DiGiCo shines on Alfie Boe UK tour
Wednesday, 17 July 2019
digicoFOH engineer Mark 'Joey' Jowitt, and monitor engineer, Steve Bunting, both rely on DiGiCo consoles
UK - Tenor and actor Alfie Boe is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Jean Valjean on the 25th anniversary edition of Les Misérables at the O2 in 2010, which earned him a five-month run in the West End production at the Queen's theatre the following year. He has also sold more than one million albums in the UK, with his recent duet albums with Michael Ball. He has recently completed a highly successful UK tour, as well as a handful of shows in Europe and Japan, with long-time FOH engineer, Mark 'Joey' Jowitt, and monitor engineer, Steve Bunting, both relying on DiGiCo consoles - an SD10 and SD7 respectively, supplied by Major Tom - out on the road.
“Alfie is a very personable and easy-going guy, and he's very appreciative of the job everyone does,” says Bunting, who has worked with Boe for several years, including his time touring with Michael Ball. “We have a great team on this tour - not just on audio, but across the whole crew and band. And we still get on! The support we have had from Andy Banks at Major Tom has also been great - and the schedule hasn't been too tough - we never do more than two shows in a row - and it's done good business.”
The main production tour took place in and around the UK, predominantly in the north, and finished at the Royal Albert Hall in London. After that, Boe took a smaller, five-piece setup to Ireland, Holland and Japan, using local production.
Bunting has been a DiGiCo user for eight years; he says there is always a DiGiCo option to fit whatever gig he is doing, big or small.
“They sound great, they’re really powerful, and the workflow really suits the way I work, letting me arrange the console whichever way I need, and route myself into oblivion if I really want to,” he explains. “I like having the MADI feeds available, which allows me to record every show, and with the firmware upgrades, they just keep getting better.”
Bunting was originally going to use an SD10 for monitors, though during rehearsals the show file grew to a point where it would no longer fit, hence the jump to the flagship SD7.
“There’s a lot going on, with 16 mixes - including techs and spares - as well as FX sends and sub-groups for Alfie,” says Bunting. “The SD7 also really helps my workflow; having the meter bridge and master screen always accessible, and having the extra bank of small faders in the centre is a real bonus.”
Boe's mix is run from a mixture of sub-groups and VCAs, which are controlled from the centre section of the SD7, with the mix sends accessed from the small faders.
Mark 'Joey' Jowitt started working with Boe back in 2005 and has maintained a strong relationship with him ever since.
“The UK tour has been a great success and fun to do, with such a diverse range of music and Alfie’s infectious humour,” Jowitt says. “His voice has such an array of textures: he is able to move from his operatically-trained voice into a number of different musical styles including rock, soul, and country. However, such power has to be contained, so I use the onboard multi-band compressor on the SD10 plus an inserted Avalon 737. I also use a TC 6000 on his vocal, but I augment this with the internal DiGiCo reverbs.”
(Jim Evans)

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