Internally Sound is a regional sound company founded by brothers Phil and Mark Jenkins in 1995. Based in Milan, Tennessee, the company specializes in events and installations in West Tennessee and throughout the Southeastern United States, offering complete production management for a range of clients. I recently spoke with Mark Jenkins about the company and the dual S6L systems that they recently added to their rental inventory.
DH: What is your history with VENUE systems?
MJ: We bought an SC48 back in 2011—we stepped into an SC48 because we were quite often having to cross rent Profiles. We considered purchasing a Profile, but the timing, the cost and the return for us wasn’t quite there yet. Because we are a fairly small company the payout takes some time, so we continued to cross rent as needed. Then in 2012, we decided to get ourselves another SC48—this time an SC48 Remote system with the stage rack. So those two systems, the SC48 Remote at FOH and the all-in-one SC48 for monitors, served us very well for the last few years. When Avid announced the S6L back in April we followed it quite closely and finally decided that it was the right system for us.
DH: How did you decide on adding the S6L’s to your inventory?
MJ: We’re kind of a blend of a few things. We don’t really tour, so we’re not looking for the “console of the month” to put on tour for a couple of years until it’s paid off and then move it somewhere else. We typically use our console inventory for our events, which are mostly conferences, one-offs, and corporate events—we can’t really look to our touring revenue to pay for them. And on those one-offs that we do that are conferences, we need to be able to satisfy the headliner band that’s coming in, and they always have a Profile show file. That’s one of the reasons that the SC48’s served us so well. A guest engineer could load their show file into our SC48’s or a cross-rented Profile system with no worries at all. The S6L is such a natural step from there, and so far we love it!
DH: What was the process like moving to S6L for your team?
MJ: We’ve all just been absolutely thrilled with it. It’s a fascinating combination of the familiarity of the previous systems with all the things that we liked about them, but it’s brand new and it does all the things that you need to be able to do today versus ten years ago. I feel like Avid did a really fine job of that. Getting up and running has been really easy. All of our guys were able to get up to speed and navigate on it quickly. Whenever there’s a question, most of the time the answer is that it’s the same that it was on a Profile or SC48.
DH: Does it help that S6L runs the same software that you’re familiar with?
MJ: I’m usually the guy doing the advance for all of the one-offs that we do, so I spend as much time in the [VENUE] software on a computer building the show as I do on the surface. Moving from the VENUE 3 software that we were on with SC48 up to S6L’s VENUE 5.0 software has been painless, enabling me to build shows the way I did before with no limits—that’s a big deal. I just built a show file for a corporate event we have coming up that we’re taking the S6L to, and that particular event has a history of maxing out my outputs. I’ve got a small band on ears, I have several sends that need to go to various places, I’ve got monitors and PA, and I always had to make decisions on what I had to give up. With S6L, whatever you need, it’s there. Add another stereo bus, another group, another aux—whatever you want to throw in, it’s perfectly happy with that.
DH: What has been your impression of S6L’s sound quality?
MJ: The sound quality totally speaks for itself—it’s amazing. We are totally thrilled by the way it sounds. It doesn’t seem to have a color or a signature, just very clean, and transparent. Things that we thought sounded good before (and did), don’t sound as good to us now because the S6L sounds so much better.
It’s quite enjoyable to walk up to the S6L, get things patched up, put the earbuds in, and say, “Yeah, that’s what I was hoping for.” And I heard the same response from the guest engineer that we had on it at the recent Strength to Stand Conference. We advanced the show with him and he was not bringing a show file. We told him that we were going to use the S6L and that we’d have it patched up and ready to go. He walked up and was up and running for sound check in no time at all—he was very comfortable on it very quickly. After the show I asked him how it went, and the first thing he had to say about it was, “Man, it sounded great!”