Since South African audio specialists Sound Stylists invested in their second DiGiCo D5 Live digital mixing consoles, bought in for the R Kelly Concerts earlier this year, the company has found both an increasing acceptance and demand for the console from the local market.
The latest project for the Sound Stylist team and its D5 was providing full audio support at the annual Jo’burg Day, held in October at Riversands Farm, just outside Johannesburg.
Jo’burg Day is a family orientated concert and hosts only local South African talent, with artists such as Johnny Clegg, Prime Circle, Zebra and Giraffe and Flash Republic performing to a capacity crowd.
“We had the luxury of soundchecks with each of the bands the day before the concerts and are therefore able to build scenes for each of them,” says Sound Stylists’ Nardus De Lange. “In addition to this, audio for the MCs as well as all the background music and sound for the ads shown on the LED screens were run from a separate deck. This meant that the FOH and monitor desks could be reconfigured between band changes to suit each of the band’s engineers.”
As the number of channels totalled over 60, the decision was made to run a D5 at both FOH and monitors. The FOH outputs were run into an XTA DP448, which in turn acted as the master output for the whole system including delays, outfills and stage fills. A 01V was run into the other two inputs of the DP448 to handle the MC and background music elements.
“The other advantage of this format was the ability to control each of the PAs with a wireless tablet using XTA’s AudioCore 8.60 software,” adds Nardus. “Setting a delay or level was then easy, as the system tech could literally walk the field.”
In total, around 20 different engineers worked on the D5s during the day and, says Nardus, everyone was over the moon with the layout, the ease of operation and the power of the desks: “With the soundcheck day and having the additional time at our disposal, the engineers made the effort to plan the layout of their bands on the desk and a lot more use was made of the effects and control groups.”
The D5s were run via a MADI connection, with FOH being 65m from stage. FOH was set up as the master and Gain Tracking was run on the monitor console, which used two fully loaded stage racks, with FOH making use of one local mini rack.
All Sound Stylists stage racks are now also fitted with Ethersound cards, which enables them to run digitally straight into their Nexo NX242ES controllers.
“All in all a great day,” smiles Nardus. “We had a couple more DiGiCo converts and another successful concert!”