With 15 years of hosting showstopping performances under its belt, Oxford Art Factory has cemented its place as one of Sydney’s most dynamic music and arts institutions. An enduring and iconic live music venue, the space stands as a welcome haunt for established sell-out artists and up-and-coming musicians alike.
When an opportunity to upgrade the venue’s digital mixing capabilities presented itself, Oxford Art Factory were quick to select the DiGiCo SD12 console as the perfect solution to step up production. Already daily users of DiGiCo’s industry standard SD9 within one of their other venues, The Lansdowne Hotel, the choice to once again invest in the DiGiCo eco-system is testament to the house engineers’ continued confidence in the brand’s dependability and performance.
Regularly presenting intimate gigs that still demand high-end technical requirements, the SD12 has proved a perfect system for the dynamic venue. Speaking on the nature of Oxford Art Factory’s extensive scope, Production Manager Grady Henshaw explains that the venue “regularly provides audio production for intermediate touring shows as well as local acts. We do everything from solo performers to Splendour in the Grass Sideshows, so our audio system needs to work for everything.”
Supplied by Sydney’s Turramurra Music, the acquisition of the new system was based around Oxford Art Factory’s dexterous requirements and guided by the store’s personalised advice service. Don Goldstein, Turramurra’s Live Audio Sales Specialist, explains: “The people behind Oxford Art Factory already had experience with the DiGiCo eco-system, so the SD12 was the logical choice when taking into consideration the size of the live space and the venue’s wide-ranging technical needs.”
Designed to encompass a generous host of capabilities while remaining conveniently compact, the DiGiCo SD12 is a multi-application digital mixing console bursting with impressive features. The SD12’s functionality sets it apart as a versatile powerhouse, as Grady describes: “The SD12 has a great internal infrastructure, meaning that our regular operators can build and save files that will cope with just about anything. This certainly comes in handy when show details change at the last minute.”
Based on highly flexible Super FPGA technology, the SD12 is capable of an unrivalled amount of control and I/O for a system of its size. Featuring dual 15-inch touchscreens, 72 channels at 48kHz/96kHz, 36 busses with an additional 12×8 output matrix, and a wealth of channel processing and digital effects, the SD12 continues to be an industry-leading solution for a multitude of venues worldwide. “The Digico SD12 is an extremely reliable and rider-friendly console, as well as being intuitive for regular operators. It’s been an asset for shows from the size of Gang of Youths right down to local support bands,” recounts Grady.
In addition to the SD12’s comprehensive mix features, the console also includes an integrated recording interface, enabling users to quickly and easily complete virtual soundchecks. The console’s wealth of connectivity can be further enhanced with a variety of smart DMI interface options, including DANTE, Aviom, and MADI. “We run onstage audio as MADI via CAT5 from the DiGiCo D2-Rack to the SD12, which is fitted with a DMI-MADI-C expansion card” notes Grady.
“The SD12 has dramatically improved the overall audio quality in the venue since upgrading to the DiGiCo platform here. All the touring engineers are happy, as are the house crew,” notes Grady. He explains that in conjunction with The Lansdowne Hotel’s SD9, having the full DiGiCo experience across the board has bolstered the crew’s confidence in delivering an ideal sonic experience for every show, even when moving engineers between venues. “[It is] extremely easy as there is next to no learning curve between different consoles in the DiGiCo SD Series,” Grady says, “It just works.”