Pink Floyd remains one of the most influential rock bands of all time. Known for their mind-blowing theatrical shows with mind-blowing lights and unsurpassed sound, it was no easy feat to bring such a story to the stage. Annerin Productions did just that with The Pink Floyd Experience (PFE), combining the band’s music, sound and lights in an intimate, theatre atmosphere. The production is gearing up to hit the road in early 2013 and DiGiCo will shine on again as another proverbial brick in the band’s audio production wall for the second year, with Greg Clinton riding shotgun on an SD8-36 at FOH and Chase Tower on a similar system at monitor world supplied by Sound Art Calgary. The tour commences in February of 2013 and runs through March with dates in the United States and Canada.
Chase swapped another digital console with the SD8-36 for monitors during last year’s tour and Greg followed suit at FOH. Both had heard good things about the consoles but hadn’t spent any extensive time mixing on one.
“I’m a huge fan of the Dynamic EQ’s DiGiCo has made available,” raves Chase. “Our bass player is really particular about the way he sounds in his ears. As soon as we were dialing things in at pre-production he knew something was different… for the better. DiGiCo has made my job easier in helping translate what he is wanting to hear. I can in turn be more precise in how I give him his sound. I really love the custom fader banks. Once I had mixes dialed to a point, I could create custom banks for each guy with their primary inputs that change song to song. Its brilliant really the way DiGiCo has laid out the fader banks and layers. The Snapshot architecture on this console is very simple and straightforward. I’m always in the situation where I am needing to propagate changes to every snapshot, and DiGiCo makes that very easy in editing the range of snapshots I had. I was running up to 20 snapshots for the 1 hour/45-min set. Additionally, I loved having access to three rows of encoders at once per input/output. Most other desks out there only have one row of encoders. I still tend to mix monitors on faders, but I still loved having access to other mixes or comp/gate parameters at the same time if needed.”
Because of the plethora of onboard effects available at the touch of a button or two, he was able to get everything he needed onboard. “I was carrying one of my favorite multi-effects, an SPX990. I ended up using it for a little bit of sax reverb in one song, for the rest I relied completely on the internal effects.
“As far as the sound,” he adds, “I have always found DiGiCo to be above the rest when it comes to the console’s sonic quality. I love the workflow of the SD8. After touring with the SD8 I really don’t find a comparison that can compete. I mean all the digital consoles out there have great features and have a place. DiGiCo in my mind just goes above and beyond.”
Mixing FOH for the PFE for the past six years on both analog and digital desks, Greg was completely satisfied with the addition of the SD8. “I am pretty familiar with the big 3 digital console companies, and I have found that the DiGiCo SD8 is hands-down my favorite digital console to use. The best features of the desk are in the preamp! Sources just sound GREAT, and don’t need sugar-coating. I have found the dynamic EQ and compressors to be very musical, and really help to smooth out a couple of the dramatic inputs. A personal favorite is the ability to assign faders, both inputs and outputs, in any order that I want, on a custom fader page… very cool!
“At the end of the day, my job is to make our ‘show’ dramatic and memorable for the audience,” Greg continues. “Because we are a tribute show, the audience already has a specific expectation in regard to the character and quality of sound. The SD8 has been the most satisfying desk to work on, both in its logical layout and useful features. The sound quality is not just exceptional, but it’s the ability to achieve a mix that has depth in the stereo field, impact and clarity, and reminds you of that ‘Pink Floyd’ sound!”
Chase says that the DiGiCo SD8 has quickly become his go-to console for its flexibility, onboard features and sonics. “It’s helped to increase the overall sonic quality of the mixes I’m providing to the guys and for that reason, the SD8 has become my go-to desk. I will always spec it on upcoming tours and at some point, I would really like to get out on the SD7, too! I hear amazing things about the new Mach 3 enhancement.”