Primal Scream rock on with DiGiCo
Tuesday, 18 February 2020
primalscreamfohsd121Chris Martin at FOH
UK - FOH engineer, Chris Martin and monitor engineer, Gerry Colclough used DiGiCo SD12 consoles for Primal Scream’s 2019 UK and Ireland tour, citing the desk’s reliability and ease of use.
Formed in 1982 in Scotland, rock band Primal Scream released their third compilation album, Maximum Rock 'n' Roll: The Singles in 2019, containing 17 tracks spanning the period from 1986 to 2016. In support of the release, the band announced a major winter tour of the UK and Ireland in 2019, which saw FOH engineer, Chris Martin and monitor engineer, Gerry Colclough use DiGiCo SD12 consoles – owned by Stage Audio Services based in the West Midlands.
Martin has been working with the band since 2008, starting out as FOH system tech for a PA hire company before progressing to the position of FOH engineer for the group in 2015.
“The band are amazing people to be around; the touring party is a very happy camp and a great place to be,” he enthuses. “We are all great friends. They have a very good idea about what they want – having been a band for such a long time. We work closely with them to achieve the results that they want, spending many days at a rehearsal studio to make it as good as we can.”
Martin used a DiGiCo SD12 on the tour with a shared single SD Rack on an optical loop running at 48kHz, used with a Waves server connected via MADI to a DiGiGrid MGB interface.
“The Waves server is mainly used for effects such as auto pan for guitars and keyboards, effects (a few reverbs, sub enhancer and distortion) and some primary source expanders on the vocals,” he explains. “I’m also using a Universal Apollo interface connected via analogue for a few compressors and EQs, and a Smart Research C2 master buss compressor.”
The band used 32 input channels from the stage, with triggers on all drums for gates, ambience, and various talk mics.
“All in, it’s around 60 channels that I use with all the effects returns,” Martin says. “At FOH I used 11 different effects for various things, mainly reverb and different flavours of delays, then there’s some pitch effects, distortion, sub enhancer, and some guitar pedals.”
Meanwhile, Colclough has been working with Primal Scream since 2000 when they needed a monitor engineer at short notice. “Having been involved with the band for so long, we have a great relationship both on and off the stage, which has created great trust,” he says. Colclough switched to DiGiCo five years ago after hearing the quality of the audio, being particularly impressed by the ease of use.
(Jim Evans)

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