ESCONDIDO, California - October 2016 -- With its emphasis on modern dance and its integrated video elements, a Sia show is as theatrical as it is musical. That’s certainly been the case on her “Nostalgic for the Present” excursion, the multiple award-winning Australian pop singer’s first arena concert outing. The 23-date North American tour, which features opening acts Miguel and AlunaGeorge, began at Seattle’s KeyArena on September 29, 2016 and runs through to November 6. A foundational element on the tour is a pair of DiGiCo consoles: an SD5 loaded with DiGiCo’s new Stealth Core 2 at front of house, and an SD10 for monitors.
“I picked up the SD5 right after we finished the European festival segment of the tour,” says FOH mixer Jon Lemon, whose lengthy portfolio includes tour sound work with Beck, Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails, The Cure and others, and who had one of the first SD5 consoles on the market in 2012. He says the lighter SD10 suited the tour’s hectic European flight schedule, but finds the SD5’s three full-color touch-sensitive TFT LCD screens offer the best interface for Sia’s kinetic show.
Like the SD10, the SD5’s 37 faders are laid out in three banks of 12 with one master fader, and the added benefit of three 15-inch touch screens for even quicker access and multi-user applications. In addition, there are two interactive dynamic metering displays (IDMs).
The SD5, like the SD10 being piloted by Adam Jackson on the side of the stage for monitors (it was exchanged for the SD11 he had been using), was supplied by Sound Image, the tour’s SR provider, which also supplied the Adamson line array system and its system technician, Vic Wagner.
“The SD5 is a fabulous desk; I can configure it any way that I want,” says Lemon, who points out that he splits various input banks to either the left or right TFT monitors and can mirror them on the third screen. “Literally, in terms of workflow, everything’s at my fingertips. With more than 60 inputs overall, that’s a huge help. I find that the visual feedback they provide really makes a big difference.”
DiGiCo Desks Out On Sia Tour / Add One
Lemon says the upgrade to DiGiCo’s new Stealth Core 2 is also of considerable help, with its full complement of dynamic EQ, multi-band compressors, DiGiTuBe emulators and expanded MADI connectivity. On the Sia tour, the SD5 is connected to an SD-Mini Rack on an Optocore loop, which offers Lemon a combination of digital and analog I/O and he has two Waves SoundGrid Extreme servers, which can run over 500 instances of Waves stereo SSL E-Channel or C4 Multiband Compressor plugins. That kind of power is necessary for Sia’s forceful vocals, on which Lemon also applies a Maag EQ4 and a final mastering chain using a Massenburg Labs 8200 parametric EQ into a Smart Research C2 compressor. But much of that vocal quality begins with the SD5’s own mic pre amps.
“They’re very nice sounding and they give you an almost analog feel,” he explains. “And dynamically they can take a lot, which you need with a voice like that.” As does the SD5 itself. “Solid, that’s the word for it,” says Lemon. “I’ve really come to trust the SD5 in any situation.”
DiGiCo is a UK-based manufacturer of some of the world’s most popular, successful and ground-breaking digital mixing consoles for the live, theatre, broadcast and post production industries and is exclusively distributed in the US by Group One Ltd. of Farmingdale, New York. For more information, go to: www.DiGiCo.biz