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DiGiGrid at Heart

DiGiGrid at Heart

USA – “DiGiGrid continues to resonate with our methodology of uncompromising sonic quality and budget-efficient confidence. These products enable our unique processes to deliver maximum production value at a substantial cost saving to the client,” stated Brett ‘Scoop’ Blanden, FOH/ broadcast engineer and Partner at RemotePro.

The iHeartCountry Festival presented by Capital One, is a major event in the Country music calendar. Since 2014, the one-night event has featured the genre’s biggest superstars performing in front of a live audience at the Erwin Center in Austin, Texas, but this year’s renewal took on a different form due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. The 2020 festival performances were recorded at The Steel Mill in Nashville, a large production facility designed for rehearsals, filming and special events and later broadcast to the nation via the LiveXLive platform. Dierks Bentley and Lady A were just two of the all star line-up.

Broadcast and technical production services specialists RemotePro.Live took care of the recording and broadcast, a major undertaking that required best-in-class fidelity, major network quality and very quick turnaround times. Broadcast Audio Capture was fed from the Steel Mill in Nashville to music mixer John Harris in Philadelphia via Remote Production Group’s proprietary RFN Network Tunnels directly into his ProTools and monitoring systems. RPG recorded 64 channels locally with full redundancy while John remotely mixed and monitored via public high speed internet. In this way he was able to build and refine mixes during line checks, sound checks and performance capture. For the on-site recording at The Steel Mill, Remote Pro deployed a number of DiGiGrid units.

A total of nine DiGiGrid interfaces provided the front end input stage and audio connectivity to the recording system. These comprised two IOX, five IOS, one MGB and one DLI for 64 mic inputs, 128 channels of MADI connectivity and 64 channels to ProTools HD (via the DLI). Waves LV1 systems (powered by DiGiGrid IOS servers) powered the front end control of the DiGiGrid preamps, and the SoundGrid network also worked as a split system delivering the 64 inputs to ProTools via the DLI. Additional Native redundant DAWs connected to the SoundGrid network also recorded the audio.

The use of the LV1/DiGiGrid-based system gave the engineers independent (of ProTools) control and monitoring capabilities for a true multi-operator workflow. With the DLI bridging the connection from the SoundGrid world into the industry standard ProTools DAW environment, and the recording process taking full advantage of the quality of DiGiGrid’s preamps, the solution provided an efficient and cost-effective way to place high channel counts of microphones into ProTools, with the benefit of the network for routing and redundant recording.

Scott Pederson, president and managing partner at RemotePro explains: “Remote Pro chose DiGiGrid components because of their fidelity, modularity and systemic flexibility over multiple protocols: analogue (split) BNC MADI, M/X32 card formats and more. As added bonuses, Waves’ new FIT controller and SoundGrid Studio’s PFL buss (completely independent of ProTools) enabled true multi operator workflow with simultaneous ProTools (primary) and Reaper (backup) recording feeds, while also providing multiple discrete, client-controllable reference outputs for embed into video and stakeholder proofing.”

Amidst all the detailed discussion of the technical elements involved in the show, mix engineer John Harris offers succinct appraisal: “What’s most important, though, is the sound. The kit sounds fantastic and with this calibre of artist, audio quality is key. The resulting systems are top tier, and were looking forward to deploying them to the world again and again.”

Dan Page, brand manager at DiGiGrid comments: “It’s great to see our products being used to such great advantage in a setting like this, offering a straightforward solution in such a large and prestigious production. The scaleability and flexibility of our range offers pretty much unlimited freedom. Whether it’s a challenging multi-stakeholder, professional situation such as this, or a one-man band operating in a small home studio, the quality is the same. RemotePro did a fantastic job in helping to ensure that the iHeartCountry Festival was a great success in what were unusual and challenging circumstances.”

15th December 2020

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