DiGiCo SD7 Gets the Green Light for Coldplay’s Fifteen Festivals
DiGiCo consoles will feature on a range of outdoor shows this summer, including Coldplay’s headline appearance. With the band appearing in no less than 15 festivals around the world, Front of House engineer Daniel Green’s SD7 is probably the most travelled DiGiCo desk of all.
Coldplay’s busy summer includes headline appearances at Rock am Ring / Rock im Park (Germany), Jammin’ (Italy), Pinkpop (Netherlands), Glastonbury and T In The Park (UK), Where The Action Is (Sweden), Open’er (Poland), Rock Werchter (Belgium), Main Square (France), Optimus Alive (Portugal), BBK Live (Spain), Oxegen (Ireland), Fuji Rock (Japan) and Rock In Rio (Brazil).
Daniel worked closely with Wigwam Acoustics to put together a brand new, bespoke rig for the festival tour, designed around a DiGiCo SD7 console.
“We have a really good relationship with Dan and Tony Smith, the band’s head of sound, so we were happy to spend time working with them to put together what is effectively a bespoke system,” said Wigwam’s Alex Hadjigeorgiou. “Everything has to be absolutely right for them to put on the best show. As a hire company, it’s really good to work with people whose priority is quality rather than just cost.”
The band’s relentless touring schedule meant that they didn’t have a major break for 18 months. But there was finally time for one earlier this year, so Dan headed to Wigwam to discuss a new system.
“The band uses a lot of different instruments and Dan has a dedicated channel for each one. Even the bell on Viva la Vida has its own channel, despite only being used on one song. The result was that the previous console was full up,” said Hadjigeorgiou.
“Because Dan is also heavily involved in the band’s recordings, he knows exactly how he wants them to sound live,” continued Hadjigeorgiou. “He is very meticulous, so he came to us and spent time listening to a lot of different options. It was a good window of opportunity to go right back to basics and effectively start from scratch. With DiGiCo consoles now being compatible with Waves, the SD7’s combination of high channel count and redundancy was ideal.”
The rig includes two DiGiRacks on stage and some outboard routed via AES.
“We took the opportunity to go right back to basics with Dan and, ironically, it has meant that some outboard processing has returned to his racks,” continued Hadjigeorgiou. “Units like the Eventide H8000, which have multiple channels of AES, can be seamlessly integrated with the SD7 and add versatility to what is available from the Waves plug-ins and SD7’s onboard processing.”
Another feature of the rig is that every show is recorded via MADI on to a Macintosh running Cubase.
“The band wanted to be able to release live recordings that would be available from the iTunes store very quickly,” said Hadjigeorgiou. “It’s a slick operation – for example, the hard drives from the Glastonbury performance went on the helicopter with the band straight to the studio and a track was released within a couple of days.”
DiGiCo’s support and backup has also earned praise, the company being involved in putting together the new Coldplay system from the beginning.
“DiGiCo takes the support side really seriously. Dave Bigg [DiGiCo Product Specialist] went through it all in detail at production rehearsals. This was one of the first tours using redundant Waves in the real world, and their additional support was very reassuring,” said Hadjigeorgiou. “Everybody has been very happy with the system.”