Live Sound

FixIt: Maxwell Monitor Engineer Clay Hutson

We don’t really have a lot of inputs, even though it looks like a lot of stuff onstage. I think we’re around 56, which is pretty normal and Jill Scott has about 70 inputs. The [DiGiCo SD7 console 8/04/2010 2:56 PM Eastern

We don’t really have a lot of inputs, even though it looks like a lot of stuff onstage. I think we’re around 56, which is pretty normal and Jill Scott has about 70 inputs. The [DiGiCo SD7 console] is really critical when it comes to the amount of outputs that I’m using up on the desk, around 40. I probably have an output for every input right now. I’m at 24 just with the in-ears alone—not including wedges, side-fills, drum fills and reverb sends—and there’s still another 70 groups or buses available on the desk. Because I have them, I’m going a bit crazy with them, busing stuff to groups and then compressing them and sending it back to the ears. I find myself using a lot less EQ now because of the [console’s] frequency-dependent compression, multiband compressor and sidechain EQ, which is fantastic because the less EQ, the better. The compressors are as good as they’ve ever sounded and you can’t hear them doing their job. The effects engine is great; to have all those studio reverbs available now is fantastic. Now I don’t have to rely on outboard gear. I used to have to go AES/EBU into whatever frequency-dependent compressor I could because it’s a vital tool now for some of these vocalists. To have it on every channel allows me to not have to worry about it anymore. I’m using eight studio reverbs loaded up for the vocals, as well as horns, acoustic guitar and drums, and the graphic EQs are laid out so well. You select the EQ of the mix and you have a graph right there—fantastic!