DiGiCo D5 - A 'No Brainer' For Live Audio Monitoring On Tours With Prince & New Kids On The Block
Under the direction of long-time monitor engineer Clay Hutson (Indigo Girls, Garbage, Gwen Stefani, Kelly Clarkson, Marilyn Manson, Velvet Revolver, P!NK, Prince, Alice In Chains), the DiGiCo D5 has facilitated critical monitoring roles on current and forthcoming tours with Prince and New Kids On The Block respectively. Hutson, switched over to the digital platform back in 2002-2003 with the release of the DiGiCo D5 and has been a fan ever since.
“I always spec the DiGiCo D5 for monitors on all my tours,” says Hutson. “It just does what I need it to. Having enough stereo aux’s and mono aux’s is always a problem and I always seem to fill up the console. The D5’s small package and onboard dynamics and effects really make it a ‘no-brainer’ for live audio. The way tours are routed these days, you’re in an area or stadium doing a festival, and then on to a club show. Analog packages are just too large and cumbersome to bring into clubs, and with the cost of fuel these days, board groups the size of a queen-sized bed just aren’t practical. There is nothing else out there that gives you that many mixes in such a small package. Plus, the dynamics are top notch. I use the effects and IPC’s on every tour, for verbs, delays, doublers, etc., and I love having the IPC’s for my mix EQs. You never know what the artist is gonna throw at you and its just a couple quick-routing pushes away from being done on the D5.”
On the most recent Prince tour—including his last-minute, stunning performance at the renowned Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in southern California this past April—Hutson got his first look at the D5’s V4.0 software and was pleased overall with the new features. “At Coachella, I mixed for both Prince and band. Prince is after a very specific (warm) vintage sound and the output parametrics, allowed me to tailor wedge dujour and make it sound like what he is after.”
Currently, Hutson is working on some promotional dates and forthcoming reunion tour with the New Kids On The Block throughout Canada and the U.S. commencing this September. “The tour is 40 inputs, eleven in-ear mixes, plus wedges and sidefills, and additional tech mixes… it completely maxes the consoles output capabilities. This is the NKOTB’s first time using in-ear monitors as the technology was just evolving when they stopped touring. The best part about the console is that if Donnie Wahlberg asks for something, there is no patching, no moving around of cables... A couple quick screen presses and voila! It’s done. That really impressed him. He kept saying his in-ears sound like the record. And only having a couple tracks worth of inputs... That’s saying a lot!”
And it’s not just the desk’s small footprint and overall capabilities that keeps him committed to the D5. Simply put, he likes how it sounds. “ Everyone seems to get all esoteric when it comes to sonic quality,” he muses. “Just like wine, you have to ask yourself, “Do I like it?” Because at the end of the day, that is all that matters. Without trashing the others, I’ve used 95% of the other digital desks on the market and I always come back to the D5.”
Diane Gershuny at DGPR
Tel: +1 562 366 8869
Everyone seems to get all esoteric when it comes to sonic quality. Just like wine, you have to ask yourself, Do I like it? Because at the end of the day, that is all that matters. Without trashing the others, I have used 95% of the other digital desks on the market and I always come back to the D5.
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