DiGiCo desks were used at the recent Big Chill festival in the U.K. United Kingdom (November 16, 2007)–The Big Chill, a UK festival with over 200 acts playing on 12 stages over three days, was held at Eastnor Castle Deer Park, this past summer. For the first time, Dobson Sound Productions supplied audio infrastructure for all the festival stages, using DiGiCo consoles in the process.
There was a D5 at Front of House on the Open Air stage, D5s at both FoH and monitors on the Castle Stage and D1s at FoH on the Sanctuary Stage and in the Big Chill Nights tent. “As we were providing sound for all the stages, it made sense to follow our instincts and go digital throughout,” says Dobson Sound managing director Paul Dobson. “It was a bit of a step, but it went very well.
“We chose to use the DiGiCo consoles for several reasons, not least of which is that they sound really good!” he continues. “They are also very flexible – we already use them on a wide variety of projects and Big Chill was further proof to us that here was another environment which they excel in.”
The consoles were controlling flown d&b PA systems on all stages – J series on the Open Air Stage and a combination of other types, mainly Q series, on the others. The DiGiCo consoles also minimised the amount of outboard that was carried.
“Apart from a few channels of valve compression and Lexicon reverb on the two biggest stages, all processing was done using the onboard effects, which saved both space and time,” says Dobson. “We really got the most of what we could from them.”
Several engineers brought session files with them, but the consoles were mainly run with a generic channel list. “We ran them in a very conventional manner, but the fact that we could load session files for the engineers that had brought them and then recall the generic settings after their sets was extremely useful,” says Dobson.
DiGiCo’s technical sales manager Tim Shaxson was on site for the whole weekend and he also brought along an ADK MADIcorder. “I took it along at the behest of Jerry Damas and the Spatial AKA Orchestra,” says Shaxson. “But once people realized it was there, I recorded a number of other acts including Red Snapper and Ted Barnes. Their engineer, Darius Kedros, loved the concept of recording 56 channels with one BNC cable.”