A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Archive by Diane Gershuny

Milwaukee’s Marcus Center For Performing Arts Undergoes Sonic Renewal With DiGiCo

marcuscentre_sd8_5.jpgCelebrating over 40 years of top-flight cultural and community programming including symphony music and theater productions, the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts is situated in the heart of the downtown Milwaukee theatre district. Uihlein Hall, with a seating capacity of 2,305, is the largest of the Marcus Center theaters, and is home to the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Ballet Company, more

DiGiCo SD9 Rack Pack Shakes the Cage at All-Star Opening of Mick Fleetwood’s Hawaiian Venue

fleetwoods-on-front-street-maui.jpgDiGiCo rocked the house at the grand opening celebration of Mick Fleetwood’s new restaurant and club, Fleetwood’s on Front Street, in the heart of downtown Lahaina, Maui. The four-night musical celebration boasted a star-studded roster of performers. Night one kicked off with the Grammy-nominated Mick Fleetwood Blues Band, featuring guitarist/singer Rick more

Group One Ltd Launches SD5 Trade Up Program

With the launch of the new SD5 console earlier this year, DiGiCo U.S. distributor, Group One Limited, initiated a limited-time trade up program within the United States to get the new system into as many hands and inventories as possible. The premise of the program is that Group One will take back any make or model large-format analog or digital desk with a credit towards the purchase of a new SD5. The trade up program not only offers a financial benefit, but is also an easy way to stay on the leading edge of technology and upgrade to current technology. The advantages, in particular for a black box theatre or house of worship, is that it would allow them to put in a request for funding and once approved, the venue could swap out the old for the new seamlessly without any downtime, or having to worry about hassling with resale. Several large production companies took immediate advantage of the offer including Alford Media, Clearwing Productions, Hi-Tec Audio, and Beach Sound.

Jonathan Lieurance

Alford Media Services is a nationally recognized event technology support company providing audio, video, lighting and show coordination services for a wide range of clientele from corporate to concerts worldwide. With two of each D1s and D5s in service since 2003, they took advantage of trading up the two D5s for two SD5s with an additional purchase of two 56×32 SD-racks, as well as a pair each of SD9′s and SD11′s and six DRacks. “For our needs, the SD5′s offer the advanced feature sets that our engineers need and tour riders request but don’t cost what the SD7 does,” says John Caswell, Manager of Audio Services. “Upon taking delivery, we did a week in Dallas for Ambit Energy, followed by another event for Sam’s Club in Kansas City and one of our SD5′s was at FOH for both events. That same console was also used at the California Women’s Conference in Long Beach.”

Clearwing Productions, a key resource for audio, video, and lighting, traded up a Soundcraft digital console for an SD5 and also purchased an additional SD9 for its inventory. “We went for one of each for versatility,” explains president Gregg Brunclik, “and planning ahead, the next purchase will be another one of each as we usually buy pairs of each desk. We had an upcoming tour (Bob Dylan) that was interested in using the SD5 so the timing seemed right. We like to make cutting-edge purchases that position us as a primary resource and with the pending tour that ended up taking the SD5 there was instant ROI. We’ve found great success being early adopters with L-Acoustics (we were one of the first five US companies to adopt the K1) and Vari-Lite, and we rolled the same dice on the SD5. DiGiCo’s pioneering new technology sets the bar that other manufacturers must meet. Similar to L-Acoustics pioneering the line array (and since- it’s improvements) you are the barometer by which all others get judged. We’ve come to find that we realize much greater ROI’s on products when we are very early to adopt. It’s a gamble, but when we’re right it really pays off. So far, so good on the SD5.”

Industry mainstay Hi-Tec Audio saw the success with the D5 and took advantage of the program to buy into DiGiCo’s newest technology by trading up six of their D5 inventory for the new SD5s. “For us, this was a no brainer,” mused owner Louis Adamo. “At Hi-Tec we like to look forward and for that reason it was obvious for us to move all our inventory into the new DiGiCo SD series—and we were an early adopter of that technology. In fact, we bought one of the first SD8s when it was introduced. Over the last year, we’ve been adding SD racks and accessories like crazy and our inventory is well over 24-25 SD racks, which is well over half-million dollars. We have a few customers that have been loyal D5 customers and they’ll be the first obvious ones to migrate to the SD5s. It also serves to fill a niche between the SD10 and SD7. The SD5 offers the technical requirements of the SD10 with the surface of the SD7 at a fraction of the cost. DiGiCo has built a very powerful and flexible platform, has done its part by putting the console in the hands of lots of engineers, and are making strides in the live sound market with its consoles. There’s a model that fits every shoe size. We have confidence in the technology and we have a definite market for them.”

Beachsound also felt the trade up program was a fantastic way to move out old capital and replace it with new and exciting technology. They traded up a Yamaha PM5D for an SD5 and purchased an additional SD9… for now. “We felt we needed a higher caliber showcase console to fit the bill of our needs/demands,” explains company president Andre Serafini. “We find the console’s flexible I/O, sonic quality and the ergonomics make it top tier and we are very pleased to have one in house. DiGiCo’s dynamic EQ feature has been a big hit and the DiGiTube technology has been a real pleasure getting to know. We have the SD5 set up to be on a few high profile events in the near future, including a televised mega church event.”

Train’s ‘California 37′ 2012 Tour Lays Tracks Across U.S. With Dual DiGiCo SD10s

Grammy Award-winning pop-rockers Train have been laying tracks across the continental United States and Canada this summer and fall with their San Francisco 2012 tour. The band pulled out all the stops, rolling through material both old and new, including songs from their latest studio album, California 37. Because of the tour’s beefed-up band and increased input list, engineers Rob Thomas and Robert Greene opted for a pair of SD10 systems at FOH and monitors (provided by Delicate Productions and Hi-Tech Audio), to simplify the production and the technology requirements.

“Rob Greene and I have used many different platforms working together with Train over the years,” Thomas explains, “but for this tour, it got a little more involved. Train is typically a three-piece band, but with this tour there are eight musicians onstage and we needed at least 52 inputs/outputs for the band and the accompaniments, including bass, guitar, vocals and background singers, in-ear mixes and stage monitors. We wanted the best-sounding console and one that was most configurable, and that’s how we came up with the SD10s. Having two of the DiGiCo’s out there was the best option for the tour, allowing us to pick each other’s brains about functionality and also streamline the technology. This is the first time that I’ve toured with a DiGiCo product, although I’ve used and am familiar with the D1 and D5 Series. In my time with the SD10 at FOH, I found that it truly sounds great; it’s one of the best-sounding digital consoles that I’ve been able to get my hands on. Choosing DiGiCo was one of the easiest decisions we had to make early on.”

