Good Sound Studio Gets Great Live Recordings with Line 6 StageScape M20d
Located southeast of Pittsburgh in New Stanton, Pennsylvania, Good Sound Studio offers a wide range of services to its clients. They specialize in pro audio rentals for live music and theatrical performances as well as sound system design and installation for schools, churches and restaurants. In looking for a way to help a local band improve the quality and consistency of their live performances, Good Sound Studio president Dwight Brown was intrigued to learn about the StageScape® M20d digital mixing system from Line 6.
“I was looking for something to improve the overall sound and make setup easier for a local band I had been helping,” says Brown. “After talking with my equipment rep at The Music People, StageScape M20d seemed perfect for our needs. It may not look like a typical digital console, but it does everything we wanted it to. Actually, it does much more! When it arrived, I knew within hours that it would exceed my expectations.”
Upon receiving the StageScape M20d mixer, Brown focused on learning the system’s unique interface, which uses an icon-based touchscreen to help the user set up a virtual stage. “In my shop, I set up a virtual stage based on the band’s instrumentation, then loaded some presets for each channel as a starting point,” he says. “Since we had a gig that night, I also downloaded the reference guide so I could learn specific things, like how to assign effects to a group of channels, like the vocals. Like everything on the console, it was very easy. You just assign channels to an encoder and go. Sound check was a blast, learning new functions, working with the Tweak mode to tune the sound and assigning monitor feeds. I realized right away that this board would far exceed anything I had even hoped for.”
For Good Sound Studio, the original goal in acquiring StageScape M20d was to reduce its equipment footprint while taking advantage of the repeatable precision of a digital mixer. But they quickly realized that StageScape offered much more, and began taking advantage of advanced functions such as the Deep Edit controls. “In terms of processing power, StageScape is just outstanding,” says Brown. “It has full effects and dynamics on every channel, plus excellent EQ, with full control of every parameter. As an engineer, I couldn’t ask for more.”
For his first live show with StageScape, Brown brought two memory devices: one loaded with music, and a second with plenty of spare room to take advantage of the mixer’s one-touch multi-track recording. “I used one device for music between sets, which was very convenient. But being a studio owner, I really wanted to check out the unit’s recording ability. I recorded some songs so the band could hear themselves later, but didn’t tell them about it until after I took them back to the shop to mix,” he notes. “When I sent the band the files, they were amazed at the quality of the recording and thrilled to heard what their live gigs sounded like. Getting that live feel is something you can’t re-create in the studio, and StageScape offers an incredibly convenient way to capture that.”
In surveying the many functions and capabilities of StageScape M20d, Brown found himself admiring the mixer design approach. “Very few pieces of new gear have impressed me the way StageScape has. Most people will look at the icons and touchscreen and stop there, but when you look at the whole package, it is obvious that pro sound guys had a lot of input on the design,” he concludes. “StageScape M20d is a serious digital mixer, just in a very compact package. And what sound guy doesn’t love being able to minimize the amount of gear and cables he has to pack up at the end of the night? It makes my job infinitely easier and much more fun. Line 6 hit a grand slam with this system.”