Alex Nimier. “There was a Flamenco guitarist, a ‘cocktail’ drum kit, upright bass, sax, flute, clarinet, acoustic guitar, and then our lead artist singing and playing a grand piano. It sounded brilliant. The system is always enough, yet it never gets to be too much for the room.”
The Flight of Voices team has also discovered the TouchMix Series’ ability to record multi-track and stereo mixes directly to a hard drive with no computer required. “We’re a live experience foremost,” says Nimier, “but about six months ago we started developing our ‘Sessions,’ which are YouTube videos of combinations of artists putting unexpected spins on cover songs, as well as their originals. I’ll let Scott Lehman, our one-man production house, chime in.”
“For the Sessions, I’m handling lighting and filming as well,” says Lehman, “so for audio recording I need to ‘set it and forget it’ and be assured of a great set of tracks I can edit to video later. So I don’t go out to a laptop. It all goes right to the hard drive plugged into the TouchMix. For some of these I’ve actually been using the TouchMix-16 simply because it’s lighter and smaller, and it’s been more than enough.”
“I also am a fan of how relatively light it all is,” adds Sophie Ilys. “No matter what kind of indoor or outdoor place we’re performing, load-in is never an issue. For anyone who handles the variety of musical situations that we do, QSC is simply brilliant.”
To learn more about Flight of Voices, visit www.flightofvoices.com.
Founded over five decades ago, QSC is globally-recognized leader in the design, engineering and manufacture of award-winning high-performance loudspeakers, digital mixers, power amplifiers, audio processors, digital cinema solutions, and the Q-SYS™ software-based audio, video and control platform. Offering reliable, scalable and flexible solutions for professional installed, portable, production, corporate and cinema applications, QSC puts customers first with its highly-acclaimed sales, service, and support networks worldwide.