Soundcraft Vi series mixers were used for Pope Benedict XVI's open air mass in Glasgow.
With 65,000 pilgrims attending the Papal mass at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow, SSE Hire used a pair of Soundcraft Vi6 digital consoles augmented at the last minute by a Soundcraft Vi1 to increase the channel count.
Once SSE became aware that they would also be mixing a 35-piece brass band, as well as an 800-strong choir - plus various ensembles and pre- and post-show concerts, the Vi1 was brought in specifically to handle the choir sub-mix; this was then piped back into the main Vi6 FOH desk, and sent as a L/R monitor feed to the Vi6 stage desk.
Mixing at FOH was the experienced Craig Pryde - a long-time Soundcraft Vi devotee (whose induction into the Soundcraft environment had originally taken on the first Vi4 prototype). He and monitor engineer Kevin Sparkes spent the two load-in days building up their desk templates so that by rehearsal day they were ready for anything the production might throw at them.
This included all the pre- and post-show entertainment (including a performance by Susan Boyle), school choirs and VT - interspersed with a two and a half hour long mass.
FOH engineer Craig Pryde comments, "Once we learned of the brass band, we were fortunate that the size of SSE Audio Group meant that there was a Vi1 available in the warehouse - it just required a bit more work on the day. We set up a quick generic patch for around 108 channels and it was very much a high-speed playback show."
Unlike the mass, presented in part-English, part-Latin from seven mic positions (including an audience call and response) the pre- and post-mass entertainment was fully sound-checked.
During the mass itself Pope Benedict XVI's voice was projected across the site with absolute clarity. Craig Pryde took cues from an interpreter from the Vatican, who accompanied him on the mix riser.
After the show, Craig Pryde stated, "Kevin and I both agreed it was the most surreal show we had ever done. I was behind the desk from 9am until 8.26 without moving."
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