System Tech Philip Reynolds and FOH Engineer Rob Thomas

“Going into this tour back in early 2012 we knew that we were going to move up above the 48-channel level,” adds Greene. “We had a chance to check out both the SD10 and SD7 and they were both impressive. The SD10 had everything that Rob and I needed so we decided to save the band a little dough and take out the SD10.”

The FOH system uses the DiGiCo SD Rack loaded with 56 inputs, 16 analog outs, and eight AES. “We are using both AES and analog to drive the PA via a Martin Merlin processor ,” clarifies Systems Tech Philip Reynolds. “The system is run in AES to the Martin Merlin 4 in 10 out matrix. From there, the rig is analog throughout. We have a very cool setup with the headliner independent of the support act settings. We use a separate group output off the console to drive three more inputs on the Merlin, also using AES. I am also using both the SD Rack and FOH outputs to feed hearing assist, video recording/ monitor, back of house audio as well… all controlled off the matrix on the desk.”
Thomas says he’s done some slick routing at FOH thanks to the flexibility of the DiGiCo interface. “The compact surface of the SD10—taken from the SD7 approach where any fader can be configured the way I want—allows me to take a musical approach vs. a typical console layout and was a plus. Unlike other consoles, you can minimize your layers, and the SD10 gives us flexible, multiple layers to choose from, so I tend to use less because of how I’m able to lay the console out just on the first layer. What would normally take me three to four layers on the console, I can now do in one, maybe two, because the desk is able to be laid out in almost any configuration of inputs, outputs, etc. I’m not doing anything too crazy; just some fun routing and grouping stuff. We created a Systems/Playback layer that had a few input channels—iPod, pink noise, the input from the support desk—so that any announcements between bands and system tuning is all in one layer.

“I also throw in some dynamics as in the compressed vs. the noncompressed group, which is no trade secret, and I’ve had such awesome results because of using that dynamic section on a wet/dry situation. Everything else on the desk I use simply straight up, it sounds that good. I don’t really need to do a lot to it. As soon as you plug into the desk you’ll hear a difference, from the preamps to the outputs, and that’s the icing on the cake. I love the compression, too. The multiband compression and the dynamic EQ are the best tools on the console. The dynamic section of the console is tops. It’s part of that DiGiCo sound that I just love and that’s one of the reasons I went after the console in the first place.”

Initially, he was making use of the Waves SoundGrid bundle but for simplicity’s sake, found that he was able to get everything he needed within the desk. “I’ve actually forgone the Waves plug-ins and am using all the delays, reverbs and time-based effects on the SD10 itself. The only outboard situation that I take the desk into is a Crane Song HEDD 192 digital signal processor/harmonic sweetener. I take a Subgroup of all of the band and run it through that and it adds a little sparkle to it. I then run it back to the desk and rejoin it with my vocal groups.”

As far as outputs, Thomas says that changes daily. “For our PA situation, I typically use two Left/Right outs these days and then matrix out through either a Lake-type system or the new Martin MLA system feeding left, right sub, front fills, side hangs, delays, lawn and hearing assists. On any given day, we can go from four to 16 sometimes, plus an additional three outputs for our Rational Acoustics Smaart 7 system where we were able to monitor left, right and any input or output off the second solo bus. Being able to see and hear without having to change and manage levels was great. We used one for the nearfield monitors, and the second for the Smaart.”

For recording and virtual soundcheck, Thomas is among the first wave of engineers making use of DiGiCo’s new UB MADI 24-bit/48-channel USB 2.0 interface to get a MADI stream in and out of his MacBook Pro. “I’m using it every night and it’s worked flawlessly,” he says. “I love it. We are at more than 48 channels but I’ve taken the primary inputs, track for track, to a MacBook Pro to a LaCie 4TB Thunderbolt hard drive and I record 48 tracks every night. I also use the ‘Listen to Copied Audio’ function for the Virtual Soundcheck mode, so I can play back the previous night’s show right back to the desk, channel for channel, 1-48. Also, the UB MADI is not DiGiCo proprietary, so the interface will work with any MADI-ready console, which is so cool. Initially we were set up to run with Pro Tools, but we found that if you have Pro Tools Native, it only allows you to go up to 32 channels with the standard PT system, and that was a real bummer. Not taking anything away from Pro Tools or the users of Pro Tools, it’s a great editing system for tracking, but for what we’re doing it’s not. We went and bought a $60 Reaper program that’s absolutely phenomenal. It’s flawless and allows me to listen back to my MADI rack. It sounds really good, too.”

Over at monitor world, Rob Greene is digging the SD10′s flexibility, routing and onboard effects—some of which, including snapshots, are a revelation for the engineer.

“I love the dual solo busses and being able to route a solo to either buss or both,” he says. “It’s very important as a monitor engineer not to have a click-track blasting through your cue wedge. I can also cue up someone’s in-ear mix and wedge mix at the same time. Almost everyone in the band uses Sennheiser in-ears, but my lead singer and guitar player rely heavily on wedges and sidefills. On the first day of rehearsals we decided to run the console at 96kHz. Overall, the console’s sonic quality is superb. It’s got the closest sound to an analog console and sounds better than most of the leading brands of digital consoles.

“I also like the ability to move inputs and outputs to wherever you want on the SD10. I have all the outputs that I need to listen to most often on the first bank so I don’t have to just move banks around too much. Speed is so important. I’m also digging the snapshots on this console. This is the first time I’ve used snapshots for a show. I’ve always been afraid to use them because it’s easy to get lost in them, but I found them easy to understand and they give you a lot of control.”

With the summer/fall leg of the tour coming to a close at the end of September and European dates on the horizon in 2013, Thomas and Greene have been happy with the flexibility the console has offered and will continue to rely on the console’s flexibility to support the show’s diverse structure.

“We’ve tried to keep the audience involved with kids coming onstage to sing, etc.” explains Thomas. “There’s a kind of Vegas show theme to our shows in that there’s always something going at any given time onstage. Using the small footprint of the SD10, which is a condensed screen surface, and having the ability to lay out the console where you need it and for what you need most to be on top and in your hands was key. I went to DiGiCo initially because it sounds the best. And having the ability to have what you need, where you need, when you need it is obviously of the utmost importance with any console. The ergonomics of the SD10 makes it tops. I’ve seen and experienced it all, and having this DiGiCo in my hands every day makes my job easier. And with the tour heading overseas, in fly-date situations, we don’t get to carry our backline, so DiGiCo has now been added to that fly spec of our rider. We’re hoping that everyone will jump on the SD10 format to the extent that we request one from Alabama to Asia. That’s what we’re looking to help do: get it out there and into people’s hands and let them know that this is a very serious product. And the SD10 fits into a lot of regional sound company budgets. It’s a hard-working, great-sounding desk that’s very powerful, and I think it’s going to be one of those consoles that is a staple of the regional and major sound companies. It’s affordable and everyone needs one in their inventory.”

