DiGiCo in demand on Def Leppard tour
Tuesday, 23 April 2019
digicoThe tour concludes with 12 shows at Zappos Theater in Las Vegas
World - It has been 40 years since British rockers Def Leppard released their debut EP. Since then, they have sold more than 100 million record sales, releasing multi-platinum and diamond-certified albums. The band have also recently been inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Following their eight-month stadium tour, Def Leppaard are preparing for their next stint across Europe and North America, which begins in June. Live engineers Ronan McHugh and Ted Bible are relying on DiGiCo consoles to get the job done.
McHugh has had a longstanding relationship with Def Leppard, which started in the 1990s.
“I went straight from school into Sun Studios in Dublin, and from there, got into the live side of the industry, just to keep working,” he explains. “I went on to do a bit for Sanctuary Management in London in the '90s with Kerbdog & The Almighty - always in the studio and on the road. It was during recording with The Almighty that I crossed paths with Def Leppard, and they’ve kept me busy in one way or another since then.”
McHugh has always been a FOH guy when it comes to live sound, and although he has worked on a number of consoles - analogue and digital - his go-to today is a DiGiCo SD5.
“When I first mixed the band live, it was as fill-in for a Japanese tour, and I spec’d a Midas XL4 with a bunch of outboard. I finished the tour with a [Yamaha] PM5D at FOH, which made sense to me at the time, coming from the analogue world,” he says. “But from that point on, DiGiCo have been stepping up their front end - firstly with the SD-Racks and consoles, and now with the new 32-bit cards. Now you have a console that both sounds great, and ergonomically just works.”
McHugh cites the SD5's versatility as one of its main USPs - being able to add rack after rack of I/O.
“We have two maxed-out SD-Racks and an Orange Box, and you can pull any input anywhere at the click of a button,” he reveals. “On remote record sessions, it's so easy to provide a MADI feed to the record truck, or they can have their own SD-Rack in the loop, and we can send them anything we want - from inputs, to stems, to FX, or a FOH mix. The options are brilliant.”
Ted Bible is working monitors for this tour - though when he started out with Def Leppard, he was system engineer and crew chief.
Like McHugh, Bible is also working from a DiGiCo SD5. “I really like the console's platform for monitors, as my guys came up in the analogue world, and they expect to hear a change as I reach towards the board, instantly. The SD5 gives the most amount of control on one level, making it very easy and quick to make those adjustments,” Bible reveals.
Def Leppard toured from May until December in 2018, with a one-off show at The Royal Albert Hall in March. The band is now touring Europe, Canada, and the USA, finishing off with 12 shows at Zappos Theater in Las Vegas.
(Jim Evans)

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