Following a hiatus of almost five years, Lenny Kravitz has returned to the live stage in support his latest studio album Black and White America with Digico SD7 and SD11 audio rigs among his touring itinerary.
Working alongside Sound Image’s Mike ‘Spagoo’ Sprague, FOH and production engineer Laurie Quigley crafted a touring rig that was designed to retain the required audio quality regardless of the venue size. This approach resulted in two mirrored systems comprised of Digico SD7s at both FOH and monitors (with engineer Dan Horton) for use on bigger shows, with a pair of SD11s specified for use on the band’s promo gigs and fly dates.
“I‘ve been using the SD7 because it is the best sounding digital control service available,” Quigley stated. “More to the point, Digico products just sound better. The SD7 has everything I need right under my fingertips. I added the newer SD11s on this tour so that we could maintain the quality that Lenny has become accustomed to, on small press and TV shows. With space issues, the 32 Flexi channels on the SD11 were perfect. We maxed this little baby out, but it did the job very well. In fact, we are now also using the SD11 for our support band, Raphael Saadiq, on this leg of the tour.”
Quigley also utilises an external rack of effects, including a BSS 901 and Emperical Lab distressors for Kravitz’s vocals, Smart compressors for the sound system and all overheads, in addition to Bricasti reverbs, Culture Vulture distortion units Leslie vocal effects, Lexicon 960, dBx 120x, 3 x SDE 3000 delay units and a H3500, to name but a few.
Quigley offered the following on how he gets the best out of his audio system: “Let’s get back to basics, lets plug a mic in, see what sounds better, and then start from there. Too many people have forgotten their basics. If you present a properly tuned sound system, the right mic in the right place, and let it breath and do its job with a good control console, you won't need a plug-in on every channel to start off with. My advice? Learn how to properly tune a sound system, get a Digico mixing console and don't over-think it. Simplicity breeds consistency. If it sounds good, leave it alone.”
He continued: “Let’s forget all the bullshit and just plug a mic into a channel and let’s see which one of these wonderful digital control consoles sound like a soundboard. Digico products sound like soundboards, like the analogue boards, that we who are old enough to remember, were brought up on. The SD7 sounds like a soundboard; like a more convenient version of an XL-4. But better, smaller, lighter, quicker and more adaptable. It’s all there under one console, not 2 or 3 very large and heavy soundboards. And, the new Digico SD 96kHz racks rock.”