DiGiCo Captures Electrifying Tedeschi Trucks Band Live On 2-CD Set

Brilliant musicianship and roof-raising performances characterize the Tedeschi Trucks Band’s live concerts. The perennially touring, 11-piece ensemble covers myriad genres from Delta blues and Rock to Funk and Jazz and is led by husband and wife team singer-guitarist Susan Tedeschi and slide guitar virtuoso Derek Trucks. So it made perfect sense for the group to follow-up their Grammy awarded debut release with a live testament to their incendiary shows. The two-disc Everybody’s Talkin’ marks the TTB’s first anniversary and features highlights recorded last fall while the band toured behind Revelator. Described as “a warm-sounding, ‘organic’ concert document, DiGiCo’s SD8 console played a major role in the recording of that CD under the discerning ear of monitor engineer Bobby Tis. The group’s touring audio kit (supplied by SK Systems) also features an SD10 (replacing a DiGiCo D5) at Front of House with Brian Speiser.

“For that 2011 tour,” Tis recalls, “I brought out a rack of Neve and API outboard preamps and a few sweet vintage compressors. We used them for some of our most important channels and fed the pre amps line-in to the DiGiCo stage rack. I recorded to two systems simultaneously throughout the whole tour. I had Cubase running on my MacBook Pro through a MADIface as my backup recorder, which I also used for playback for the band and virtual soundcheck. The main recorder (the one we mixed the album from) was a Joeco BBR-64 MADI. The Joeco recorder integrated seamlessly with the DiGiCo and gave us 64 recordable tracks via MADI. It was easy to use, stable, and amazingly. Neither recorder crashed the whole tour and the tracks sounded great. Having the DiGiCo for these recordings made the project very easy… I was even able to assign a stereo aux to a pair of tracks and print a rough mix along with the multitracks as the show was going on. I would do it again the same way.”

Speiser uses his SD10 in tandem with an RME MADIFace into a MacBook Pro running Logic to track the occasional show for virtual soundcheck purposes. Most shows, however, he’s recording a board mix through that same setup as a reference for the band to listen to.

Both Tis and Speiser are no strangers to DiGiCo and the decision to carry the consoles on the newly minted tour in 2011 was an easy decision to make. Both had been introduced to the DiGiCo platform on D1s and D5s while working with SK Systems during the early 2000s, and Speiser used one or the other on tours with They Might Be Giants, 311 and with the Indigo Girls—where he moved from a D1 to an SD8 and finally an SD8/24 to get the most “bang for my buck while keeping a small footprint,” Speiser says. “Having been on DiGiCo consoles for a long time, I’ve really enjoyed the sonic differences as the processing technology and power have gotten more intense. Once I moved over from the D series consoles to the SD consoles, going backwards just wasn’t an option. I definitely find the DiGiCo SD consoles to be the best sounding digital desks available. If you use the A>D converters to their full potential and convert the right amount of signal, you can really achieve great rich sounds. As an analogue connoisseur, it’s very important to me that you can’t hear anything ‘digital’-sounding in my mix and the quality of converters in DiGiCo gear, along with its floating point 40-Bit Super FPGA, achieve that more so than any other digital desks I’ve mixed on.”

Speiser says the flexibility and dynamic EQ/multiband comp capabilities are the most rewarding features of the SD10. “It helps to be able to put any sort of fader or output in any slot I want. I can keep everything I need in front of me and move channels I don’t need as often. Having an 11-piece band, you really need to make the most out of the space you have, and I can personalize the console exactly as I see fit. The dynamic EQ is a great way to maintain the life of a vocal or instrument and still pull certain trouble frequencies out only when they start to get out of control. One other feature that has come in quite handy on the SD10 is the multiple User Defined Keys (macros). With so much going on on our stage, and musicians moving around to different mics, I’m able to use the macros to change what mics show up on what channels, allowing me to keep everybody’s settings the same for their voice or instrument no matter where on stage they decide to play.”

As for outboard gear, he keeps it to a bare minimum for consistency’s sake. “It was important to me when I started working with TTB to try and keep everything in the box so that I can advance to have an SD8 or SD10 on fly dates and still be able to keep my session sounding the same. On our tour, the only piece of gear I have with me is a Dolby Lake Processor on my mix outputs so that I can walk around and EQ each venue on a tablet computer. I plan to try adding a Waves SoundGrid in the future, but we haven’t had the chance to implement it just yet.”

Over in monitor world, Tis says his favorite features on the SD8 are the console’s routing flexibility and functionality, as well as the snapshots, which help him to achieve consistency. “I’m mixing the band through post-fade groups for the most part. Everyone gets themselves pre-fade off their channels and everything else in the mix is coming in post-fade through groups. This allows me to mix the show off the main faders and have the fader movement translate proportionally in everyone’s mix simultaneously. I’ve been using this technique for a while, but it’s definitely the best it has ever been with the SD8.

“Being able to have multiple versions (MultiPatch) of the same input to be used in different mixes on the stage, on the fader bank layers, and the flexibility of the mixing surface all help me keep those additional faders organized and streamlined,” he adds. “I also really like having the macros even though I’m using them for not so exciting stuff. I have them set up as buttons that I’d like to have that are not built-in on the surface, for instance, ‘Gain tracking On/Off’ for all channels, ‘Fader Flip On/Off,’ ‘Save Session,’ and I have a couple assigned to specific channel mutes and mute groups. I don’t use a lot of snapshots, but I do have a few for certain tunes where our vocalists or keyboard/flute player moves to different positions on the stage.

“I’m also a huge fan of DiGiCo’s snapshot scope, which is second to none in my opinion. The few that I’m using, which are scoped to see aux-send level and mute, have helped me to solve some issues of consistency I’ve had in the past when our vocalist or keys/flute player change positions on stage. Also, on some legs of the tour the band will do some stripped-down blues tunes, which is pretty much an ‘audio scene change.’ The snapshots have helped me keep that portion of the show very consistent without having to flip though every mix and make adjustments. I’m also a big fan of the Multiband Compressors and Dynamic EQ’s, they really help me to keep the most musical parts of my lead instruments in focus on a stage with 11 musicians, 10 wedge mixes and 2 drum fills!”

