An array of Digico desks were recently deployed for Beyonce and Jay Z’s On The Run II tour.
The highly complex production, featuring a live band, an entire horn section, and back-up dancers equipped with in-ear monitors, was connected via an Optocore HMA fiber loop between two Digico SD7 consoles for the FOH mix (one primary console and a second for use by supporting acts on the tour) feeding a d&b audiotechnik J-Series PA system.
Four SD7 desks are assigned to the monitor mixes, while another SD7 combines full-band rehearsals as set lists are due to change and songs from the couple’s new album Everything Is Love – which dropped during the tour – are added.
A Digico SD12 console is used to mix vocal rehearsals. The five primary consoles on the tour use five Digico SD-Racks, with a sixth used as a support rack. The SD7s are connected to an Optocore fiber loop - a double loop in the case of the monitor consoles, two of which are primarily dedicated to the band members and two more for the artist on stage, with one for each task assigned as the primary console and a second as a spill-over deck for ancillary inputs such as talkback and audience mic inputs.
“The Digicos are the only consoles that can do this show, Stephen Curtin, FOH engineer, uses a lot of subgroups to keep and manage all of the stage inputs on a single SD7, with the second SD7 on the same fiber loop and with the sessions loaded and ready there as a spare. No other desk could touch what the SD7s are doing here,” said Jason Kirschnick, the international operations officer and global project manager at Eighth Day Sound, the sound-reinforcement provider for On The Run II.
“The wireless and in-ear counts are enormous,” he continued. “Everyone is sharing fiber on this tour, that’s one of the reasons that it’s the preferred console for the FOH and monitor mixers: its work-surface flexibility makes it the only console that lets them set up the exact custom workflows they need. It just has more options than any other console. That’s why it’s number-one on all the riders.”
The SD consoles are also used for recording the live shows, using Digico’s MGB MADI interface at FOH and Optocore DD4MR network MADI interfaces in monitor world. This will convert the MADI output from the consoles to a network signal for input to a Mac Pro running recording software. “This is a very complex tour,” added Kirschnick. “It couldn’t have been done as reliably or effectively without what the SD7 brings to it.”