The Los Angeles-based audio production team behind X Factor USA took a different approach this year for the show’s audio setup.
ATK Audiotek, the company that handled production for the Grammys, successfully switched over to Digico for the music awards show back in February, and the same decision was made for the X Factor TV production as well.
The firm adopted one of the newly released Digico SD5 consoles and a pair of SD Racks at FOH for Simon Cowell’s hit show, along with an SD10 for monitors, connected via an Optocore fibre optics network. The six-city audition tour also employed Digico SD8 and SD9 consoles.
“This year on X Factor we’ve jumped in with both feet with Digico,” explained FOH engineer Jeff Peterson, who was also a consultant for the Grammy production. “Last year’s X Factor was a learning experience as we’d never done the show before and the console we were using wasn’t big enough to really handle the live show. We managed to make it through, but it was a bit of a struggle.
"After the Grammy’s in February, where we deployed six Digico consoles all sharing pre-amps, I think it was a turning point, at least in our little corner of the industry – not just for the hardware, but it was also a litmus test for us audio techs and for the Los Angeles television engineers to really see just how stable the DiGiCo platform was. It performed really well and there was a noticeable improvement in sound quality, so on X Factor this year, I pushed to use the same system, to distribute our pre-amps digitally to broadcast instead of using analog splitters and multiple sets of pre-amps, and to keep everything in our signal path in the digital realm.
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