And the band has certainly noticed the forward progression of their audio production since bringing the DiGiCo SD’s out on this tour. “We’ve had several positive comments about the consistency of the sound of our show from the band,” relays Tis. “In monitors, I’ve heard certain band members feel great because they can musically communicate with each other, which, I believe, is because of how the SD8 allows me to mix the show. With Brian at FOH with his SD10, too, there’s been a plethora of rave reviews from fans and critics, but the band has especially noticed that they are getting their musical statements across to the audience in a very focused, conducive, and high-fidelity manner night after night, and overall the audiences have become more energetic because of this. The consoles have helped us raise the bar for this organization. In my opinion the DiGiCo SD series consoles are, hands down, the best sounding and most flexible digital consoles on the market. I’ve used almost all of the digital consoles that are out there over the years and not one of them is capable of out performing my SD8 for its application with this band. This console makes my job fun everyday because I know I can do anything I need to. We are grateful, loyal and proud DiGiCo users.”

Indianapolis Traders Point Christian Church Upgrades Audio System & Gets A Windfall of Additional Features & Benefits

Traders Point Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana has a rich history dating back to humble beginnings with a handful of worshipers in 1834. The congregation now totals close to 4,000 members. With an eye (and ear) to updating its audio footprint and wireless technology, Technical Systems Engineer Brent Whetstine—with the help of Daryl Cripe and Nate Krause of Church Solutions Group—set out on a mission to upgrade TPCC’s main mix and monitor/IE consoles in its newest Worship Center, where the church relocated to in 2007. With the addition of a pair of DiGiCo SD10s and SD racks set up for 96 inputs and 48 outputs, not only did TPCC get a world-class and expandable system that will allow them to grow in the coming years, but also a pristine-sounding clarity to its services. Additionally, it offered its volunteer staff of engineers an educational learning tool.

“We had outgrown our previous consoles both in channel count as well as output, so we had started looking specifically for consoles that doubled our existing capabilities,” Whetstine explains. “Our philosophy was that if we’re going to pay a premium for the next level of digital console, there was no sense in only gaining 12 more inputs, or only eight more outputs, especially knowing that our worship team and its needs would be growing over the next few years. We had looked at the SD8 and really liked the package, but felt like we still needed to double our channel and output capability. When we saw the advertisement in Live Sound magazine for the ‘New SD10 at 96/48,’ we said, ‘That’s our console!’

“We knew we were getting a better console, and we knew of DiGiCo’s reputation for creating stellar-sounding products. What we didn’t bank on was that the volunteers would take to it so quickly. Our volunteer team felt it was easier to get around on than our previous boards and have felt right at home from day one. More than that, we’re constantly in awe at the sound quality. The comment ‘Wow, that sounds great,’ or ‘Wow, I didn’t know it would do that,’ is heard pretty often these days around here.”

The main SD10 console interfaces with a Yamaha DME64 processor by way of AES/EBU, to drive a large LCR array of HPV MAD A-9s, SB412s, MTM-1s and VLFs, all powered by Yamaha PCN series amps. The monitor desk feeds 16 stereo mixes (10 of which are PSM900, with more to be added), two wired mixes for bass and drums offering better low end, and four wireless IEM systems TPCC owned prior to the upgrade.

Some of the system’s feature set proved helpful for their needs—for example, smart keys that allow the operator to easily make quick mix changes like effects and sub boosts without having to hunt down channels. The programmability of scenes with specific recallable functions is way more in-depth than their previous board, allowing for very detailed scene recall per song, and even within songs for dramatic shifts of effects and mix details. And the volunteer engineers cite Snapshot Notes and Virtual Sound Check as veritable blessings.

“I found the EQ to be both subtle and musical,” says Whetstine. “We’re able to do very narrow boosts in upper regions that previously would have been piercing, but on this board, it just makes things stand out of the mix while still sounding natural even when the boost might look wildly dramatic. Minor tweaks of a dB or less are immediately heard, but not sonically noticeable. Even when cuts of 9db or more are applied, it still sounds proper with no odd ‘carved’ or unnatural sounds. Everything just sounds right.

“Also, the effects presets are just perfect,” he adds. “Our mixes, even in our auditorium, sound more live and energetic with stock programs, versus sounding like a concert hall—or very distant-sounding. The stock reverbs just sound like natural ambience without drawing attention to the effect itself. We’ve also upgraded our native plug-ins to TDM. We’re using the Waves’ Blackface CLA-1176 plug-ins on nearly everything, including vocals, drums, bass, acoustics, etc. Having it in-line and not compressed brings a really familiar quality to the vocals. We’re also using a PuigTec EQ on the bass and a PuigChild compressor on guitars. We’ve only purchased these few, as they were what I was familiar with from my time learning audio in Nashville. My next focus will be to step into some mastering plug-ins to help bulletproof audio feeds to recording, video and building systems. I’m also really turning over the idea of some of the different channel strips that are available for plug-ins. We’ve worked for several years with an end goal of developing a sonic signature for the music we produce, and I’m curious if some of those might be a step in that direction. It’s kind of nebulous and evolving, but when you have really cool tools like this available, it makes it really energizing to always be deconstructing what we do to try and make it better.”

Team FOH Main - (L-R) Jeff Johnston (volunteer), Jonathan Ficklin (Vol) Levy Stout (Vol), Mike Blackburn (Vol), Wes Fahlsing (Vol), Brent Whetstine (Technical Systems/Staff)

Another unexpected bonus the console brought to TPCC: it’s been a tool for educational growth for its volunteers, who now have the ability to record rehearsals and tweak the mixes after the fact. TPCC is currently set up to record 48 channels through an RME MADI card on a Logic Audio system, and Whetstine says they hope to purchase a second card to be able to record a full 96 channels without having to juggle inputs between racks. These recordings are currently used for training and virtual soundcheck purposes.

“The training portion is an unbelievable windfall for a church,” he says. “Being able to track our rehearsals and then work on our mixes without the pressure of other people in the room has not only made our mix engineers incredibly good, it has turned out to be an incredible teaching tool. We can bring all of our audio team members in and talk through ideas of channel setup and EQ without the need for a band to do this with. As a church worker and leader of volunteers, I can’t highlight this feature enough for its ability to aid training both new and existing volunteers in a safe manner that had previously been impossible. Also, the ability for a volunteer to work on his mix in a calm environment—some of whom spend up to four to five hours post-rehearsal—away from the stress of a fast-paced rehearsal has done wonders for our engineers, increasing the confidence of their work and the quality of their mixes. In short, the engineers are doing better work and enjoying the final execution more. It also makes Sunday morning that much more enjoyable in that they’re fully prepared, and completely relaxed.”

