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DiGiCo SD10 give Vance Joy consistently good sound
USA – With his song Riptide a huge international hit, sold-out stadium tours with Taylor Swift, and a current tour that is covering the US, Australia, South America and Europe, Australian singer songwriter Vance Joy’s story is one of continuing success, which comes with the need for a world-class monitor engineer. For Vance, this is Mani Hammond, who has been working with him ever since August 2014. He is deploying a DiGiCo SD10 provided, along with the rest of the audio equipment, by British rental company Encore PA.
Mani started his career on analogue desks, but when he made the move to digital and a DiGiCo SD9, he found the transition an easy one and when Encore purchased an SD10 two years ago Mani decided to give it a try. He has found it the perfect console for the job, citing the high fader count as one of its major benefits and has been touring it with Vance ever since.
“I like having lots of faders as I don’t like changing banks,” he says. “Having 32 faders in front of you makes everything easily accessible.”
Mani is running 12 channels of in ears and is using the onboard reverbs and just a few Waves plug ins, liking to keep things as simple as possible. He has up to 52 channels of inputs including drums, bass, acoustic and electric guitar, keys, and a horns section, with the inclusion of a B stage increasing the channel count slightly.
“We are carrying most of the PA throughout the tour and we’ve managed to take the control package everywhere with us, which has given us great consistency and, because we’re running on Optocore now, we also have total redundancy,” says Mani. “It has been very solid, and the sound quality is fantastic.”
Mani admits he does not use the SD10 to its full extent, ignoring functions such as Snapshots because the band likes to make every night unique and because Mani prefers to mix freehand.
“There are many powerful features to this desk I am not taking full advantage of! The on screen Aux to Fader mode has been great however, making it really easy to change multiple mixes simultaneously while never loosing focus on the main mix.”
As Vance uses several acoustic guitars and ukuleles, being able to re-call EQ presets has been really useful.
“The sound of the guitars changes according to how well-used its strings are, as well as the temperature and humidity of the room, so I have a bunch of EQs set up for various situations – fresh strings / worn strings / hot or cold temperature,” Mani continues. “Also, Vance’s guitar playing can go from delicate finger picking to strumming pretty hard very quickly throughout the set. It’s really dynamic, so the Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Comps have been extremely useful in getting these peaks under control.”
Mani is also making use of a DiGiGrid MGB interface to record the show onto his laptop using the input switch function, which allows him to do virtual soundchecks.
“Again, because the acoustic guitars can change so dramatically with all the temperature and dynamic variables, it’s been hugely useful to being able to change settings on the SD10 via virtual soundchecks without needing Vance on stage any longer than he needs to be,” Mani adds.
Having just played Denver’s Red Rocks, double weekend Coachella main stage slots and with many more exciting shows on the books, everything is looking good for Vance and his team. And, with the ever popular SD10 as a permanent fixture, they can be sure that each show will be as great sounding as the last.
10th July 2018
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