For Shakira's current tour, FOH engineer Brad Madix (Def Leppard, Queensryche, Psychedelic Furs, Marilyn Manson, Rush) is using a Digidesign VENUE in tandem with a sidecar on his right. For additional tips, check out next month's “All Access.”
I made (the sidecar) bus ID 1, which makes inputs 1 through 16 on my right — weird! It just made sense this way because it puts all of the drums on one bank and all of the percussion on the next, and I put Shakira's vocal fader at my right hand where I can get to it quickly. This puts the output faders in the middle, the selected channel section is just to my left and the guitar channels appear down on the left end. As for inputs, I stopped counting at 72! Seriously, it's something just north of that, if you add in all of the talkback from the MD and monitor guy and so on. And I'm not including effects returns or CD playback lines in that count, mind you. I know we were fishing for snake lines the other day, and there are 80 in the split!