The SD10s, in addition, solved another sonic challenge. “Being so clean and comfortable to listen to, this console has bought us a lot of grace with our congregation, which has a broad range of ages,” Whetstine confesses. “What I mean by this is that we can be powerful and punchy-sounding without feeling like it’s loud. This was really evident with our previous console in that it was not as smooth as this console, so it sometimes sounded loud even at low volumes. The clarity within the mix is incredible. On some consoles, you can really only put a few things at the forefront of the mix, and the rest of the band is kind of part of the ‘bed.’ On the SD10s, we can hear way back into the mix, which not only makes it easier to pick out individual instruments, but has really kept us on our toes to be better at what we do because the average person can now clearly hear whether the mix is on or not. This board sounds so clean and nice! It’s exposed what we refer to as our ‘club engineer disease’—all of the bad habits developed mixing around sonic inadequacies of other gear we’ve been exposed to, or unrefined work that is the result of a narrow window for the mix to be heard through. There is so much space and subtlety to everything about this console, it’s like you can hear in HD and 3D at the same time. We’re able to mix with more power and volume, allowing the music to really connect with and engage the congregation, whilst not being perceived as being louder. In fact, we’ve even had comments like, ‘I’m glad you finally turned it down,’ when in reality we’re easily 4-6 dB louder!”

One trick he’s happy to impart regards working with the choir: “I’ve found that by assigning the four choir mics to both individual channels and as stereo pairs, I can dial the spread on the stereo pair to Wide and then mix it back in with the original four mics. This makes the choir sound as big as a house with literally no hard work of EQing stuff out. Also, using auxes on faders for monitors while having the knobs follow the selected mix makes it very easy for the monitor engineer to dial up an instrument with a hand on the pan knob and never having to take his eyes off the stage. The pan knob for that instrument is always the pan knob no matter what mix you’ve selected.”

All in all, the SD10 acquisition has offered TPCC incredible benefits for both staff and congregation alike. “The DiGiCo consoles have made us better at what we do in general,” Whetstine says, “and offer our worshipers a message that is sonically clear—and ultimately that is our greatest goal.”

Dual DiGiCo SD7s Drive Monitors On Springsteen World Tour

It’s been nearly forty years since Springsteen’s debut Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ, and judging from the 3-hour-plus shows, sold-out arenas, and glowing critical reviews, both rocker and band [minus the late, beloved saxophonist Clarence Clemons and keyboardist Danny Federici] are still regaling in their ‘Glory Days.’ With the Wrecking Ball Tour, in support of their 17th studio album, Springsteen & Co are heading into a two-month U.S. fall stadium tour following a massive world tour that started in March of 2012 taking them around the globe. Solotech US Corp. is the tour’s production provider.

Critical monitor mixes for the 18-piece band are split in two between engineers Monty Carlo and Troy Milner and for the first time ever they’re employing a pair of DiGiCo SD7s outfitted with the Waves SoundGrid bundle. At stage left is Carlo, who’s been with Springsteen since ’92, handling a mix of wedges and in-ears for Bruce, guitarists Steven Van Zandt and Patti Scialfa, keyboardist Roy Bittan, background vocalists, and a five-piece horn section. Milner, onboard since 2001, is at stage right taking care of drummer Max Weinberg, guitarist Nils Lofgren, bassist Garry Talent, keyboardist Charlie Giordano and multi-instrumentalist, Soozie Tyrell.

The engineers specifically chose the SD7 for its flexibility and ability to grow with the size of the production, including the massive amounts of I/O capabilities that it offered. Onboard features from snapshots to multiband compressors and the Waves pro plug-in bundle offered lots of extra functionality.

“From 2002-2009 we used Yamaha PM1D’s for monitors,” Carlo explains. “Since then, our band has grown from 9 musicians to 18 on this tour with the occasional guest on top of that. We needed something that could handle a large number of inputs, (over 100), and a massive amount of outputs, about 56 on each side of the stage. The DiGiCo SD7 was the only console I found that could accomplish what I was going to ask of it. Before this tour, I’d never actually mixed on a DiGiCo of any variety. I spent some time in the past year building the console with the Offline Editor and getting familiar with its layout and feature set. In November 2011, I got together with Troy in Nashville and we spent a couple of days with Matt Larson getting a hands-on training session with the desk. Following that, we spent the first 3 months of 2012 in rehearsals and doing some small promo events (Grammy’s, Jimmy Fallon and SXSW Festival). With the addition of a horn section and percussionist a lot of songs ended up with slightly different arrangements and we spent a fair amount if time working through the new album since not many of the band members had worked on it in its entirety.”

“We needed consoles that could handle a lot of inputs and outputs and be flexible,” adds Milner. “Before rehearsals began, we still didn’t have a concrete plan for what was going to be needed as far as band members and layouts. Things were constantly changing even into the first run of shows. I used the SD7 last year with Garth Brooks—and the D5 on numerous tours with Michael W. Smith, Mercy Me, and Amy Grant—and it performed perfectly.”

With approximately 96 inputs alone coming from the stage, plus effects and talkbacks, Carlo is managing about 112 inputs total from stage left. Being able to mix mono and stereo sources on the same fader bank as I want to see them on the desk is a huge deal for him. “I love not losing two faders to a stereo input or output as used to happen on the 1D. The level you can customize the surface is so flexible and easy to change that as your input list and band grows you aren’t stuck simply adding channels at the end of the console. Being able to rebuild the desk in a way that better suits your workflow in mid-tour is a great luxury. Plus, the multiband compressors on each channel are a great tool that I’ve been using more than I thought I would.”

Carlo’s got his favorite Waves plug-ins. “On my in-ear mixes I use the C-6 compressor and Kramer PIE compressor across the mixes. I’m using the H-EQ as an insert on Bruce’s vocal channel to allow me to get a few additional bands of EQ that I can use for tight notches on troublesome frequencies. For effects I’m using H-Delay, TrueVerb and Renaissance Verb. I’m also using GTR Stomp and Amp plug-ins on Bruce’s guitar lines in case of a problem with his amps/cabinets on stage.”

Over at stage right, Milner mixes a staggering 140 inputs, comprised of a fair amount of effects for drums and guitars, in addition to a combo of wedges and in-ear systems, including Shure PSM1000′s for ears and a mix of Audio Analysts wedges consisting of SLP115, SLP212, plus a couple of double Audio Analysts 18″ sub cabinets for drum subs.

“I double assign the drum inputs so I can tailor them for the drummer independently from everyone else. Again, another great super easy feature on the SD7. One of the biggest challenges on this tour is just the large amount of inputs and outputs we have to deal with up onstage. We have settled in now but we still have plenty of options to easily add, change or move things around without reinventing the wheel. We also have a great Talk Back system for all the techs and backline guys that are in our ears at all times, so we can be attending to issues before anyone is even aware what is happening.”

