A pair of DiGiCo SD12 consoles were used for the summer Stone Temple Pilots (STP), Bush and The Cult Revolution 3 tour.
The triple-bill toured throughout North America, and monitor engineer and crew chief Sean Herman, front of house (FOH) engineer James “Hootsie” Huth and system engineer Chris Demonbreum, explained why they chose the DiGiCo SD12 consoles:
“When we started this tour, everything had to fit into a trailer,” notes Huth.
“We started before this three-band run doing large clubs and small theaters. This being Stone Temple Pilots—it’s a rock band—we need maybe 24 inputs max. The traveling plans meant we had to go with the smallest frame size possible and it looked like the SD12 had all the inputs and horsepower we would need.
“So we decided it was time to see what they could do, and they’ve been fantastic. With the same audio quality as the bigger SD consoles and all the inputs we would need for gigs of many sizes and types, we just couldn’t pass up the chance to take out the SD12.”
DiGiCo SD12 is turnkey…a valuable trait for a tour
Demonbreun says that it was important for the production staff that the system install quickly and easily.
“It’s just so simple. By the time I get the PA up in the air [the Revolution 3 Tour is using a L-Acoustics K1/K2 package], and make my way to front of house, it’s usually already set up and ready to go.”
Huth says not only does the audio system meet their logistical concerns, but through some of the DiGiCo’s infrastructure options, it enabled them to employ some unique features:
“One of the reasons we went with this package was because we could loop everything together via the DiGiCo 192k SD-Rack through the Optocore loop and share mic preamps and use the gain tracking feature, which we’ve really enjoyed,” states Huth.
“The system is simple and the footprint is great for those times—we did a fair number of festivals where there are seven other consoles at front of house and you need to shoehorn your way in there.”
Huth also says the consoles complement the Stone Temple Pilots’ music well:
“Our guys [STP] have been together a long time and they are really stable sonically,” comments Huth.
“They’re also a really dynamic band so I’ve always had to leave plenty of headroom on each input. So, for me, preamp levels have stayed the same for years. But I’m doing a cumulative mix of all the channels into a left/right mix, and what Sean is doing on monitors is a very different deal.
“So when he first set things up, the gain settings of many of the inputs were hotter than I would have liked, but I just engaged the gain tracking and brought everything down 6- to 8dB and it’s stayed the same ever since.”
Some of the other aspects of the tour’s production include Huth and Herman’s use of Wave plugins with the majority of the processing taking place at the consoles.
“I’m not really big on outboard stuff,” says Huth. “I use some compression plugins occasionally, but in the heat of the moment, if I need to tweak something, I’m going to d it with what’s native on the console.”