Digital console manufacturer Digico made its debut appearance at the 54th annual Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, with a number of its systems playing a key role in the live broadcast.
Specified by production company ATK AudioTek, a combination of five Digico SD10 consoles, along with a larger format SD7, handled FOH and monitor duties – for a total of 400+ I/O’s and 256 mic preamps distributed between 6 SD Racks – among four engineers in three locations within the Staples Centre arena.
An Optocore fibre optic network powered the entire PA system, allowing the signal path to stay fully digital from mic preamps to amplifiers. “The show’s producers continue to raise the bar in broadcast entertainment year after year and we needed to follow suit with the technology,” said Mikael Stewart, ATK’s production mixer and vice president of special events. “By using the best and most advanced tools, we guarantee the highest fidelity for every performance. The sonic quality of the Digico consoles was one of the biggest assets this year, in addition to the Optocore infrastructure that allowed complete flexibility and accessibility.”
With the previous consoles having been in use at the annual event for nearly a decade, both Stewart and audio consultant Jeff Peterson, who also designed the show’s PA and console system, played a vital role in making the switch to Digico.
“There was a noticeable difference in how the system sounded this year,” recalled Peterson, “and the comments and compliments came from touring and recording engineers alike. It’s not that the sound was bad in previous years by any means, but the overall intelligibility and the quality of the audio was noticeable. There was detail that we had never heard before, which we attributed to the addition of the Digico consoles.”
FOH for all of the night’s musical performances was handled by Ron Reaves on the SD7 alongside Stewart, who took care of all the non-music production assets on an SD10. On stage right and left respectively, Tom Pesa and Mike Parker facilitated monitor mixes for the artists on both performance stages on a pair of SD10s (with an additional two serving as ‘redundant’ backups).
“Not surprisingly, Digico offers the most flexible, high performance range of digital audio mixing systems available today,” added Group One president Jack Kelly, Digico’s US distributor. “With the expanding I/O and processing requirements of most of today’s large productions, including the recent Grammy awards show, the Digico SD range of consoles are ideal solutions for today’s engineers.”