Taylor Sound – a full-service studio serving musicians in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area – was recently equipped with QSC TouchMix-8 and TouchMix-16 touchscreen digital mixers, as well as the full range of QSC K.2 Series active loudspeakers.
The complex features rehearsal rooms, on-site recording, and music video production in a large, green-screen-equipped room. Facilities manager T. Perry Bowers wanted to increase access for local bands and artists who lacked the budget to book a rehearsal space of their own, so he created the Band Share program, in which bands pay for one or two nights per week in a room equipped with a drum kit, backline and P.A.
“All three of our Band Share rooms are bookable online, and you can get an access code and come in without ever talking to a human being in person,” said Bowers.
“Room A, the smallest, is good for a trio or quartet, and contains a TouchMix-8 digital mixer and K8.2 series loudspeakers. Room B has a TouchMix-8 and pair of K10.2. In room C, the largest, we have the TouchMix-16 and four K12.2s. All of the loudspeakers are set up as main P.A monitors, though sometimes bands move them because they want to practice as if they’re onstage.”
Coronavirus safety has been an obvious benefit of the automated, Airbnb-style access, but bands coming in ‘cold’ means P.A equipment needs to be easy to use. Between the TouchMix series’ ‘Simple Mode’ for new users and built-in tutorials, the mixers pleasantly surprised Bowers in this regard:
“At first, I was honestly a little concerned,” he admitted. “I was thinking about putting conventional mixers in there with a familiar fader layout, because unlike big-city rehearsal studios, I don’t have a full-time staff to help people any time they need something. But then I found that the bands were really easily adapting to TouchMix – the preamp gains are on knobs and most of the other operations are on the touchscreen.
"Bands were just going in there and figuring out things like the input presets, which set EQ and dynamics settings for different types of vocals and instruments. They were dialing in great mixes. There’s always one member in any band who knows a little more about audio, and that helps, but so does the QSC TouchMix interface, which is really intuitive.”