Deep Purple needs no introduction to rock fans – the iconic riff to “Smoke on the Water” alone is instantly recognizable to anyone not born under a rock. For the last 10 years, Don Airey has been the keyboard player for Deep Purple. Airey has been on the rock scene for more than 25 years, having played on almost 200 albums with artists like Richie Blackmore’s Rainbow, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jethro Tull, ELO, UFO and many others.
Don is using a HARMAN Soundcraft Si Compact 16 Digital Live Sound Mixer on Deep Purple’s current U.S. and European tours. Gert Sanner, front of house engineer for Deep Purple, notes, “We are in the process of replacing our old mixers because we have two full systems going on tour, and we wanted to have more consistency between the two keyboard rigs. We chose the Si Compact 16 because of the quality of its internal effects, its sound quality and its ease of use.”
“We wanted to be able to take any adjustments to the settings that we did on one rig and transfer them to the other,” Sanner continues. “The Si Compact 16 lets us easily move our settings between consoles, rather than having to manually duplicate all of our reverb, delay and other effects settings every time we make a change.”
“We are also using the console’s MIDI capability by linking specific keyboard sounds to individual Scenes on the desk. This enables us to store particular EQ settings to particular songs, and make the transition from one keyboard rig to the other a lot smoother.”
In addition to the Si Compact 16, Gert Sanner is using a Soundcraft Vi6 digital console for front of house mixing.
“We’re getting great results by working this way,” Sanner concludes. “We are busy hopping from continent to continent, so anything that makes the day easier is more than welcome.”