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Lizzo Hits The Road with DiGiCo

“Truth Hurts” but touring didn’t this year for the chart-topping rapper as she played 90 shows in six months, supporting her massive hit.

Minneapolis, MN (December 3, 2019) — If Lizzo needed something more exciting this year, she got it with the success of her hit, “Truth Hurts,” which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks and amassed more than 110 million views on YouTube. That success was supported with more than 90 live shows in six months, touring the planet with Clair Global-supplied DiGiCo SD12 96 desks in tow, overseen by FOH engineer Brandon Blackwell and monitor engineer Loreen Bohannon.

Brandon Blackwell mixing FOH for Lizzo on a new DiGiCo SD12 96 console
Brandon Blackwell mixing FOH for Lizzo on a new DiGiCo SD12 96 console.

Blackwell started working with Lizzo in late May, and specified a DiGiCo SD12 96 for FOH. “I have been on a SD12 the entire year with my other clients, but I was super excited for the new update to 96 inputs and 48 busses,” he said. “With the extra I/O, I was able to add some extra key FX sends and returns, and also more parallel groups to my mix.


“As usual, I have paired my DiGiCo console with a Waves SoundGrid setup. While Waves is taking care of processing my vocals, subgroups and EFX, most of my heavy lifting of processing the playback tracks is being taken care of onboard the console. For each playback channel, I am using the dynamic EQ and multiband compressors to shape my mix. Snapshots are a big part of my mixing, so I really enjoy having all of these settings change when I hit ‘next.’”

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Blackwell is a big believer of cutting out the traditional analog splitter, so both consoles and the stage rack were on a fiber loop, and all of the inputs went directly into the SD-Rack, which had six new 32-bit Mic Pre-amp cards and one AES/EBU input card, taking advantage of features that are unlocked when using an Optocore loop. Bohannon had control over the gains, and Blackwell used the digital trim with gain tracking engaged. “We also use the Con Send and Receive feature to move key audio sources between both desks,” he said, “and since the crowds can get up to 115 dBA at FOH, we rely on the chat feature a lot. It has to be one of my favorite management features of the DiGiCo platform.”

Loreen Bohannon mixing monitors for Lizzo on Clair’s DiGiCo SD12 96 desk
Loreen Bohannon mixing monitors for Lizzo on Clair’s DiGiCo SD12 96 desk.

Bohannon, who’d previously used DiGiCo desks to handle monitors for Michael Bolton, among others, began with Lizzo in April ahead of the artist’s Coachella appearance, using a compact SD11. “DiGiCo was absolutely crucial to my success on that tour, always being available for me when I ran into a tech issue,” she recalls. “The SD12 was already my favorite console from my Bolton days, and I was more than excited to add this to our gear and get the new software update to 96 input channels.”

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The integration with MADI and Optocore was equally helpful, she adds. “Being able to convert MADI to an Optocore device and allow our playback rig to take the clock from our desks let us seamlessly switch between analog or MADI head amps with no noticeable pause, stop or click in audio.”

Lizzo •

Clair Global •

DiGiCo •