DiGiCo Is The Front Of House Choice For International Acts
Having an efficient front-of-house is integral and more and more touring acts are choosing their front-of-house consoles from DiGiCo, including acts like Dua Lipa and Wang Feng and big events like the Bollywood Music Project.
DiGiCo Products Are In Demand For Dua Lipa
22-year-old British singer-songwriter Dua Lipa is the most streamed female musician in 2017, with her mega-hit New Rules about to hit the 800 million mark on YouTube. For the last year and a half, front-of-house engineer Will Nicholson and monitor man Alex Cerutti, have used their DiGiCo SD5 and SD12 consoles respectively to ensure everything audio is working out just as well.
Nicholson has been a DiGiCo user for five years and says the scalability of the SD range is ideal for his workflow.
“Modern pop touring is often characterized by two significant factors: time and budget,” Nicholson says.
“Whilst I haven’t had to make use of the smallest surfaces in the [DiGiCo] range, I have used an SD5, 10, and 7 on this campaign pretty seamlessly, when schedule or territory dictated. The SD5 is my console of choice, provided the I/O fits into its specification; it is such an enjoyable console to mix on. Visually, there is so much information available to you on an immediate level.”
“The three screens are just tremendous; I normally leave my Waves plugins on the central display, and input control on the two side screens, which allows me to use the overview screen for buss and matrix metering, and my Snapshot sheet. Mixing on digital consoles is an empowering experience, and you can do so much on the SD5,” Nicholson says.
Because Dua Lipa is now transitioning into production-level touring, there are even more reasons to stick with DiGiCo on the road, according to Nicholson.
“When the PA and the environment shift every day, the precision of the D-A conversion is what allows me to make quality judgements regarding the mix, and the DiGiCo preamps are great, too. As PAs themselves improve, you can hear greater detail, and there are less places to hide, particularly when mixing at 96kHz – the DiGiCo gives me the right tools to deliver my mix at the right quality,” Nicholson says.
Dua Lipa’s first record is so dynamic and there’s a broad palette of sounds across it, therefore using Snapshots is a must for Nicholson.
“She wants her show to be just as exciting and dynamic, and it’s very important to her that the audience join in dancing and singing. In this context, myself and Alex feel that we need to balance consistency with individual song characteristics, and using Snapshots allows us to control both, yet still mix each song appropriately for the environment,” Nicholson says.
“I can’t imagine any mix, even with Snapshots, losing the hands-on component. I’ve never seen an engineer just press ‘next’, and step back from the console – automation is a tool to allow you to listen, and objectively judge, not a set of constraints that you have to work within.”
Alex Cerutti has been mixing monitors for Dua Lipa for the last 16 months and has developed a strong working relationship with the artist.
“Trust is very important, and she has high standards, and is very driven; and because of this, pointing her in the right direction as far as what she wants to hear, and what gets the best out of her, has been easy,” Cerutti says.
For this tour, Cerutti needed a console that was compact enough to fit into the smaller venues, but still had the features he loved on the SD5 and SD7. Enter the new SD12.
“Having two screens, plus running Waves [plugins] on a separate computer means I can see everything all the time,” Cerutti says.
“I like that I can have any channel anywhere on the board in any order; keeping important channels where I want them all the time, whilst keeping my input patch one-to-one with the channel list.”
Like Nicholson, Cerutti also utilizes Snapshots on his console.
“The functionality of the Snapshot system is really granular, which allows me to have certain things recalling on some Snapshots and not others; this can also change per Snapshot, which makes it easy to have guest channels change per guest without using a lot of DSP.”
DiGiCo SD10 pumped up Bollywood Music Project 2018
Held at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi on Jan 27 and 28 and hosted by Event Capital & Talent Management, the second Bollywood Music Project (BMP) featured two stages, over 200 musicians and more than 50 artists performing for its high adrenaline audience. DiGiCo SD10 consoles, supplied by audio rental company Mega Sound, were at the very center of the action.
