Lady Gaga is in the middle of her Born This Way Ball, a tour that will hit virtually every corner of the globe for more than a year.
Eighth Day Sound is at the helm of the production, coordinating various universal stadium systems across several continents to meet the tour's requirements.
“Each tour system is comprised of two Digico SD7 Mach III systems at FOH,” explained Eighth Day chief technology officer Jason Kirschnick. “A 192kHz Digico SD Rack at FOH is loaded with 32 analog ins/32 analog outs, as well as 24 AES ins/outs for local I/O. At the stage end for FOH are two more 192 SD racks loaded with 48 analog ins, eight AES ins, eight AES and eight analog outs.
"At the monitor end is another SD7 running two Waves 9 servers. There are two more 192kHz SD Racks at monitors loaded with 48 analog, eight digital inputs, 40 analog and eight digital outputs each.”
The PA system is comprised of 96 d&B Audiotechnik J Series units.
“The system is all-digital at 96kHz,” added Kirschnick, “with a complete analog backup comprised of Dolby Lakes and LM44s with wireless control of the complete system. The d&B amplifiers are all monitored and controlled remotely through the entire system as well.”
FOH engineer Chris Rabold cites the flexibility of the snapshot section as one of the SD7's best features. “With a big pop show like this that is scripted very carefully, the goal is consistency and more or less perfection every night," he stated. "I don’t think we’ll ever get the perfection part of that equation down, but we can sure get the consistency through the use of snapshots. The SD7 is so much more configurable than other platforms.”
Ramon Morales handles monitors for the band members. He oversees a total of 12 stereo mixes, flown side fills, bass and drum subs, two mono mixes and several stereo FX sends.
“Everything about the console is great,” Morales commented. “Sonically, it’s one of the best consoles out there and definitely my favourite. I can have as many ins and outs as I need or want, and having the backup console mirrored – as well as all the other features it has – what else would you want?
“I’m also using many of the built-in effects, including Waves. My favourite has to be the SSL channel and the C4, which I mainly use for my vocal inputs, since the console itself sounds great.”
Picture: (from left) FOH technician and engineer Wayne Bacon, Chris Rabold and systems engineer Mike Hackman.
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