New York (September 15, 2008)–Two DiGiCo consoles at the Front of House and monitor positions were used on the road with Kylie Minogue during the singer’s recent tour; FOH engineer Chris Pyne and monitor man Rod Matheson took on the new consoles.
The complexity of the show meant that Pyne had 65 inputs at FOH and had to make many changes between each song, using the SD7’s Snapshot feature, which is more in-depth than that on the D5. “Every single song is different–it has a different bass drum, snare drum, this that and the other,” said Pyne. “I couldn’t do the show without the programming and the console’s Snapshot feature, because I have to go through every single song and programme different EQ, different auxes, different gain structures, etc. It has made my life a lot easier.
“I also wanted something which would allow me to write notes to myself and have them visible on one or other of the screens. In response to that, DiGiCo created the Snapshot Notes facility and now, every time I recall a snapshot, the screen changes with a different note on it to remind me to do something.”
With audio fed via AES/EBU, the complete system was in the digital domain. Outboard, as one would expect with a console such as the SD7, was minimal, but included XTA D2 processors on the all-important lead vocal channels, with each of Minogue’s three Sennheiser 5200 vocal microphones having its own channel on the SD7 plus a D2 across each one.
“Typically, with a big production like this you don’t get much time when you’re doing over-nighters,” he says. “We were showing up in some venues in Europe at midday, so you don’t really have time for a sound check. But I record almost every night from the SD7 straight to a 48K ADK multitrack recorder. This means I can play back the previous night’s show through the console as if the band were there.”
Meanwhile at the monitor position, Rod Matheson’s DiGiCo D5 Live dealt with a complex onstage setup. “I use the latest V4 software that has a couple of extra bits on it that I like a lot,” he said. “There are a few new functions that help monitoring, such as when you press an aux, the graphics pop up so they’re right at hand.”
Rod was providing 11 stereo in-ear mixes for the band, plus a stereo mix for the stage wedges, two shakers for the drummer and a further mix for the show’s dancers, sent to four speakers around the stage perimeter. Two more stereo mixes went to technicians either side of stage, who were on IEMs and he also provided a stereo recording mix, fed straight to a CD recorder.
Rod utilised a snapshot on the D5 for each song which set a basic level, but from there he prefers to mix manually. “We have the band working at a level where everything is pretty well ironed out and the snapshots are pretty close to the mark,” he says. “I tend to mix manually once the snapshot is loaded, but snapshots eliminate a lot of forgetfulness on a show of this complexity.”