Cairellie Takes a DiGiCo SD7 & SD8 For Good Measure

One of Sydney's more elusive production companies is powerhouse Cairellie. The company founder, Stephen Knight, formed Cairellie originally as a small audio company which could provide sound and staging services for modest corporate functions. With a strong focus on client satisfaction and exceptional service, Cairellie's client list grew quite rapidly over the first two years of operation and they have now become a major production supplier that covers a wide range of events end to end including everything from corporate AV to large scale tours. Just as impressive as their client list, is their inventory to suit which includes a hefty audio, video, lighting and staging collection. Their most recent additions to their arsenal were a DiGiCo SD7 and SD8 complete with 3 SD Racks and Waves SoundGrid. Stephen was kind enough to provide some insight into the reasoning and strategy behind going with DiGiCo.

"We hold a range of large scale audio consoles. The addition of the SD7 and the SD8 were to not only give us scope but also to give us an advantage. We could see the need for those consoles and being that we are really the only large audio company which has one available for touring production it again continues to help hold Cairellie at the forefront of Live Audio; not necessarily in size, but in quality and resources."

With acts like Coldplay, George Michael, Lenny Kravitz, Michael Buble, Massive Attack, U2, Eminem and Madonna using DiGiCo SD7's, it was a simple choice for Cairellie to add one to their inventory. More than just having a console available for the next big rider though; it was also about the sound of the SD Series consoles as Stephen points out.


Stephen Knight of Cairellie

The who's who of the music industry is touring with DiGiCo and the Flagship SD7 one of the most popular consoles in use


"We love the SOUND – definitely the sound. Sure it's easy to use and so forth but when you consider that as an audio company we run AES everywhere; it is very clean. You can really hear everything."

The SD7 and SD8 are capable of running at 96kHz which ensures audio clarity at the highest levels. In understanding this, Cairellie chooses to use the SD7 and SD8 with a completely digital signal chain end to end where possible, maximising their level of control and superior sound output.

Investing in three SD Racks maximised the application possibilities of the SD consoles even further. The new SD Racks come with 26 optics which allows up to 14 racks and 5 consoles, all with redundant engines on a single fibre loop. This really provides a long-term, scalable and future proof solution for any serious production company; something Cairellie could see.

"We use both MADI and Optical outs, dependant on the situation. It is handy on the bigger orchestra gigs to just drop the SD racks around on the floor and patch at the console. The main reason for the racks is the SD7 has an input capability that is comparable to no other console at the moment. It beats them all hands down and we need that capacity for some of the special event work we do."


Stephen Knight of Cairellie

The DiGi-Rack has a complete range of card features to suit any imaginable application required:

  • A. Mic input card with 24-bit A/D on XLR connectors
  • B. Line input card with 24-bit A/D on XLR connectors
  • C. Analogue input card with 24-bit A/D, mic & line inputs on EDAC
  • D. Analogue output card with 24-bit D/A on XLR connectors
  • E. AES/EBU input/output card with Bi-directional sample rate conversion
  • F. AES output card with sample rate conversion
  • G. AES input card with sample rate conversion
  • H. Aviom D-16c A-Net Card - ultra-fast A-Net? Pro16 protocol connectivity
  • I. Ethersound 8 channel input/output and control card
  • J. DiGiCo D-Tube - Remote controllable tube mic preamp


Cairellie's choice to go with Waves SoundGrid for their consoles was partially a strategic one; realising that Waves is often specified on the bigger tours.

"When we purchased the console it was an option that not many people have specified however it has been a real asset from marketing perspective as the waves technology appears on some rather serious riders. It's nice to have the bells and whistles that go along side a great asset."

This instantly loaded Cairellie up with 256 mix paths with the SD7 as well as 128 monitor sends; complete with the Waves SoundGrid plug-ins. A lot of power in a large scale system which is suitable to an extremely wide range of events. Stephen and his crew are extremely happy with their investment in DiGiCo.

"It's not only an impressive sight to look at but laid out really well, makes sense from an operational perspective and sounds fantastic. I can't really elaborate too much on the events we've been doing with the SD7 and SD8 but I can say that they've been used on a number of high profile events and have performed flawlessly."


Stephen Knight of Cairellie

Cairellie's founder Stephen Knight proudly sitting in front of his DiGiCo SD7

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