Milner’s found a plethora of onboard features and functionality helpful in his day-to-day workflow. “Being able to assign the rotary knobs on each bank to a specific function is very handy. I’m using one row for Compressor Thresholds and on my drum input bank I use one row at my Gate Threshold. Max Weinberg is a very dynamic player and I’m constantly adjusting those gates for each song and throughout each song to keep things under control for him. Also, having the ability to move any fader to any place on the desk is so great. After mixing a few shows, I learned that just moving a few inputs to other banks and reordering my outputs could vastly improve my current layout. Such a great feature! I’m also finding all kinds of new things to use the Macro Keys for now. One is that between songs when the stage is dark, it can be a little hard to see the band onstage, so I have macro key that dims all the lights and monitors down so its easier to see what they might need. Also, using a Macro Key to switch the extra video monitor inputs. I’m getting a full production feed as well as other feeds and I can just use a macro to select the one I need for any given song.”

“For most of my reverbs I’m using the Renaissance Reverb and it sounds great in every application—from drums to background vocals to horns. I’m also using the SuperTap for some delay/slap effects on the drums and horns. The Waves C6 is one of my go-to plug-ins for just about anything, and I’m using it on the snare and toms to shape the sound in the ears and also on some vocals. The CLA-76 Bluey is another favorite, and the list goes on and on. It’s great to be able to easily try out all these fantastic plug-ins on inputs and or outputs to see what works for each application.”

One of the biggest challenges with the Springsteen show is the set list, which they receive literally 5 minutes prior to the start of the show. Not only does it change from night to night, but also during the show, Bruce can veer off the list at a moment’s notice. The snapshot feature has become invaluable for both engineers.

“With the PM1D, I had a sheet with all my scenes that I would have to jump around during the show,” Carlo recalls. “With the SD7′s snapshot panel, I can order the list as Bruce intends to do the show, but then when he decides to jump to something off the list, it’s as easy to get to as typing the first letter of the song until I get to the desired snapshot. Right now, I’m at around 130 snapshots.”

“We never know what Bruce will do next or what song he will pull out, so being able to load those snapshots quickly is a challenge,” adds Milner. “I use the keyboard and just type the first letter of the song and it will jump through all those snapshots starting with that letter. Then you can fire the snapshot with the space bar very quickly. This is usually not a problem on other tours but with over 150 snapshots it can take time to go through them all. I have an external monitor hooked on the ‘B’ engine so with everything mirrored to the ‘A’ engine I can make sure I’m running in complete redundancy at all times.”

For both engineers, the SD7 has proved to be a reliable and accommodating asset for this complex and unpredictable production.

Carlo says he’s found the SD7 to be one of the most flexible consoles out there. “I can configure it to look and operate exactly the way I need it to depending on what type of show/band I’m going to be mixing on it. It sounds great, it’s warm and full without any brittle or sterile characteristics that other consoles sometimes have. Looking ahead, and depending on the show, I might be inclined to try something a bit smaller than the SD7, however, the redundancy inherent in the SD7 with its dual engines and power supplies is a solid feature.”

Milner agrees. “Absolutely, I’ll be using DiGiCo again. They sound great and are so flexible to use especially with a large number of inputs and outputs and with all the different SD console options out now, it makes finding the right desk for each application simple. On this tour, the band seems to be really happy—and with 18 people on stage and all those open mics things can get messy really fast. We seem to have found a good balance for each band member and what works for them on any given song. The SD7 sounds great and is very neutral-sounding. It doesn’t seem to color the sound at all which is nice. You can start with the source and if that sounds good, then you know things will sound great with the console. I don’t know of any other desk out there right now that can do what we are asking of these consoles. With 140 inputs, 52 outputs and around 150 snapshots (and that number is always growing) we are making these desks earn their keep!”

TONY-Awarded Broadway Shows Shine With DiGiCo

You can’t throw a proverbial rock without hitting a DiGiCo console in the audio trenches on Broadway. From the long-running The Lion King to the relatively new smash hit The Book of Mormon, as well as Evita, Godspell, Jesus Christ Superstar, Newsies, Sister Act and War Horse, DiGiCo’s potent SD7T, with its powerful hardware, Stealth engine and theatre software kit—utilizing Live Update along with Aliases to manage the demands of 100-cue shows—is handling the toughest demands of theatre audio today. DiGiCo’s SD10 can be found on productions ranging from One Man, Two Guvnors to Peter and the Starcatcher.

This June, two of the newest productions and their respective sound designers took home coveted 2012 Tony Awards for sound design: Clive Goodwin for Once and Darron L. West for Peter and the Starcatcher. They each found the DiGiCo desks critical to the creation and design process of their shows. Interestingly, both shows got their start at the New York Theatre Workshop before moving to Broadway, and this was the first nomination for both Goodwin and West.

The critically acclaimed musical Once is based on the 2006 Academy Award-winning film about an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant drawn together by their shared love of music. In transitioning the show to the larger theatre, Goodwin chose a DiGiCo SD7T after consulting with Scott Kalata at Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, who’d been helping in the design process.

“We needed something with a lot of busses and a high input/output count, flexible theatre-friendly architecture, and the capability of using Waves plug-ins,” Goodwin reflected. “And, it goes without saying that we needed great sound quality. I had used a DiGiCo D5 in a previous life in live music touring, and I was impressed with the user-friendly nature and excellent sound quality. I found the SD7′s dynamic EQs—both onboard and from Waves—were extremely useful in vocal processing. The tube emulator is a nice feature for adding a little extra warmth to most things. The ‘alias’ feature and programming groups were also very useful, especially when planning a show in advance, as they simplify changes throughout the show or just to a single scene. Not to mention, the console has the best sound of any digital console I have used to date. I was hoping to use an SD8 on a forthcoming production, but unfortunately, they were all out doing other shows!”

Also transitioning from the small stage to the big theatre with much fanfare is Peter and the Starcatcher, based on the novel of the same name, which gives the back story for the beloved character Peter Pan. The show got its start in several venues before moving on to the New York Theatre Workshop, where the full production team came together—including sound designer Darron L. West, associate designer Charles Coes and production provider Masque Sound—before opening on Broadway in the spring of 2012. Enlisting the help of Scott at Masque, they spec’d a DiGiCo SD10-24 console to handle the expanding production. Key factors for their new console consideration were having an onboard automation package that could work well for theatre, a flexible bus structure, a system that offered lots of outboard control, programming and matrixing, and a transparent sound. The SD10-24′s small footprint ensured they’d have no complaints from producers requiring only a handful of seats for its placement, and the console’s feature-packed system and exceptional sound quality won them over and sealed the deal.

“The sound design of this show is very old-fashioned, as Darron is happy to say,” offers Coes. “It was important for us to create a feel and a subtle sound that seems to come from the actors and from the band. Having a console that sounds incredibly transparent and clear—and lets engineer Rob Bass follow the show really carefully—keeps us from showing our hand in how much we’re actually reinforcing the show.”

