DiGiCo SD12 reaches Utopia with Björk
Friday, 29 June 2018
john-galeFOH engineer John Gale
Europe - Björk’s ninth studio album, Utopia, was announced last summer, with the promise of a supporting tour this year. That tour kicked off at the Háskólabío Theater in the artist’s native Iceland. Headline appearances at the All Points East festival in London and Primavera Sound in Barcelona followed in May, with We Love Green Festival in Paris and Northside Festival in Arhus in June.
A run of own headline shows will follow for July, including The Eden Project UK, Gent, Rättvik, Helsinki and Rome. Front of House engineer John Gale joined Utopia’s touring team during its production stage in March, choosing a DiGiCo SD12 as his preferred method of control, that rental company CS Audio purchased from SSE Audio Group.
“Björk spent a long time producing and mixing the album and was very specific about the effects she wanted, in particular the panning of the flute ensemble,” John explains. “She has an incredible ear for things and discussed with me that she really wanted these details to translate over into the live shows.”
John was sent the album sessions in advance and spent time before rehearsals programming the data across into the SD12 as Snapshots, with a timecode references for each change.
“Much of the show runs on timecoded snapshots,” he says. “In some songs, there are only one or two moments where a snapshot fires a change, but in others I may have 20 snapshots dealing with various elements, whether that’s simply flute panning or bringing in and out various effects sends and returns, or relative fader levels for the band. I absolutely love the recall scope and safe functions of the DiGiCo, it's the most versatile way of working and anything feels quickly achievable.”
Jogn continues, “When I first got the confirmation for the job I knew I would need to do a bit of homework to make sure I was ready for rehearsals, particularly with regards to time-coding the snapshots. We had to send all the equipment to Iceland for production rehearsals several weeks ahead of our start, so I called up Tim [Shaxson] at DiGiCo and he kindly invited me down to the demo room in Chessington, set me up with the SD12, a DiGiGrid MGB, endless cups of tea and let me programme away for the day. This was invaluable and just the sort of support I have become accustomed to receiving from DiGiCo.
“I am very happy with the desk. We’re about half way through this initial run of shows and it’s performing perfectly. It does everything I need it to do and sounds great. The show has been receiving great reviews and All Points East in Victoria Park was a particular highlight. I am so happy I made the choice to run with the SD12. It’s a fantastic desk.”
(Jim Evans)

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