Indigo Girls' Amy Ray is touring in support of her latest solo CD, Didn't It Feel Kinder. Front-of-house engineer Brian Speiser is mixing on the first DiGiCo SD8 board to hit the road in the U.S.
Tell me about working with the board.
The SD8 is a monster. As the console has only ever been out on one tour before [monitor board for Art Garfunkel in the UK], the software is still being updated to fix little bugs that pop up. The console sounds great and has been a saving grace for this tour. The transition for me from the D1 and D5 software was simple enough that I was able to do almost everything I needed within the first few shows. One thing that helped is the MADI recording and playback feature. It is easy to pop up the laptop with the [RME] HDSPe MADIFace card in it, record soundcheck and then mess around with the board and a pair of headphones as I played the soundcheck back through the console after doors opened.
You're doing both FOH and monitors?
I am doing both from the console. I wanted to give the band the ability to have things sound as consistent as possible even though wedges change at every venue. I just tweak the parametric EQ on each output every day to make the wedges sound nice and then pull out some feedback points with the onboard graphic EQs.
Where are you when you're not on the road?
I spend most of the year touring with Indigo Girls, and when they're not on the road I've been doing monitors for 311.