Coes says they were impressed the deeper they got into the console, discovering more ways they were well served by the desk—from the flexible bus setup available for creating feeds, to the scene recall and animation.

“It’s an incredibly powerful console in a small package and we weren’t fighting with the producers about seats,” Coes muses. “Once we learned the DiGiCo mentality in terms and approach, we found the console could do pretty much anything we were asking it to. The I/O flexibility helped us a lot, especially in this application. We made great use of all the internal effects and they sounded consistent and much better than the ones on a competitor’s console. We didn’t have to bring in outboard gear or worry about automating a bunch of external reverb units to track the show. Everything was in the desk and it solved the problem very well for a complicated production.”

Before the desk left in the shop, engineer Rob Bass was able to spend a day setting it up with Coes, laying out the basics and building snapshots. Also a newcomer to the DiGiCo format, he too was pleased with what it had to offer to manage the intricate show. With approximately 70 inputs for everything in the show including actor mics, band mics and sound effects, they’re utilizing 48 outputs.

“We’re basically using our aux sends strictly as outputs,” Bass explains. “We’re using all of our aux outputs as mains in the way we’re set up, and the fact that we’re able to set up that many outputs without losing what we needed for inputs was a big help. Charles set it up so we do all the delay matrixing after the console. It’s all done back at the racks before we send it to the speaker processing, so all the outputs are sent to specific points in our outboard matrix and that’s basically set up to do different vocal delays on the stage, separate band outputs, for the surround speakers, and we have 16 channels that are all sent down a discreet output for the effects speakers onstage that double as foldback [stage monitors] for the actors. The band has monitoring outputs and we’re only using six reverbs, and all those have discrete outputs.”

Because the show strives for a more natural sound, Bass says they’re using a minimum of effects and mostly stock reverbs. “We don’t want it to sound very reinforced, so none of the effects are super prominent; it’s more about adding space for some of these live sound effects. We’re using about six reverbs for the different spaces we’re building, like on the underwater grotto where the mermaids swim. We have a trippy reverb on the piano that’s playing at that point. Basically we’re taking the stock reverbs and tweaking them to get what we want, and then EQing them over returns. The show itself uses a lot of live sound effects; the musicians are doing a lot of that as well as the cast, whether its different noises or vocally, so a lot of the time we’re just putting reverb on that. I like that I can get around the desk pretty quickly and it was easy to dial it all in to have everything at our fingertips.”

“I was a huge fan of the flexibility of the console,” added sound designer Darron West. “Especially on a show as complicated and as dense as Peter and the Starcatcher. There was never a moment in tech rehearsals when a request was made by me that Charles or Rob said we couldn’t do… which is also a testament to the system, and the DiGiCo was indeed the heart and soul of that.”

New SD9 Rack Pack Offers Affordable, High-Performance, Road-Ready System

When DiGiCo introduced its supercharged SD9 at the beginning of 2012, the significant expansion in channel count, dynamic EQs, multiband compressors and matrix, and the addition of DiGiTubes, reorder of busses, multichannel inputs and aux VCAs (formerly only available on SD7) made it a no-brainer for production companies around the country for use in myriad real-world applications. With the addition of the “Rack Pack” option—adding a second D-Rack, Digital Snakes and a flight case for the surface—DiGiCo took it a step further, offering a ruggedly road-ready, 72-mic-input system available at an unprecedented price.

“DiGiCo has had incredible success in penetrating not only the touring market, but also the Broadway market, house of worship market, and projects ranging from small events to large-budget corporate productions,” says Group One’s National Sales Manager, Matt Larson “Now, with the SD9, you can get an expanded I/O capacity with the same sonic performance as you would on the SD7 with a smaller footprint and less expensive system. The DiGiCo Stealth™ platform, using the super FPGA chip, allows us to open up the power of the engine in any of our systems like we’ve done with the SD9. We’ve increased the output capacity as well as a vast amount of other cool features. We then offer it in the SD9 Rack Pack package, which now takes this small footprint system and adds a ton of inputs to it. It is very accessible to every market segment, whether it’s the regional sound company or the big sound company looking for a desk for the house of worship for the main sanctuary or small youth room, down to the regional theatre market segment.”

The small footprint, easy load-in/load-out capabilities and an easy-to-program operating system enable Atlanta’s Rock-N-Road Audio, Miami’s Beachsound and Audio Formula, Seattle’s Carlson Audio Systems and OTSC in West Texas to get the job done easily at mid-to-large-scale festivals and corporate events.

“DiGiCo consoles offer us essentially three important features: superior audio quality, ease of use, versatility and reliability,” reveals Rock-N-Road Audio’s Roy Drukenmiller. “It’s wonderful for anything from corporate events to major shows. The fact that you don’t have to use copper analog snakes makes life so easy. When your snake is a piece of CAT5, everybody’s willing to help pull that! We just did a show in Boston, a corporate after party, and used it for FOH and monitors—one console did it all. And it made for a very easy load-in and load-out since the only thing at the FOH was the surface, a processor and a CD player. And because we have the traditional eight-output strip in our rack, we were able to have 16 outputs on deck, which allowed us to have the in-ear rack onstage as well.”

“Audio Formula placed a pair of SD9s and D-Racks at the Ultra Music Fest in Miami Beach,” explains CEO Nick Assunto. “Our responsibility at the event was to make certain we had the latest technology available for the performances, from the PA system to all the peripherals involved. In addition, we’re responsible for tuning the system for the demanding SPL requirements and making sure we get the nicest definition out of the system. My favorite feature of the DiGiCo is having the ability to have everything separated in the matrix and in different layers. It’s handy to be able to remove all the nonessential buttons from the layers to have easy access to all the required channels in one page without having to flip around. Also, the SD9 with remote D-Rack was very small and fitted perfectly under the DJ booth with no problems. That definitely was a winner.”

“We’ve found the SD9 Rack Pack to be the most powerful compact-sized mixing platform available for our events while still retaining a practical and logical layout,” says Beachsound & Lighting owner Andre Serafini. “Because of its efficiency and reliability, we foresee this becoming a tour standard for shows that require a solid performance and are limited on space as they travel, such as up-and-coming artists needing to carry consoles in a bus or cruise ship theatres where space is limited and heavy I/O is demanded. DiGiCo has continuously provided outstanding and unparalleled support for their digital mixing consoles, which is definitely an added benefit to us as we pick partners to work with.”