For two days, the city saw some of India’s biggest names at BMP, including Farhan Akhtar, Papon, Vishal Bhardwaj, Euphoria, Nooran Sisters, Richa Sharma, Benny Dayal, Aditi Singh Sharma, Anusha Mani, Shilpa Rao, Shruti Pathak, Raftaar, Amitabh Bhattacharya, Kutle Khan, as well as other eclectic artists from the world of Bollywood music.
Udaipur-based Mega Sound is one of India’s cutting edge AV-rental companies and has an impressive inventory of first class equipment. It provided the complete sound production for BMP, with the SD10s, purchased through the British manufacturer’s Indian distributor, Hi-Tech Audio deployed at front of house.
“It was a stellar show from an audio and visual standpoint and the SD system gives us a very cool way of handling a situation with multiple stages,’ says Siddharth Chauhan, director of Mega Sound.
“Moreover, the DiGiCo technical support team at Hi-Tech Audio Systems handled everything related to SD10 and the sound engineers enjoyed working on the console. It all went very smoothly.”
“There is always an amount of personal preference when it comes to choosing a console for any given job,” says Nirdosh Aggarwal, director sales, HiTech Audio Systems.
“But for the BMP audio production team, what it comes down to is whether a console delivers the best possible sound for show. Vikram Mishra, Tanay Gajjar, Nikjil Mulay and some of India’s leading audio engineers were behind the consoles at Bollywood Music Project. They appreciated what DiGiCo consoles offer to make their job easy while working with various artists on this multi-genre show.”
‘DiGiCo is renowned for its support and the stability of its consoles,” says Bollywood sound engineer Tanay Gajjar, who oversaw Stage 1’s live mix.
“I was using SD10 for Stage 2,” says Tosief Shaikh, mixing and mastering engineer. “The entire system was simple to set up and it all worked perfectly. During the event, there were no stability issues, and the Gain Sharing at the SD Rack gave us a lot of headroom.”
“It’s always a privilege for us to be associated with Bollywood Music Project and a very good learning experience for the entire team,” says Rajan Gupta, managing director, Hi-Tech Audio Systems.
“With a top-notch brand like DiGiCo, and working with India’s ace sound engineers, we can be assured that the show will go on without any hitches.”
DiGiCo Chosen For Wang Feng Tour
Wang Feng, one of China’s most prolific and influential rock stars, set out on yet another mammoth national tour last September, kicking off at the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing. The Times Tour has seen Wang Feng enjoy heightened levels of success within China, taking in 30 cities over the course of 2017 and 2018. At the heart of the audio system for this ever-growing production lies a DiGiCo SD7 at the front-of-house and an SD5 at monitors, supplied by Racpro, DiGiCo’s distributor for the territory.
Shaogang Jin, Wang Feng’s chief front-of-house engineer and sound designer, is no stranger to such productions, having been involved with events like the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony and The Voice of China. He has been working with Wang Feng for many years and asserts that only DiGiCo consoles are suitable for such a tour.
Jin and Guobang Lu are making good use of the SD7 at FOH, with monitor engineers Yong Shao and Longfei Ai utilizing the SD5. Jin says that the choice of mixing consoles is based on their incredible sound quality and powerful processing.
“The SD7 has a total of 72 inputs and 24 outputs, with monitors again using 72 inputs, but double the outputs. Whist neither console is maxed out, having the ability to easily increase the input and output channel count has proved incredibly useful,” Jin says.
“We have found the Waves Integration, DigiTube and Dynamic EQ on the consoles particularly useful,” says Lu.
“We have full access to Waves plug-ins and can adjust the plug-in parameters directly with the ‘touch and turn’ encoder on the console work surface. It’s very powerful, really useful and makes mixing way more convenient.”
Adding authentic analogue style warmth to the show, DiGiCo’s DiGiTube technology has been of particular importance to Wang Feng’s production, bringing a much-needed classic rock sound to the show.
With the tour’s hectic schedule, having a system that is easy and intuitive to use is essential.
“As the signal processing is inside the console, it doesn’t need a DSP rack and means we just need to connect the fiber cables to the SD-RACK and the system is ready to go. It really couldn’t be easier,” Lu says.