Coming offstage there's 32 inputs, but then we've got audience and record mics; I also double up a bunch of drum channels and route them through some processing and then back into the board on separate faders for a different sound. All in all, we've racked up quite a lot of inputs. I also run a mic line — which is copper wire, not a digital line — as we only have a digital snake (MADI lines) running between DiGiCo D1 consoles from stage into an Avalon 737 mic pre and then into the console on a line-in for Lucinda's vocals. Before it hits the stage rack, it gets split with a Radial ISO splitter to the DiGiCo stage box and then to the mic line, which runs down to me. I've actually got two vocal channels: the MADI one and the mic line. The reason for all this is that if I had to insert the 737 over her vocal channel, I would not be using the mic pre of the Avalon, only the EQ and compression. What I want is the Avalon to be the front-end of Lucinda's vocal sound. That said, we are using the DiGiCo D-TuBe pre's in the stage rack on our vocals and acoustic guitars, and they sound really great.
Read front of house engineer James McCullagh Tip on Signal Chain for Lucinda Williams tours