Total Production

Yamaha Training Brings Fringe Benefits To Edinburgh’s Assembly Festival

July 2015

In the run up to this year’s International Festival and Festival Fringe, currently the city of Edinburgh is a hive of activity.

With hundreds of venues housing literally thousands of performances, the Fringe is traditionally seen as an important step on the career ladder of any aspiring production technician. Yamaha Commercial Audio delivered three days of training for one of the Fringe’s best-known venue operators.

Walking around Edinburgh in July, there is a palpable feeling of expectation in the air as found spaces are transformed into venues, banners are unfurled, and the horde of camera-clutching tourists that perennially stalks the streets is infiltrated by a small army of production staff - the trademark outfit of black hoodie and shorts giving away their purpose.

With the Edinburgh Festival Fringe running from 5 - 31 August, in late July Yamaha Technical Sales Engineer Wayne Powell headed north to help train sound operators for Fringe multi-venue operator Assembly Festival.

“We’ve got 16 venues, 13 of which feature Yamaha consoles. Provided by Delta Sound, they are a mixture of CL, QL and LS9,” said Douglas Martin, Assembly Head of Sound and AV. “Yamaha mixers are ideal for the Fringe because they are virtually bulletproof. Despite the intense schedule of shows - they are basically left on for four weeks solid - it’s very rare for one to go down.”

He continued, “Although most staff now come to the Fringe with at least some experience, some have been involved more in stage management and lighting, while others haven’t had the experience of the bigger consoles. The LS9 is ideal for the smaller venues but we find that, once people step up to the QL or CL and start using the R-series i/o units, they can find the Dante side a little daunting, because it has so many possibilities.”

The answer was for Wayne to run several sessions in Assembly’s Roxy venue, some focused on the LS9, others on the CL/QL/Dante. With each session featuring three or four consoles and limited to eight or nine participants, very high quality, hands-on training was possible.”

“Once the Fringe gets underway, I try and help staff as much as I can, but the limited time between shows and distance between venues means I can only do so much. It’s also counter-productive if, just for the sake of speed, I have to do it for them,” said Douglas.

“By providing these sessions, we’ve ensured that all the operators have excellent prior knowledge of the console they’ll be using, meaning things run as smoothly as possible when the pressure’s on!”


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