Allen & Heath Top of the Bill at Ronnie Scott's

Jun 23, 2003 12:00 PM, Editors


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Ronnie Scott's, one of the world's most famous jazz nightclubs, has installed a 32-channel Allen & Heath ML3000 live sound VCA console in its London venue. The console joins an Allen & Heath GL3300 at the club, which also includes a second room for pop and rock acts.

"We have relied on Allen & Heath mixers for many years and have always been satisfied with the results," said sound engineer Miles Ashton. "Having a desk with VCA groups and swept highpass filters has never been an option before because of a lack of space. Our new ML3000 is fantastic; advanced features in a compact mixer."

Ronnie Scott's caters to a high caliber of international artists, often with full-sized bands and excellent sound quality is of paramount importance. However, the club was designed as an intimate venue and is not large in scale. "From an audio perspective, we tread a very fine line balancing monitors and front of house with direct acoustic sound," Ashton added. "Not only that, but the sound booth is only a few feet square, so the mixers need to be comparatively compact for the sophisticated functionality required."

Located initially in a basement in the heart of Soho in London's West End, the club was opened in late 1959 by renowned British jazz tenor sax player Ronnie Scott and fellow saxophonist Pete King. The club, which is open nightly from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m., relocated to larger premises in Soho in 1965.

Scott and King successfully negotiated with the British Musician's Union and the American Federation of Musicians to ease the restrictions that prevented American jazzmen from visiting the UK in the early 1960s, paving the way for a string of high-profile showcases at Ronnie Scott's. Zoot Sims, the first U.S. jazz musician to play at the club, was soon followed by Stan Getz, Wes Montgomery, Freddie Hubbard and Ben Webster; virtually every jazz great has played there since.

Scott, who was awarded an OBE by the Queen for his services to jazz in 1981, died in 1996. King continues to run the club.

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