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George Strait Rides Again with DiGiCo

Though he retired from touring in 2014, country superstar George Strait has been playing one-offs around the country with a DiGiCo SD12 in tow.

Fort Worth, TX (December 11, 2019)—One of the biggest country artists of all-time with 60 number-one hits to his credit, George Strait may have retired from touring in 2014, but he still plays the occasional concert. Case in point: he recently sold-out two shows at Fort Worth’s new Dickies Arena in late November, both of which were mixed on a DiGiCo SD12 96 desk at front of house by his longtime engineer George Olson.

“It was the SD12’s compact size, and the power that it packs into that footprint, that really convinced me to go with it,” says Olson, who bumped up the console’s channel count from 72 to 96 with DiGiCo’s latest software. “When I looked at its dimensions, I knew that it would fit in virtually any truck or trailer, or the back of any bus, so it would always be able to get to the gig,” he says.

George Strait Rides into NRG Stadium Show

The SD12 96 sports two DMI slots, which Olson filled with Waves and Dante cards; there’s also the 192 kHz SD-Rack that’s loaded with 56 32-bit mic pre-amp inputs, 40 analog outputs and 16 AES connections. “Plus, the SD12 has the dual screens of an SD5, but in a much smaller size, which makes it great for a wide variety of types of venues,” he adds.

Olson first put an SD12 to use for a Strait show in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, ultimately mixing the show on a demo SD12 evaluation unit. “With George Strait, we don’t do a week of production rehearsals; we’ll just go and do a few songs at soundcheck and then the band leaves, so integrating a new piece of equipment isn’t easy,” he explains.

“In Atlanta, I went backstage that night and was able to build the file I needed for the show using the virtual soundcheck feature. The next night, I heard, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, George Strait!’ and with more than 55,000 people in the audience I thought to myself, ‘Here goes nothing…’ And it was flawless. Absolutely perfect.”

George Strait •

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