Despite having been through more ups and downs that virtually any band could feasibly cope with, 1960’s folk-rock legends Crosby, Stills & Nash are still touring and bringing their unique harmony-infused, mellow protest songs to legions of fans. Helping the band to win over more admirers on every tour is Front of House engineer Kevin Madigan with his DiGiCo D5.
CS&N are currently mid-way through an extensive tour, which has taken in a wide variety of venues and festivals throughout the US and Europe.
“The D5 is my console of choice, I’ve been using DiGiCo for about five years and there’s still no better digital console in my opinion,” says Kevin. “I sometimes have to use other consoles on a one-off basis, but I always come back to my favourite because of its excellent sound quality and layout.”
The tour is using a d&b J Line main system, with J-subs and B2s. Kevin sends left, right and sub outputs from the D5, from which sends for in, out and front fills are derived. All processing is done within the D5, except for Manley ELOP electro-optical limiters on vocal inserts and a Manley Variable Mu over the L-R outputs. “I don’t have to use them, but I love them,” Kevin admits.
With venues ranging from theatres to arenas, sheds and open air festivals, the DiGiCo console is easily coping with a wide range of audience sizes. On this tour it’s not having to cope with extremes of temperature, but that is something Kevin has seen the D5 take in its stride, too.
“I’ve used DiGiCo consoles on a tour leg which took place during a freezing cold winter in Canada,” he says. “I had to wait while the metal control surface warmed up to room temperature, it having just come off the truck after a few nights in temperatures below -15ºC but it worked absolutely fine – and should I ever have an issue, no company provides better technical backup than DiGiCo.”
With the shows receiving universally positive reviews, the D5’s audio quality is letting CS&N’s famous vocal harmonies sit perfectly in the mix, giving audiences plenty of shiver-down-the-spine moments.
“It’s great when the audiences appreciate the sound, but the best thing is actually when they say nothing,” says Kevin. “If the FoH sound just becomes part of the music, that’s great.”
Above: Kevin Madigan at the helm of his DiGiCo D5