“OTSC used the SD9 at FOH for the Fiesta West Texas family-centered Hispanic cultural festival to mix a roster of a dozen bands over the three-day Cinco de Mayo weekend,” OTSC head engineer Eric Hite explains. “We really need the flexibility of the SD9 as we wanted that big fat DiGiCo sound, clear and solid, and features that go on and on. The SD9 allowed us to set up and soundcheck multiple bands and recall their snapshot without needing to re-soundcheck. Also, with its physical size being so small compared to our older VCA analog board, it made it easier to move around during the festival. Not needing a separate FX rack really helped, as there was no last-minute re-patching of the comps and gates, or anything at FOH, really. You just look up your band and hit Recall. It is very convenient to have. The internal effects did just fine for this show and will most likely keep up with our pace for a long while.”

“We took delivery of our first SD9 in April 2012, and since then I have been really pleased with the system as a whole,” enthuses Matt Collins, operations manager for Carlson Audio Systems. “I’ve used it several times at this point for both corporate and rock shows, and the versatility of the system is incredible! It’s really nice to have exactly what you want anywhere you want it. Once you become familiar with the system and the surface, it is really quick to set up a new show and be ready to roll. Additionally, using the SD9 Remote Control Editor software on a PC makes show setup even easier. As with any system, there are quirks and a learning curve; however, the usability of the SD9 is superb and it sounds great as well. I could go on for a while about the techy nerd details that I like about the SD line, but in lieu of that I’ll say that overall I am very happy with the SD9 and will certainly use it more and more going forward.”

“After spending four days running monitors on our SD9 at Sasquatch Music Festival, I found it to be a highly flexible, great-sounding, robust desk,” adds Carlson staff engineer Jesse Turner. “The GEQs were responsive and I could move around on the desk quite quickly even after only spending a little time on it. The biggest win for me was when I had an engineer walk up and be pleasantly surprised that we had a DiGiCo product, as he had an SD11 file that he’d recently created. He was able to load his presets, move around a few fader banks, and away he went with no problem. At the end of the show, he thanked me profusely and stated that he was able to have one of his best shows ever in a festival situation, when typically he would end up ‘just trying to get through the show.’ Overall, I was impressed with the fact that the desk has many of the qualities of its flagship counterparts, but in a much more compact and cost-effective package.”

After years of research, St. Matthew United Methodist Church in Belleville, Illinois, and Grace Church in Glendora, California, undertook major renovations of their technology systems, including making the leap from analog to digital with DiGiCo. Both were extremely pleased with the features and functionality of the SD9 systems.

“Having installed an SD7 for a large theatre project in 2011, we were impressed with the sonic quality, manufacturer support and operator training that DiGiCo provides its dealers and end users,” explains Joe Byrne, CTS operations manager for the West Coast division of Pro Sound & Video, which handled the install. “Because of the small budget we had for the Mountain Springs Church install project in Colorado Springs, I did not know if we could even consider DiGiCo. However, looking into the SD9 Rack Pack further, we found that it was such a great deal and represented such a robust upgrade from similar products in that price range that we ultimately decided to go with the SD9 system. I feel 100% confident that we made the right choice and the client is very happy.”

“The SD9 offers so much more, really, than any other console in its price range,” adds Mountain Springs Church tech director Keith Miller. “The Flexi Buss feature really opened a lot of options for us. You can mix in any type of situation without being stuck with a set amount of auxes or groups. Also, we found that the macros were very flexible and can do more than one function at a time, which is really nice, and the ability to have an alternative input on mono channels really cuts down on patching between our weekend and youth services.”

“When the SD9 was introduced, we all quickly realized that this would be the perfect replacement for the analog console in the video control room, making FOH and video independent and completely digital,” explains St. Matthew United Methodist Church’s broadcast engineer DJ Rockwell. “With the SD9′s affordable price tag, everyone was in agreement. It sounded great and the processing was seamless. The snapshots were very smooth and easily customizable. St. Matthew is a house of worship that has been into technology for a long time, and we do our best to stay on the cutting edge. We started airing our services on cable more than 25 years ago, and now we also stream live. On Sundays, we have three services back-to-back, with no time for rehearsals in between, and they can be as simple as three mics or as extreme as 75-plus inputs. Both the SD8 and SD9 made these 15- and 20-minute switchovers—from traditional to contemporary to blended with choir and orchestra—possible. The DiGiCo system has really improved the audio quality of our worship services and productions. The quality has noticeably improved for our members who watch online or at home.”

Andrew “Fletch” Fletcher Drives SD7 On Billboard Music Awards

Andrew “Fletch” Fletcher has made a name for himself mixing music on hit TV shows from “American Idol,” “The Voice” and a slew of prestigious award shows from the Grammy’s to the MTV Music Awards. For the second year in a row, Fletch handled music mixes for the 2012 Billboard Music Awards and opted to test-drive his first DiGiCo console supplied by ATK, the show’s Audio provider.

“When the opportunity arose for me to use a DiGiCo on the show, I jumped at the chance. Given the choice of an SD10 or an SD7, I went with the SD7 as it had a bigger input capacity… and more flashing lights!”

As it was his first time on a DiGiCo, Fletch spent a few hours at ATK familiarizing himself with the desk, programming his show template, and then did the rest onsite.

“The challenge on any live TV show is to always be ahead of the game. I found the SD7 to be very easy to program and to get around on in general—which got me where I needed to be time-wise. I liked the onboard effects and stuck strictly to what was available on the console including three reverbs (Warm Hall and Vocal Plate for vocals and Percussion Room for drums) and two simple delays (one short, one long for vocals) for the show. I loved the multiband compressors and they worked great on vocals.”

“I liked the flexibility of the fader bank layout, too. I put all my instruments on the left side of the console and had my vocals on the right side. I also put the top layer of vocals in the center section so I could have all 17 vocal mics on the surface at the same time. I used the edit range function to add things to my snapshots such as back up mics that were added after I had rehearsed all the bands and had to be put into all the snapshots. Also, I found the scope functions invaluable for some production elements that I had to land in my console and needed to be isolated from automation for emergency back up in case the FOH production console encountered a problem. Macros were quite useful to navigate around snapshots quickly as well.”

But what struck Fletch initially was the sound of the console.

“The sound quality is outstanding and it’s very flexible. I’ve been using just Yamaha consoles for the past 8 years and the DiGiCo’s sound very different and a lot more transparent. As it was my first time on the console—and having the time constraints of a live TV show—I didn’t get too deep into it, but I’ll indeed have some fun the next time I use one… and I’d be inclined to use one on every show, given the chance.”

About

Stay up to date on the latest technology news. Select press representatives post company news several times a day. Check back often to get the latest news on product releases, mergers and acquisitions, and product applications. To be included in this virtual press conference, please contact The Wire.

Calendar

October 2014
M T W T F S S
« Sep    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Your Account

Subscribe

Subscribe to RSS Feed

Subscribe to MyYahoo News Feed

Subscribe to Bloglines

Google Syndication