With more than 200 acts playing on 12 stages during three days, UK summer festival had gear supplied by Dobson Sound Productions (the company's first time working on this event) for all stages, including five DiGiCo consoles: a D5 at front of house on the Open Air stage, D5s at both FOH and monitors on the Castle Stage, and D1s at FOH on the Sanctuary Stage and in the Big Chill Nights tent.
“As we were providing sound for all the stages, it made sense to follow our instincts and go digital throughout,” says Dobson Sound managing director Paul Dobson. “It was a bit of a step, but it went very well. We chose to use the DiGiCo consoles for several reasons, not least of which is that they sound really good! They are also very flexible; we already use them on a wide variety of projects and Big Chill was further proof to us that here was another environment in which they excel.
“Another important thing was that they are very user-friendly," he continues. "The way they are laid out is fairly conventional in a lot of ways, so they don’t tend to phase band engineers who come into a festival situation and have never used one before.”
The consoles were controlling flown d&b PA systems on all stages: J series on the Open Air stage and a combination of other types, mainly Q Series, on the others.
“Apart from a few channels of valve compression and Lexicon reverb on the two biggest stages, all processing was done using the onboard effects, which saved both space and time,” says Dobson. “We really got the most of what we could from them.”
Several engineers brought session files with them, but the consoles were mainly run with a generic channel list. “We ran them in a very conventional manner, but the fact that we could load session files for the engineers that had brought them and then recall the generic settings after their sets was extremely useful,” he adds.